Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, is a step backwards for children with allergies

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Credit: NBCUniversal DreamWorks Animation LLC
Credit: NBCUniversal DreamWorks Animation LLC

It’s just a movie! But how much damage does a joke about a severe food allergy in a children’s movie do? Is this wokeism at its finest, or has a line been crossed?
Puss In Boots: The last Wish, is set to hit the cinemas in time for February half term. With Auntie duty on the horizon, I eagerly sought out the trailer and noticed the storyline point to Puss in Boots ‘humorously’ losing one of his cat lives to a shellfish allergy. I winced that in 2023, a joke is being made about death and a severe food allergy in a children’s movie. Is it just me?
In a bid to determine my potentially woke overreaction, I spoke with paediatric dietician and mother to a child with a peanut allergy, Jennifer Hoare. She said:
“Food allergies vary in their severity and symptoms can be mild or life-threatening. Ask any parent what happened to their child when they had their first allergic reaction to a food and they will be able to recall every moment. Facial swelling might look funny in a film, but in real-life, it’s scary. When a food allergy is so severe that ingesting that food could lead to death, going to new places whether it’s restaurants, cafes or friends’ houses, can be a source of massive stress. It can also be very isolating.”

“The movie industry shouldn’t be creating content for children that makes light of or places comedic value on anaphylactic reactions to food allergies. This scene may upset food allergy sufferers and parents of children with food allergies”
Not just me then. As well as the pertinent points that Jennifer makes, my concern is also for the message it puts out to the peers of allergy sufferers. That it’s not something to be taken seriously. When in fact, friends of allergy sufferers are often their first point of support in an emergency. This scene may upset some food allergy sufferers and parents of children with food allergies
It’s a hard point to balance because this is meant to be a fun, light hearted and entertaining kids movie, but where do you draw the line?
Keep the conversation going.

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Credit: NBCUniversal DreamWorks Animation LLC
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