Released on: August 20 2021
Viewable: Theaters, Youtube, Google Play Movies and TV, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount Plus (US)
Directed by: Cal Brunker
Starring:Iain Armitage, Marsai Martin, Ron Pardo, Yara Shahidi, Kim Kardashian West, Randall Park, Dax Shepard, Tyler Perry, Jimmy Kimmel, Will Brisbin
Back in 2012, I used to work retail as a Sales Representative for the electronics department for Toys R Us. I would see all sorts of trends come and go all the time. Back then, the hot ticket was Skylanders (a toy-to-life game similar to Nintendo’s Amiibos of today), Mighty Beans, Minecraft, and Paw Patrol. Paw Patrol seemingly came out of nowhere and exploded into popularity, from toys, straight-to-video DVDs, party supplies, and shirts. I didn’t think much of it at the time since I saw no reason to explore it further than my job insisted.
Fast-forward to 2020, where Sergie is holding a wiggly baby boy, trying to calm him down. Not knowing how to settle him down, he desperately reaches for the remote, opens Netflix, and spots the familiar-looking police dog. He puts on an episode of Paw Patrol, and the child soon mellows out. Paw Patrol has since acted as a welcomed limited reprieve for tired parents and caretakers, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes this.
Moving ahead a little bit more to the week before my son’s birthday, I came to find out that a Paw Patrol movie was fast approaching. Since my son is a giant Paw Patrol fan, I figure this would be not only a great birthday gift for him but a great first outing to the movie theatre. That is how I came to see the Paw Patrol Movie on the big screen and why I am reviewing it for all my lovely readers. Is Paw Patrol The Movie ready for the ruffest of ruff-ruff rescues?
Paw Patrol The Movie opens to a typical day for the Paw Patrol; someone in Adventure Bay needs help, and, rather than bringing in an emergency response team, the Paw Patrol arrives on the scene to save the poor person in trouble. After a typical rescue, Ryder (the human leader/caretaker of the Paw Patrol) gets a call from a city pup named Liberty. She announces that its newly elected mayor, Humdinger (who is the worst), is making things worse for the people of Adventure City. It’s up to Ryder, Chase, Rubble, Marshal, Skye, Rocky, and Zuma to race to Adventure City to fix all of the trouble Mayor Humdinger caused.
Looking at the story objectively, there is nothing too out of the ordinary or even too remarkable about Paw Patrol, the Movie’s plot. When compared to the Paw Patrol show, on the other hand, it feels like they brought in writers who wanted to inject some thought and effort into the writing. It breaks away from the show’s simplistic formula enough to stand out and manages to raise the stakes adequately. That might be why I felt impressed with the writing in Paw Patrol the Movie.
While it would be nice to share the screen time with all of the pups, I understand that a story revolving around the Paw Patrol might not want to dawdle so as not to bore its target audience. Still, the characters they did focus on got the right amount of character development and made me care for them.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Paw Patrol the Movie looks terrific. To say that the movie upgrades the visuals of the show
would be an understatement. Adventure Bay never looked better, and Adventure City was full of colorful lights and creative set-pieces. It got to a point where I forgot I was watching Paw Patrol the Movie (until my son had to use the bathroom)..
Another bit that surprised me with Paw Patrol the Movie is its decent sense of humor. Some of the jokes in the movie are legitimately funny and aimed at the parents watching. I also like that they bring up questions that I asked while watching the Paw Patrol show, and they make a joke out of it.
The first bit of criticism I have with Paw Patrol the Movie is that while the rest looks amazing, some of the human characters look a little strange compared to their television counterpart. Ryder is the primary example here. It seems like they made his head smaller and moved all of his facial features up, which made me double-take the first time I saw him. I also didn’t recognize some of the returning characters when I first saw them as well. The puppies look the best out of the returning characters, even though their realistic-looking fur took some time to get used to as well.
My only other gripe would be that the movie was only available in theatreswhen we went to go see it. In the US, Paw Patrol the Movie is streamable on Paramount Plus (because Paramount distributes the movie there). As of this writing, Paw Patrol the Movie is also available on Youtube, Google Play Movies and Amazon prime Video. In Canada, however, there are no streaming services that offer Paw Patrol the Movie (since Elevation distributes the film in Canada). Not a deal-breaker for me, but when it comes to kids (and the seriousness of the pandemic), being able to stream the movie is always a plus.
While I had a terrific time with Paw Patrol the Movie, it was mostly because it was my son’s first theatre experience that couldn’t have gone better. I would have skipped the movie in its entirety if my son had shown no interest in the film. To say this is the best piece of Paw Patrol media available would feel obvious. Readers who have little fans of Paw Patrol should bring them to see the movie. For everyone else, Paw Patrol the Movie is a good movie to put on if they find themselves taking care of a young one but is otherwise skippable.