A little less kiddie than a cultural icon, PAW Patrol appeared to be able to go from the shadows to become a household name in a matter of minutes when it was launched in 2013. It’s possible that you don’t know their names, but there will be very few people who wouldn’t recognize the characters that came from Adventure Bay on sight. As they move to the bigger screen Chase, Skye, Ryder and their crew are showing the same determination to continue down their dominance. It’s easy to see the reason. They’re adorable, charming, and cool. While kids will love the comedy’s slapstick humor as well as deviousness, parents will feel at ease in the pups with their more conscious approach to helping the world.
For those who haven’t heard, PAW Patrol is the Keith Chapman created TV toon about a 10-year-old boy and his team of rescue dogs that he manages. They are united in their bravery. PAW Patrol uses special skills in firefighting, policing, and aviation – among other things to safeguard their idyllic place on Adventure Bay. It’s a bit chaotic and highly commercially viable, but it hits the right chords of comedy. There are a variety of criticisms, from petitions to the show’s gender inequality to atypically savage broadsheet attacks on its alleged support for capitalism’s privatization. It’s impossible to win them all.
The film does, nevertheless, take a step forward in dealing with the franchise’s lack of success in female representation with the debut of Marsai Martin as Liberty. She’s the street-smart miniature dachshund who we encounter as the pups shift their operations to Adventure Bay to the nearby metropolis, where their long-time rival Mayor Humdinger (Ron Pardo) has taken over.
A few subtle similarities to a recently ousted US President can be seen in Humdinger winning a landslide victory thanks to ridiculous, populist pledges. After he is in office Humdinger’s policies can cause harm to people. He even builds an infuriating tower in honor of his name and brand. In the world where dogs freely communicate with humans, it’s seen as red as it’s the PAW Patrol will sweep in and clean up the mess.
Not everyone is thrilled with the transition to Bay and City will be Chase (voiced in the voice of Young Sheldon’s Iain Armitage). In fact, it’s a powerful plot strand, which sees the writers Billy Frolick, Bob Barlen, and Cal Brunker – who also directs – explore the origin story for the cult dog based on PTSD. The traumas from Chase’s past quickly become apparent during Adventure City and the film is a masterful job of conveying the message that you cannot simply expect to push through. Only through time and support can Chase be capable of moving forward. We can all learn from.
In a clever way, the film balances its downbeats, laughter comes hard and quick in the form of funny quips (tumbling pants!), and even a sly glance at the cameras (merchandising!). Jimmy Kimmel voices balding news anchor Marty Muckraker, whose hair isn’t able to stay in place while Yara Shahidi is having fun playing the role of a scientist constantly required to tinker with her language. Kim Kardashian also shines as the sassy dog Chase encounters during his brief appearance in the canine Juvie. The word “brief” is the key. It is an asset to the film that its episodic antics are woven seamlessly into a unified overall. PAW Patrol The Movie is never an unending episode. It is also awash with an animated style and bombast that is enough to make it a cinematic masterpiece.
With just under ninety minutes long, the show offers a refreshingly fun experience on a day that is cloudier during the summer months. Parents should keep away from all toys for the time being, but will not regret the experience. The auditorium was packed of children that crowded the critic’s screening of this film, and the laughter never stopped. When it comes to reviews you’re not able to say more honestly than this.