L-R: Chase (voiced by Iain Armitage), Rocky (voiced by Callum Shoniker), Skye (voiced by Lilly Bartlam), Zuma (voiced by Shayle Simons), Rubble (voiced by Keegan Hedley), and Marshall (voiced by Kingsley Marshall) in PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Spin Master.
Let’s get this out of the way. The people reading this review for PAW Patrol: The Movie is not the target audience. Since 2013 PAW Patrol has been entertaining kids all over the world. 10-year-old Ryder has led a crew of heroic pups with specific talents that make up the search and rescue team, the Paw Patrol. Heck, they were even unjustifiably thrown into the realm of cancel culture when the former White House Press Secretary reported that they were canceled. Regardless, we are now in 2021 gearing up for the Pup’s debut on the big screen.
Along with the kid-favorite cast of pups, Paw Patrol: The Movie also brings some Hollywood favorites to take on some of the voice acting duties. These include Iain Armitage, Marsei Martin, Yara Shahidi, Kim Kardashian West, Randall Park, Dax Shepard. Also with Tyler Perry and Jimmy Kimmel and introducing Will Brisbin.
If you are familiar with the television series the film will come as no surprise. Chase, Marshall, Skye, Rubble, Zuma, and Rocky are all here. Their biggest rival, Humdinger has become the Mayor of Adventure City. His antics have caused all kinds of havoc in the city. It’s up to Ryder and the Paw Patrol to clean up his messes and protect the city. The film seems like it’s a few episodes of Paw Patrol that have a connecting narrative arc. This arc consists of three parts.
First, there is the overall plot which consists of the danger of Mayor Humdinger obtaining a weather-controlling machine. He is using it to make sure that his events have clear and sunny days. Through the film, we see Kendra, the scientist warning him about overloading. Second, there is the PTSD of one of the members of the Paw Patrol, Chase. Who’s return to the City has triggered memories that have impaired his ability to do his job. Third, there is the introduction of a new pup, Liberty. She lives in the city and is a big fan of the team. She hopes to one day be part of the team and in the film, they take a little time to also get to know her.
I think for me the highlight of Paw Patrol: The Movie is Chase’s story. We get the opportunity to see some depth in a character that for years didn’t really need to entertain kids. We learn about his situation before meeting Ryder and how they met. Now in the film’s present time, we find out that it’s something that still affects him. Another fun moment comes when we are introduced to the new headquarters of The Paw Patrol and Ryder makes the self-aware joke about how merchandising pays for all of it. Last but certainly not least, I love the addition of Liberty as it’s about time they add another girl to the Paw Patrol team.
What didn’t work for me is probably what worked for kids (the target audience). The repetitiveness of the pups being sent out for missions made it feel like I was watching a Paw Patrol marathon. But I get it, you need to keep the kids invested in the movie and you’re not going to do that with a film with a big Paw Patrol Story arc. Especially with being used to a tv series for so many years.
If you have kids that are fans of the series, then Paw Patrol: The Movie is probably going to be fun. Simply because you’re going to enjoy seeing your kids excited to see their favorite pups on the big screen. Currently because of the world’s situation, Hollywood hasn’t offered too many offerings for little kids in theaters. It may also be that some may be put on hold for the time being going forward. So if safely possible this would be a good film to take the little ones out to the cinema as they go back to school. But if you’re not comfortable with taking them out to a large gathering place like the theaters, you’re in luck. It will also be available to watch on Paramount+ on the same day it’s released in theaters.