Let me begin this review by saying I am no expert in Paw Patrol. The insanely popular children’s TV show premiered in 2013, when I was already considered “an adult.” 8 years later, these brave pups arrive on the big screen for the very first time in their own movie, and perhaps to everyone’s surprise, it’s a jolly good time in the cinema, especially for the wee ones.
If like I, you’re not fluent in Paw Patrol, it focuses on a group of puppies, all with different emergency service skill; Chase is a police dog and the leader of the pact, Marshall is a firefighting pup, Skye specialises working up in the air, Rocky likes to recycle, Zuma takes care of water rescue and Rubble has construction under control. Together with their human helper Ryder, these pups could quite effectively rule the world.
In PAW Patrol The Movie, the pups leave the comfort and relative calm of Adventure Bay for the big and noisy Adventure City, which scares Chase, who has bad memories of the city. Adventure City is in trouble as the rather incompetent Mayor Humdinger, the group’s arch enemy, causes chaos and danger with his silly and irresponsible ideas. Paw Patrol to the rescue! They’re also joined by a new recruit, Liberty, a sassy dachshund who is keen to become part of the team.
PAW Patrol The Movie will not go down in cinematic history as a classic in the vein of The Lego Movie or any of Disney or Pixar films, but it is still a very successful film. It caters mostly just to the pre-existing fan base of kids and unfortunately offers very little for the parents watching it but the children will love it. The film is packed with fun and silly slapstick, guaranteed to keep the kids entertained and that is the sole purpose of the film. The 88-minute runtime flies by!
The film mostly focuses on Chase as he tries to overcome his past fears and memories and the film does it with nuance and empathy. PAW Patrol: The Movie at times seems to lack a proper plot and feels like at least three different episodes stitched together, but offers plenty of giggles. There isn’t much we can ask or demand from a film like PAW Patrol, but director Cal Brunker delivers on all fronts. The pups have also had an upgrade in terms of animation and the film looks good overall. Not perfect, but this is a great first introduction to the magic of cinema for the little ones of the family.
PAW Patrol: The Movie is out now in cinemas.