The animated “PAW Patrol” franchise lacks the “all-ages” appeal of the best of Disney and Pixar. It’s from Nickelodeon, but that doesn’t even handle this channel’s appeal to kids and a certain brand of immature adults (“Ren and Stimpy” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” come to mind as examples). No, this is strictly kid stuff, and since I’m no longer a kid myself, and I don’t have kids of my own, “PAW Patrol: The Movie” isn’t for me. The most fun I can get from this movie is sometimes making sarcastic jokes out of harmless material. Parents, you can at least appreciate how much your kids (and they must be young kids, like kindergarten or younger) enjoy this movie, but there is nothing here for yourselves.
The story follows the mostly canine PAW patrol as they move from a small town in Adventure Bay to the urban metropolis of Adventure City. City dog Liberty (prodigy actress / producer Marsai Martin) calls them out to wreak havoc on newly “elected” mayor Humdinger (Ron Pardo), who is more cat-loving. Just having an evil mayor isn’t normally a reason to call emergency services, but in this case, it’s absolutely necessary. Over the course of the movie, Humdinger will set off a reckless fireworks display (I saw this movie in a town where an equally reckless fireworks display took place about a decade ago), add a poorly constructed loop loop to the metro and cause a massive storm by overloading an educational meteorological machine. Humdinger, by the way, belongs to the political party you don’t like.
It’s up to Paw Patrol to save the day: Human Leader Ryder (Will Brisbin), Police Officer Chase (Iain Armitage), Aviator Skye (Lilly Bartlam), Firefighter Marshall (Kingsley Marshall), Recycling Rocky (Callum Shoniker), Aquatic-themed Zuma (Shayle Simons) and Construction-themed Rubble (Keegan Hedley). The puppy with the most personality is Chase, who is afraid to return to Adventure City after a bad experience left there in the past. He has to learn a lesson in bravery so that the film can meet the minimum requirements of substance, I mean, so that he can save the day. The movie doesn’t put a lot of effort into its script or characters, but it certainly does put a lot of effort into the vehicles they drive, the buildings they inhabit, and the props they use. This isn’t a movie that sucks it’s too much of an advertisement for a glorified toy. Ryder even makes a conscious stunt of the team’s merchandising at one point. Maybe that’s why all perfectly capable dogs respond to a human – he knows a good marketing opportunity when he sees one. It might be an odd comparison, but being in a theater with young children for “PAW Patrol: The Movie” was a bit like being in the theater with teenage girls for “Twilight” in 2008. The movie is nothing. made for me and himself, but the fan reactions in the audience were contagious. They would climb into their seats, laugh and scream at every little thing on the screen, and loudly proclaim that this was the greatest movie of all time. The audience for “PAW Patrol” also got quite rowdy.
“PAW Patrol: The Movie” is not for me, it is not for adults unless they are accompanied by a child, and it is not for children over the age of about six . For me, the pace was too slow, the jokes weren’t funny, and the toy shilling was too obvious. But the children of the target audience were having an unforgettable time, so I can’t say the film failed in its goal of reaching them. Let’s say it’s the average of a C.
“PAW Patrol: The Movie” is playing and available to stream on Paramount +. The film is rated G. Its duration is 86 minutes.
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