PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie – movie review

For those not in the know, Paw Patrol is a Canadian computer-animated children’s TV series that has been running on Nickelodeon for a decade. The show focuses on a 10-year-old boy named Ryder who leads a crew of search and rescue dogs in Adventure City that call themselves the PAW Patrol. A feature film called PAW Patrol: The Movie was released in 2021 and PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie is its sequel.

Janet (the voice of Kirsten Bell) and Hank (the voice of James Marsden) run a scrap yard, a place where cars receive their last rites. On a ruse, the pair is locked into their on-site office by a mad scientist named Victoria Vance (the voice of Taraji P. Henson). She steals a large, industrial strength, electro-magnetic vehicle, hoping to use it to derail the largest meteor shower to hit the city in more than 50 years. But things go awry and the PAW Patrol’s home, a large tower, is destroyed.

After being jailed, Victoria Vance is sprung from lock up by former Mayor (turned bad) Humdinger (Ron Pardo). When the smallest member of the PAW Patrol, Skye (Mckenna Grace) inspects the fallen meteor that caused the damage she exposes crystals. Skye – who was the runt of the litter – has always had a chip on her shoulders about being the smallest and, therefore, the most insignificant.  She hasn’t felt worthy and here her will is tested. It turns out the crystalss are special and when worn on their dog tags generate superpowers for Skye and other members of the PAW Patrol. Vance though will stop at nothing to get her hands on the crystals and forge ahead with her plans for world domination.

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie is colourful and dynamic. Co-written (alongside Bob Barlen) and directed by Cal Brunker, it follows a familiar good versus evil path, working with the theme that odds can be overcome.

Holding it all together is Ryder (Finn Lee-Epp), who has faith in all members of the PAW Patrol that he oversees. In fact, a sub-plot sees the introduction of junior patrollers, pups named Nano, Mini and Tot, who show their capabilities as the movie unfolds. At the start of proceedings, Victoria Vance isn’t convinced she is actually “mad”, but she warms to her moniker as events unfold. Also, by way of celebrity watch (or, at least, listen), for former world number one tennis champion Serena Williams voices a yoga instructor.

I saw PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie with a very young audience, many of whom were toddlers and I was surprised how quiet they were. That says to me they were engaged, a sure sign the film has hit the mark.

Alex First

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