Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie review – Harmless yet grating fun
Turns out that there is a Marvel-style movie that is made specifically for kids – and it comes in the form of Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie.
With exhilarated children and already-exhausted parents queueing around the block to catch the latest in the Paw Patrol franchise, the film has arguably already hit the sales that it needs to before it’s even been widely screened.
One little girl queuing up states: “This [film] is the best one. I haven’t watched it yet, but this is the best one,” while the movie’s fictional news anchor directly apologizes to wilting parents for the mountain of merchandise that’s about to head their way.
While most of the child target audience is enthralled with the superhero pups, some are hysterically escorted away before the end due to the film being “too scary.” For adults, Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie is harmless fun, but not something memorable enough to play in the big cartoon leagues.
The pups get an oddly convenient upgrade
As expected, the premise of Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie is perfectly simple. After scientist Victoria Vance (Taraji P. Henson) crashes a meteor into Adventure City, the pups get their own superpowers which come at a price. Sure enough, said meteor contains a series of crystals that give each dog the ability to replicate each of their jobs through special powers. In superhero terms, it’s the glow-up of all glow-ups.
It’s an easy plot segue that holds enough magic in it for adults to be enthralled as much as their children. If someone was in dire need of assistance, they’d probably prefer that a sweet-looking dog rocks up to help in a color-coordinating suit rather than the actual emergency services.
For the majority of Pawl Patrol: The Mighty Movie, the action goes swimmingly according to plan, adhering to the formula for success in a way that ensures branded hats, toys, and lunchboxes will fly off the shelves.
The team itself is sickly sweet, although a hodgepodge of US and UK accents makes the location of Adventure City indeterminable. Admirably, they do their job, save the day, and stop the bad guys. If nothing else, these dogs possibly lack the bite that their breeds should supposedly have.
Adventure City picks on the little guy
The punching bag of Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie is Skye (McKenna Grace), the runt of her little who has been self-conscious of her small size her whole life.
While meteors are crashing into Earth and dangerous scientists are being taken down, kids learn that it’s okay to be exactly who you are. It’s undeniably a superb message, though arguably gets lost in the need to do the right thing for the greater good (which in Skye’s case is to stop a villain who can conduct electricity).
Skye is also the catalyst for scenes that might be deemed as “too scary” by some smaller viewers, sucked into Vance’s lair to retrieve the crystal that enables her to fly. At the same time, if a child was fine to sit through Watership Down, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or the ending of the Barney movie, they’ll be tough as nails for this.
Fantastic morals underpin the entire narrative thread of this Paw Patrol outing, with Skye’s friends being there for her every step of the way. When it comes down to it, that’s all that kid’s films need to achieve.
Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie review score: 3/5
In short, Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie is a whole lot of nice tinged with a little bit of spooky.
The plot isn’t particularly memorable, the animation slips into the framework of quality cartoon expected from audiences, and the array of accent work is jarring, to say the least. But at the same time, no one – little or large – will walk away from this 95-minute runtime feeling short-changed.
Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie will be released in theaters on September 29th, 2023. Check out more of our film and TV hubs below: