Paw Patrol returns in its second full-length movie.

Lukasz Budnik

13 October 2023

“Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol, we’ll be there on the double.” If you have children (or even if you don’t), it’s highly likely that you’ve heard at least a snippet from the intro of Paw Patrol, an ever-popular phenomenon capturing the hearts of the youngest. The adventures of a team of puppies led by a boy named Ryder have been successful for a decade, so much so that in 2021 a full-length film dedicated to these characters hit the big screens. Shortly after, a sequel was announced, which is now available in cinemas: Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie.

While the animated series focuses on action and doesn’t delve into the characters’ characteristics much (they’re just talking, cheerful puppies specializing in various fields and helping the residents of Adventure Bay, standing out by often tumbling or enjoying food), the first film tried to deepen at least one of the characters – Chase, who is the leader of the group. Young viewers had the opportunity to learn about the character’s past and struggles, and then cheer for him as he overcame his weaknesses, forming an emotional backbone for the film. The second film follows a similar pattern, spotlighting another puppy. This time it’s Skye, a cockapoo pilot who worries that she’s the smallest in the team and therefore not properly appreciated. Most attention is devoted to this character; the creators again opted for flashbacks showing the puppy’s early childhood (not particularly happy, as you can imagine) and the circumstances in which Skye met Ryder. Skye is also indirectly responsible for the fact that in this part of the movie, Paw Patrol gains special powers – the heroine finds crystals in a meteorite brought to Earth by the film’s antagonist, Victoria Vance, who wanted to gain them for herself. Thanks to the crystals, the pups transform into the so-called Mighty Pups, gaining powers that enhance their abilities. The concept of Mighty Pups was already introduced in a special episode in 2018 – there, too, the powers came from crystals, though the circumstances were, of course, different.

Similar to the previous full-length film, here we experience various types of action – there is no shortage of explosions, chases, flying scenes, and ground clashes (sometimes a lot happens on the screen). The threats that Paw Patrol faces are also diverse; besides Victoria Vance, they’ll have to confront the team’s nemesis: Mayor Humdinger (this time enlarged to the size of buildings, why not), as well as dangers from outer space. In a sense, The Mighty Movie is a variation on the superhero production style of Avengers, only with Paw Patrol in the lead role. There’s even an element of having to deactivate a device in the third act.

Between successive action sequences, the creators give some time to breathe – mainly through Skye’s story, although Liberty, a dog training Paw Patrol candidates and trying to figure out why she didn’t get superpowers, also gets her subplot. Other dogs remain in the background. Ultimately, there’s enough happening that the youngest viewers should go through the entire film with interest. During the screening, I heard a lot of excitement among children, and my four-year-old son said that the film was, I quote, “very cool” – it was clear that he was engaged in the action and moved by Skye’s unfortunate fate. He also enjoyed the humorous scenes, where bulldog Rubble and his endless appetite took the lead.

The screening of the second Paw Patrol movie is painless for parents – after all, the full-length versions are not as childish as the episodic original, and in this case, Skye’s story can touch emotional strings not only for children but for everyone who cares about animal suffering. A bit more depth is also given to the antagonist. From a technical standpoint, the sequel looks basically the same as its predecessor, i.e., it’s simply a polished version of the animated series, with improved textures, livelier colors, and significantly more details – it’s very enjoyable to watch. Like in the previous installment, the creators allow themselves meta-comments about the brand’s popularity and earnings. In the first movie, Ryder explicitly said that the puppies could afford their gadgets thanks to profits from merchandise sales; in the new part, it is suggested that parents will have to slim down their wallets due to the arrival of new items.

What more is there to say? I suspect that regardless of reviews, all Paw Patrol fans will go to see the movie with their parents. I must reassure you that it is pleasant family entertainment. The plot is simple enough for the youngest to follow (while adults won’t be surprised), and the likable moral is very clear. If you enjoyed the previous part, this one shouldn’t disappoint you, as it’s a production based on a similar framework. And if your little ones want more, remember that the third part is already planned.

Łukasz Budnik

Lukasz Budnik

He loves both silent cinema and contemporary blockbusters based on comic books. He looks forward to watching movie with his growing son.

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