You can’t always explain why something works as well it does…
Arriving in theatres for more adventures (with a trilogy on the way) PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie is actually way better than it has any business being as it imparts some strong life lessons and entertaining action along the way.
A magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City and gives the PAW Patrol pups superpowers, transforming them into The Mighty Pups.
While we’ll be the first to admit that we head into a movie like this with the bar for success aimed pretty low, but this franchise and PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie manages to clear that bar yet again. Sure it’s very muted and plays very softly for its family friendly G ratings but it’s incredibly well structured and executed and you simply can’t help but appreciate it.
Writer/Director Cal Brunker returns here to the franchise which he knows all too well and doesn’t miss a beat as the Paw Patrol spring into action cracking one liners, having fun and saving the day.
While the original did have some surprisingly subversive and smart moments, this sequel plays it all a little more straightforward, and that’s not a bad thing because it makes the stakes feel a little more real as these characters need to face stakes and make decisions that aren’t always easy, even when executed as safely as possible. This film isn’t designed to reinvent the wheel, in reality it’s just designed to add layers to the characters and extend the fun.
The voice cast is loaded with some surprise voices in small roles to make it all feel a little bigger but the core group remains as it all knows what buttons to push at exactly the right moments.
If the first film had a villain that felt comparable to say a Tim Burton style Batman film, here we are certainly getting into Adam West territory and it works because Brunker knows how to establish action to the point that some of these sequences were almost making me a little nostalgic as Paw Patrol almost has moments that make it feel like it’s warming up its audiences for a world of Avengers and Expendables movies. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it very much is one.
At the end of the day, there isn’t a soul out there who will be writing about PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie in the cahiers du cinema but it presents some big and real world ideas to young kids evolving into the world while managing to maintain a sophistication and entertainment value that won’t send the parents who are bringing their kids to these movies running for the hills.