PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie – Review

Posted by Eddie Pasa on September 27, 2023 in / No Comments

 

Rated PG by the MPA for mild action/peril. Includes a Dora the Explorer short film. Running time: 92 minutes. Released by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie, Ari PasaAs the father of two children, I am somewhat familiar with Nickelodeon’s “PAW Patrol” series. Both my daughters have progressed past the age range intended for the series, but my youngest, Ari (who turns 11 a day or two after this goes live), asked to join me for a screening of the new film, PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie. I said yes, on one condition: She has to write this review with me, as I am not a part of this film’s target demographic.

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie is a lively, well-animated film about the value of good self-esteem and surrounding yourself with those who accept and support you. Typical kiddie fare, to be sure – full of good morals and kindness, with all the requisite cute and cuddly characters the kids have grown up with over the years. Director Cal Brunker (who co-writes with Bob Barlen) often strays to the formulaic and well-worn, but an eager voice cast – led by the impeccable McKenna Grace as my daughter’s favorite character, Skye – elevates this film well beyond its predictable trappings.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol: The Mighty MovieThe movie goes exactly how you think it might, with the titular PAW Patrol on duty and making the world safe for its inhabitants. When a meteor’s crystals suddenly gives the PAW Patrol extraordinary powers, someone’s always gotta ruin the fun and steal them, thus necessitating the big gang-together and valiant fight to the finish. We mostly follow our underdog (no pun intended) Skye, who’s constantly passed over in favor of the bigger pups; after losing their crystals in a trap, she has to work the most to get them back and save the day, which is where the film’s themes of self-worth are proclaimed boldly and with the usual kiddie-movie aplomb.

The voice cast turns the “everything is a new discovery and it’s exciting!” vibe up to eleven, and you almost see the wide-eyed and smile-driven performers giving it their all behind their microphones. Of course, that’s not to say that this movie’s all happiness and grins, and emotions are dialed down appropriately, but the energy the cast brings to their voicings could keep the lights on in a small country for years. They know who’s going to see this flick, and they know how to communicate appropriately without a total language dumb-down.

But to see what a member of its intended audience thinks, we’re going to turn to Ari for some color.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol: The Mighty MovieDad: Ari, what did you think of the movie?
Ari: I really liked it. I think we have a better understanding of Skye from the movie than from the series. They show how being the youngest and smallest PAW Patrol pup affects her and her life. I’m the smallest and youngest in my grade, and I can relate – it’s hard being like this because you get treated like a little kid and not as a kid the same age.

Dad: What do you think the film was trying to teach you?
Ari: The value of self-esteem and self-worth, and how you treat others.

Dad: Was there anything you liked about this movie?
Ari: The power of words. For example, society labeled Victoria Vance (Taraji P. Henson) a ”mad scientist,” and she turned into one. A positive example would be Chase and how he encourages Liberty (Marsai Martin) to find her superpower. Ryder is also supportive of the PAW Patrol, especially Skye; he helps build her self-confidence.

Dad: Was there anything you didn’t like about this movie?
Ari: It’s a little easy to predict, but that’s about it.

Dad: What star rating out of five would you give PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie?
Ari: Definitely a 4 out of 5. It was exciting, adventurous, and heroic.

(Dad agrees.)

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Eddie Pasa

Eddie is a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) and the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS). Since starting in 2010 at The Rogers Revue, Eddie has written for Reel Film News (now defunct), co-founded DC Filmdom, and writes occasionally for Gunaxin. When not reviewing movies, he's spending time with his wife and children, repeat-viewing favorites on 4k or Blu-Ray, working for rebranding agency Mekanic, or playing acoustic shows and DJing across the DC/MD/VA area. Special thanks go to Jenn Carlson, Moira and Ari Pasa, Viki Nova at City Dock Digital in Annapolis, Mike Parsons, Philip Van Der Vossen, and Dean Rogers.

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