“Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie”: Not Suitable for Young Children? (Parent’s Guide and Review)

© Paramount Pictures

The second major “Paw Patrol” movie is action-packed and exciting – but too exciting for younger children? Here’s our spoiler-free review and a recommendation for parents.

I like “Paw Patrol” because my kids like “Paw Patrol.” In kindergarten, it’s hard to escape the helpful dogs and puppies from Adventure Bay. The “Paw Patrol” has become the largest franchise in the preschool segment since its TV series debut in 2013, most closely comparable to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for adults. Notably, “Paw Patrol” doesn’t begin with a team of authors (as in the case of “Peppa Pig”), but rather a toy company. The series was originally conceived as a vehicle to sell plastic vehicles to preschoolers and was intended to appeal to both boys and girls (unlike many other kids’ formats). The successful pitch came from Keith Chapman, the creator of “Bob the Builder,” and his original idea was a team of rescue dogs.

A decade later, the “Paw Patrol” pups can be found in every kindergarten in the Western world, on slippers, backpacks, T-shirts, as stuffed animals in countless children’s rooms, on Carrera race tracks, as large plastic vehicles, on bedding, pajamas, on all sorts of products in supermarkets, basically everywhere. The toy company Spin Master’s plan to sell toys through the series has more than paid off. Annual sales of “Paw Patrol” products and rights exceed the billion-dollar mark.

After the series, which is now in its tenth season, and several DVD specials, “Paw Patrol” is now targeting the box office, with more spin-off series in the works. Following the success of the first movie in 2021, the second one, “The Mighty Movie,” is now here.

The Plot: The same as the first film, but with superpowers The movie tells a story that has already been told in the series, albeit with some differences. The series introduces new variations every few years to keep the concept interesting and to sell new toys: the Air Patrol with jetpacks, a Dino Squad, a Motorcycle Squad, a Knight Squad – and now the Super Pups, the “Mighty Pups”: Marvel meets puppies.

In the film, the Paw Patrol gains their superpowers just like in the series, through a meteorite, but the details differ (which your kids will surely point out to you). In the film, the Paw Patrol is not in Adventure Bay, but in Adventure City, some dogs are missing, the superpowers are different, and the antagonists are also different. The plot is conventional for a superhero film: a mad scientist and the ousted mayor want to prove themselves and endanger the entire city – the Paw Patrol must stop more meteors from crashing to Earth.

The second “Paw Patrol” movie essentially tells a similar story to the first film: focusing on the backstory of a dog (Chase in the first film, Skye in the second), the simple message is: if you’re afraid, just be brave. It’s a bit thin, but not too bad. It’s about adventure. New vehicles! A new headquarters! New superpowers!

The film stumbles into a dilemma here: the peak of “Paw Patrol” enthusiasm is around the age of four or five. While the series at least in its early seasons tells relatively harmless stories for preschoolers, the new film targets an older audience. The visuals are more impressive than in the series, evoking associations with “Armageddon” or “Top Gun,” and the superhero story is indeed a superhero story with a lot of action. My five-year-old son climbed on the cinema seats in suspense at two points and said he was scared. These weren’t necessarily big action scenes but rather the stealth scene where a dog infiltrates the villain’s lair (and gets caught). These are common film techniques but not always age-appropriate for the audience.

Parents of three or four-year-olds typically wish for a friendly movie that their little ones can enjoy for their first cinema experience. “The Mighty Movie” is not that kind of film. We recommend the movie for children aged five and up, but even that can be too exciting. The ideal age range would be six, seven, or eight years old, and by nine, “Paw Patrol” might already be considered childish. The age rating of 0 years, which has been given to all “Paw Patrol” incarnations so far, should not be seen as a recommendation in this case but rather as a legal requirement.

Conclusion: Is the trip to the cinema worth it? “The Mighty Movie” sparked enthusiasm in my children, as expected. The film is exciting and provides emotionally touching moments. However, there remains a sense of missed opportunity – if you are bringing such a big franchise to the cinema, you could also make a really good film or incorporate a message that resonates with the visiting children. In the second “Paw Patrol” film, things are kept very simple: the good guys are good because they’re good, and the bad guys are bad because… well, it’s not clear. Unlike in reality, where people have their reasons. The background of the antagonist is briefly touched upon in the film but doesn’t lead anywhere.

The second “Paw Patrol” film is a superhero movie for preschoolers, an adventure film. I wouldn’t watch it alone (there are other children’s movies like “Elemental” or “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” for that), as there are no additional layers that adults can enjoy. It’s all about adventure and excitement, and that aspect is delivered here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like