Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie

Directed By Cal Brunker

Starring – Finn Lee-Epp, Ron Pado, Mckenna Grace

The Plot – When a magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City, it gives the PAW Patrol pups superpowers, transforming them into The MIGHTY PUPS. For Skye (Grace), the smallest member of the team, her new powers are a dream come true. But things take a turn for the worse when the pups’ archrival Humdinger (Pardo) breaks out of jail and teams up with a mad scientist to steal the superpowers for the two villains. With the fate of Adventure City hanging in the balance, the Mighty Pups have to stop the supervillains before it’s too late,and Skye will need to learn that even the smallest pup can make the biggest difference.

Rated PG for mild action and peril

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie | Official Trailer (2023 Movie) – YouTube


Even as someone with little knowledge or fandom of the Paw Patrol property besides its two theatrical releases, there’s still plenty to respect and appreciate about this franchise that transfers seamlessly to the appeal of the big screen. The first is certainly in the much-improved and expanded animation, with as much depth and detail as anything that Nickelodeon Studio have presented to this point. While I did enjoy the animated renderings of its predecessor, the benefits here far exceed evolutional ambition, with bold facial registries and lusciously colorful canvases that pop with pageantry in every jaw-dropping shot, and when combined with the effectiveness of articulate sound design feeling more timely in-tuned within the responses of the imagery that it’s echoing, solidifies a more responsible production that spends its time fleshing out some excitingly enticing action set pieces. Beyond this, the humor still isn’t anything to write home about while appealing more to childlike audiences, but its refreshing self-awareness approach did offer a few appreciative winks towards older audience members, especially with the lunacy of a plot involving puppies saving the world and serving as its primary protectors. Suspension of disbelief has always been my greatest struggle with this property, even considering it’s nothing more than a kids film, so I found it great that it’s not above poking fun at itself or the corporate model whose sole ambition seems to be selling toys. The script is also benefited by a deeply dramatic subplot involving Skye, that easily stood as the most invested that I was to the entirety of the film’s 87 minute duration. Considering Skye’s backstory isn’t one of great positivity or power as her companions, it’s nice to see the film supplant some attention to its cause, in turn pushing her to the front of the line as the momentary team captain and focus of this sequel, while supplying a meaningful message that feels earned every step of the way. Lastly, all of the pivotal pieces of the ensemble return for this action-packed second chapter, but are joined this time around by some big name presences that really take it to the next level. The biggest of these is definitely Taraji P. Henson, who as Victoria Vance, the town’s mad scientist, doubles down on the stakes and circumstances of the conflict with an energetically eccentric that obscures the actress’ familiarity. Henson is joined by some surprise cameos that I would rather not spoil for those curious about the film, but I can say that one of these worked perfectly in the depths of one of Mayor Humdinger’s feline henchmen, especially with the actor being so good an magnifying such awkwardly absurd situations.


Much of what fails “Mighty Movie” from falling just short of its surprisingly solid predecessor falls to the blame of its superhero plot device, which offers little to nothing freshly innovative to fight against superhero overkill of late. Besides the newfound powers of these pups literally emulating some of Marvel’s most obviously recognizable characters, the influence of their appearance completely voids the action set pieces of any of the urgency or vulnerabilities that made the first film such a dedicated engagement, especially considering we are watching puppies in peril, which always tugs on the heartstrings. Instead, these dogs squash adversity in mere moments, and because of such leaves much of the character development and ensuing storytelling being unnaturally rushed. The biggest example of this easily comes from three different musical montages, which summarizes around thirty minutes of exposition into these neatly compacted pockets of development for people with the attention of a wet noodle. Beyond this, plot holes and logic consistencies continue to be the elements that define this property, making it difficult to focus long term on environmental and script aspects that continuously break my concentration. Without getting too much into spoilers, I wonder how Ryder had these vehicles and powers imbedded into vehicles long before the asteroid ever crashed to Earth and gave these characters their superpowers, but I digress. Instead, my bigger problem lends itself to the film’s resolution, in which there really isn’t one, and one that can’t even follow the rules that the movie establishes for itself and its superpowers early on. If you’re watching this movie, keep an eye not only on Liberty, but also on Vance, as some strange elements find their way into the believability of this conflict, in turn leveling continuity and even logic in ways that can’t be fully captured with words. Finally, Paw Patrol becomes Pun Patrol, as the movie’s dialogue goes overload on the kind of lazy writing that often annoys me in kids movies, with the kind of subtleties that you can easily see coming from a mile away. If the film attempts this once or twice, then I can easily forgive it, especially since low-hanging fruit is so easy to reach for, but my engagement became a chore with each passing act, bringing out the worst kind of cutesy humor that only added to the underwhelming returns of its consistency.

Paw Patrol’s cinematic sequel isn’t quite as mighty as its subtitle might convey, due to some gaping plot holes of logic, and an underwhelming exploration of its superhero framing device, but its bite matches its bark with a stylistically alluring and superbly acted engagement that only burns 87 minutes of child attention. Though inferior to its surprisingly strong predecessor, there’s still enough comfort here to protect and serve longtime fans of its franchise, with enough self-awareness to wink towards those who aren’t.

My Grade: 6/10 or C+

2 thoughts on “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie

  1. I wish I could say that I took the time to check this one out, but I ended up skipping it mostly because I’d rather just wait for it to hit a streaming service. If it does so quickly then I may still give it a shot since I didn’t mind the first one. I will say that I did roll my eyes when I found out that it would be a superhero movie which we already have plenty of nowadays and the lack of fresh ideas you mentioned in your negatives doesn’t inspire confidence. But if it pleases fans of the show while not making adults groan then I guess it has a place in cinema though the whole idea of the studio pushing “Saw Patrol” as a thing might just be more memorable then this whole movie. Good work!

  2. I’m in. For a real treat. As someone that has had the opportunity to view the series, other movie, short movies, and specials…I am still not looking forward to coming home and seeing this one on the screen since it’s now streaming. I too find myself having a hard time to suspend belief with these and always question how something could happen. Enjoyed the read nonetheless and seeing what parts of the film focused you in.

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