PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups (3 stars)

PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups

Fun, easy-to-follow big screen outing for the popular animated TV series about a gang of rescue dogs

For those who don't have a toddler in the house, PAW Patrol is a much-loved Canadian animated TV series (shown on Channel 5's milkshake! slot and Nick Jr in the UK) that's the brainchild of British TV writer/producer Keith Chapman (the man behind Bob the Builder). It follows a young boy named Ryder and his trusty team of rescue dogs who regularly save the day in the seaside town of Adventure Bay.

Mighty Pups is essentially a 70-minute, extended episode, from director Charles E Bastien, that stays true to the series and characters, and serves as an ideal introduction to the big screen for kids too little to sit still through anything longer. It's also enjoyably innocuous – there are no dead parents or moments of fiery peril that Disney like to traumatise us with – with the baddie not very bad and the threat not very threatening either.

The action (don't scoff, this is actually so fast-paced it could be the junior John Wick) begins when a meteor lands in the town and those who come into contact with it gain superpowers. That's great for the pups: their German Shepherd leader Chase gets super speed, while bulldog Rubble acquires extra strength; mountain pup Everest gets super-frostiness; fire rescue dog Marshall develops fiery paws; helicopter-flying cockapoo Skye commands tornados; and Labrador Zuma releases powerful jets of water.

Unfortunately, Harold, the nephew of neighbouring town Foggy Bottom's scheming mayor, also gets powers and decides to use them to build a giant robot, take over the town, kidnap the pups and make himself mayor. Kids won't be scared by his plans – Harold and his uncle are pretty useless at the best of times and neither the pups nor Ryder are in danger for long. And anyone who's already a PAW Patrol fan will be delighted to see their favourite puppy endowed with super powers, scurrying around familiar locations and trying to outwit these two buffoons.

Young newcomers to the pups' adventures will find it bright, fun and easy to follow, while accompanying parents should find the time passes pleasingly enough; although they may not be so pleased when requests for the accompanying toys, DVDs, books and games begin, soon after the end credits roll.

General release from Fri 17 May.

Paw Patrol: Mighty Pups

  • 3 stars
  • 2019
  • USA
  • 44min
  • U
  • Directed by: Charles E. Bastien
  • Cast: Devan Cohen, Drew Davis, Samuel Faraci

A meteor lands in Adventure Bay and gives the pups superpowers, but also gives superpowers to nasty Harold of neighbouring Foggy Bottom. Basically a 70-minute extended episode of the series, enjoyably innocuous and easy to follow, although parents won’t be pleased when the toy requests come in after the end credits roll.

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