PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies’ canine sequel PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie hits theaters this week, and critics are chiming in on the latest production from the multi-billion-dollar franchise.

Cal Brunker, who directed the first movie, also directed the sequel and co-wrote its screenplay with Bob Barlen. Mikros Animation did animation for Mighty Movie, the most frequently and enthusiastically praised of the film’s virtues. It’s been a big year for Paramount, Nickelodeon, and Mikros, who worked together on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, a critical and box office success.

The film’s official synopsis reads:

When a magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City, it gives the PAW Patrol pups superpowers, transforming them into The MIGHTY PUPS! For Skye, 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 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.

Here’s what critics are saying about PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie.

Variety’s Courtney Howard says Mighty Movie’s animation is a step up from the first film:

Action sequences and their aesthetics have evolved. Scenes that show the team functioning as a well-oiled machine are exhilarating but pull double duty narratively, propelling the characters and their conflicts further… Fur, water, lasers, fire, and cloud elements are visually dazzling, while the climactic face-off between the puppy protagonists and their adversary feels electrically charged in these capable animators’ hands.

Frank Scheck at The Hollywood Reporter was impressed with the film’s visuals as well, although he says its narrative suffers from too much action:

Unfortunately, much of the film’s running time is taken up not with heartwarming stories like this but rather the sort of typically mind-numbing action sequences stuffing adult live-action superhero franchises. Some of them are pretty spectacular animation-wise, such as Skye crash-landing a disabled plane on a city street that’s been cleared for her by her fellow pups or a chase scene in which the pups are nearly stomped on by a newly giant-sized Humdinger. But the frenetic mayhem becomes tiresome in its repetitiveness, although kids already hopped up on candy and soda will presumably not mind at all.

In her New York Times review, Claire Shaffer wrote:

The animation is cute, but there are noticeable moments where corners were cut and characters or objects slide awkwardly across the screen.

Alejandra Martinez at the Austin Chronicle said:

Existential emotional questions aside, the animation is well done, colorful, and enjoyable enough to keep kids and adults suitably happy. It’s also quite funny and smart about how it uses its ensemble cast (Kardashian and a host of other familiar and new voices do great work). Notably, Taraji P. Henson as new villain Dr. Victoria Vance seems to be having great fun leaning into a goofy mad scientist role.

In his review for The Mercury News, Randy Myers predicts the film will be a hit with franchise fans:

Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie is nicely animated and reminds kids to celebrate their qualities and power from within. It won’t win awards, but it is certain to delight its target audience.

Director: Cal Brunker
Screenplay: Brunker, Bob Barlen
Story: Brunker, Barlen, Shane Morris
Based on the television series created by: Keith Chapman
Editor: Ed Fuller
Music: Pinar Toprak
Producers: Jennifer Dodge, Laura Clunie, Toni Stevens
Executive producers: Ronnen Harary, Adam Beder, Peter Schlessel
Voice cast: Mckenna Grace, Taraji P. Henson, Marsai Martin, Christian Convery, Ron Pardo, Lil Rel Howery, Kim Kardashian, Chris Rock, Serena Williams, Alan Kim, Brice Gonzalez, North West, Saint West, Christian Corrao, Luxton Handspiker, Nylan Parthipan, Callum Shoniker, James Marsden, Kristen Bell, Finn Lee-Epp