NEW YORK (CNS) — Since premiering on Nickelodeon in 2013, the Canadian-produced cartoon series “PAW Patrol” has succeeded in gluing the eyes of many a tot to their TV or computer screens.
With the arrival of “PAW Patrol: The Movie” (Paramount), the titular rescue crew of pups bring their adventures to a multiplex near you. The result is a breezy, tenderhearted film suitable for all.
Led by preteen boy Ryder (voice of Will Brisbin), the team has traditionally served the small community of Adventure Bay. But when their longtime nemesis, egotistical politician Humdinger (voice of Ron Pardo), is corruptly elected mayor of the much-larger Adventure City, Ryder and his friends are summoned to the metropolis to cope with the series of potential disasters to which his incompetent scheming gives rise.
There, they gain the help of Liberty (voice of Marsai Martin), an enthusiastic dachshund with an abundance of local knowledge. But their tasks are complicated by the self-doubts troubling Chase (voice of Iain Armitage), the German shepherd who serves as their policeman.
The script, on which director Cal Brunker collaborated with Billy Frolick and Bob Barlen, carries built-in lessons about the nature of heroism and the value of cooperation. Accompanying adults will recognize a subplot they include pitting clueless Humdinger against well-informed scientist Kendra Wilson (voice of Yara Shahidi) over a meteorological issue as a parable about climate change.
Really objectionable elements are nil. But the very smallest movie fans might be frightened by the dangerous situations our brave band — which also includes firedog Marshall (voice of Kingsley Marshall), aviator Skye (voice of Lilly Bartlam) and hardhat Rubble (voice of Keegan Hedley) — is called upon to resolve.
Cuddly for kids and pleasant for parents, this extension of a hugely successful franchise recalls the charm of puppies cavorting in a pet shop window. And yes, Patti Page, thanks to global merchandising, that doggie sure is for sale.
The film contains characters in peril and brief, extremely mild scatological humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating is G — general audiences. All ages admitted.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.