Ah, PAW Patrol.
PAW Patrol, PAW Patrol, PAW Patrol.
Why the f**k do I have to know what PAW Patrol is?
When did PAW Patrol become a thing? When did this sinister copaganda extension get introduced into the vulnerable minds of our youth? I’m not that old, but it wasn’t a thing when I was a kid. Now I have a nephew and he can’t get enough of it. Every time I see him, he’s playing with these things, and it takes every ounce of my willpower to not confiscate them and cast them into the nearest furnace and replace them with a potato and a copy of the Communist Manifesto—harsh rebalancing measures for a seven year old, maybe, but who knows how much damage has been done?
I asked when PAW Patrol became a thing, but I rescinded the question immediately. I don’t want to know. The space in my brain is precious and finite, and I won’t be wasting anymore of it on PAW Patrol.
It’s enough that I had to watch this bloody film.
I put it off as long as I could, but finally I could ignore duty no more and it was time to step up and go over the top.
‘I think I have to watch PAW Patrol’, I said out loud to my living room and my partner who was sharing the space, as if by that effort hoping to somehow dispel a little bit of the evil associated with it. The only thing that disappeared was my partner, who promptly got up and left the room to go have a shower or do Anything Else. Smart choice. No use for both of us to suffer. You go on and live your life, it’s too late for me.
So, look, I’m not the intended audience for PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie. Obviously. Mostly because my brain has passed its malleable childhood state during which it can be brainwashed by basically anything. And I’m old enough to know what the police do and what they represent. So I’m not gonna get much out of something like PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie.
Nevertheless, a job’s a job.
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie opens with a fire at a city scrapyard. The owners, rightfully worried about this threat to their livelihood, call in the PAW Patrol. What followed was my first exposure to what this organisation is: the PAW Patrol responds to the scrapyard fire by deploying their entire oppression battalion—seriously, everybody rolls in, not just the fire response dog, but the cop and all the other ‘rescue’ dogs too.
And here’s the key thing. The internet tells me that there’s only one cop dog. All the others are some form of ‘rescue’ dog—air, water, fire—and there are also recycling and construction units. But they all live together, dividing their time between their fascistic, Avengers-style oppression tower that looms over downtown, and their floating, aircraft-carrier-esque mega-fortress on which they patrol the seas (I wonder what recycling dog thinks about the emissions of that monstrosity).
The PAW Patrol’s response to the scrapyard fire is to sail their mobile weapon of mass destruction near to the city, poisoning god knows how much of the nearby fish stock, and to launch an aerial attack (because it is an attack—all the PAW Patrol know is how to attack) on the fire. Before they blast off from the battle cruiser, though, they kit up—and boy, is there a lot of kitting up in PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie.
In endless scenes of hardware fetishism reminiscent of Iron Man, this film subjects us to a procession of loving close-ups of mechanised power-suit body parts enclosing and making redundant the weak flesh within. Thus is the fascist dream fulfilled: The soft, empathetic human (well, okay, dog in this case) is absorbed into a system based purely on power relations. Lest we forget, the PAW Patrol are also puppies—so, child soldiers presumably bred for violence and ripped from their mother’s breast so as to inculcate them with the values of a depraved, oppressive world.
That’s not even the worst part. Ten minutes in to PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, even smaller, younger puppies come to visit the PAW Patrol! ‘When they grow up, they want to join the PAW Patrol’, says their fascist-haired leader/owner. The rest of the film revolves around the terrifying prospect of the PAW Patrol being granted various superpowers by a meteorite, which they mostly use to inflict species-based violence on some cats and to try to keep a Black goth woman scientist in prison.
I would end the review here, as I think I’ve said enough, but Dustin said I had to give him eight hundred words, so, you know…
Fight the power.