⚠️ Disclaimer: Spoiler Alert! This review contains plot details and insights about both the 1st and 2nd Paw Patrol movies. If you haven't seen both yet, stop here.
This past weekend, we decided to take both of our kids to the movies. It happened to be the first day of Paw Patrol's 2nd movie release. While we had already watched the first one through streaming, the second installment was exclusively available in theaters. Personally, I believe this exclusive theater viewing added to the grandeur of the experience. The big screen and the complete movie atmosphere were certainly fitting for this production.
Speaking of the full movie experience, we were initially hesitant about venturing into a traditional movie theater, especially with the potential of a crowd of excited kids. My wife and I engaged in a thorough discussion and talked to our kids about it. Since my wife had a slight cough, we agreed that it would be both unhealthy and inconsiderate to attend a conventional movie theater. Thankfully, we still had a drive-in theater within an hour's drive from our home. This alternative allowed us to keep our windows closed, enjoy a meal, and use a portable restroom if necessary. It turned out to be an excellent choice.
Now, let's dive into the movie itself. What struck me the most was how strikingly similar the first Paw Patrol movie is to the second one. To us, the second movie was significantly more enjoyable. To explain why the first one was challenging to watch in some parts, consider a particular scene where our hero, Chase, finds himself imprisoned and utterly defeated. In an earlier segment, we witness Chase, who is often the leader of the pups in the TV series, grappling with self-doubt. This scene was difficult for my kids to watch, and they would often request that I skip it. However, they all appreciated the bravery displayed in the finale. In contrast, the screen time during Skye's capture was significantly shorter, and the use of a simple cage made the scene seem less intimidating; no need to fast foward there.
As a side note, the vehicle they end up sleeping in after their headquarters building was destroyed appears to be the movie version of the Sea Patroller, which is significantly more imposing, prompting my son to mistake it for an aircraft carrier. In the TV show, the Sea Patroller serves as a beach watchtower that transforms into a boat on the beachfront at Adventure Bay, while in the movie version, it finds its place in a dedicated harbor in Adventure City, showcasing the cinematic adaptation's grandeur and sophistication.
Returning to the similarities between the two movies, in the first movie, Chase is our hero, while in the second, Skye takes the center stage. In both movies, a clear pattern emerges. Each team member experiences Imposter Syndrome after being removed from a mission by Ryder, leading to a breakdown in their behavior. Chase runs away in his case, while Skye, in the second movie, takes everyone else's crystals and embarks on a mission of her own. It's not difficult to relate to both characters, and I believe many of us grapple with similar issues. It also serves as a reminder that if you're in a leadership position, like Ryder, it's crucial to be attuned to your team members' feelings and mental state. This may be the distinguishing factor between a manager and a true leader. A leader genuinely cares for their team members, takes the time to listen and communicate with them. More talks between Ryder, Chase, and Skye might have nurtured their self-confidence and sense of belonging.
This brings me to my own journey as a father, where I've learned to spend time talking, no matter how trivial the conversation may begin. Sometimes, children need time to gather their courage to discuss an issue, and it can be challenging to talk to parents if they aren't patient.
In any case, in this second movie, Skye is featured in numerous action scenes, cementing her status as an action hero and a prominent figure in the team. I eagerly await more full-length movies in the future. I'd love to delve into the backstories of each of the pups and understand what drives them. Of course, there's the ever-present question: Who is Ryder, and how did he amass the resources to build all these vehicles? It's a mystery we may never solve, but as the characters in the movie say, "Just go with it."