PAW Patrol: The Movie

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Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 7 (scary and potentially triggering themes (e.g. serious threat and predicament, past trauma, adoption), fast pace, high intensity and volume, especially in comparison to TV show)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for PAW Patrol: The Movie
  • a review of PAW Patrol: The Movie completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 August 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to scary and potentially triggering themes (e.g. serious threat and predicament, past trauma, adoption), fast pace, high intensity and volume, especially in comparison to TV show.
Children aged 5–7 Parental guidance recommended for children aged 5, and some older, sensitive kids, due to scary and potentially triggering themes (e.g. serious threat and predicament, past trauma, adoption), fast pace, high intensity and volume, especially in comparison to TV show.
Children aged 8 and over Ok for this age group but may lack interest.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: PAW Patrol: The Movie
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length: 113 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The PAW Patrol is on a roll again! Human boy, Ryder (Will Brisbin), and his team of talking pup heroes, Chase (Iain Armitage), Marshall (Kingsley Marshall), Rubble (Keegan Hedley), Rocky (Callum Shoniker), Zuma (Shayle Simons), and Skye (Lilly Bartlam), are called to the rescue as a new Mayor – selfish and eccentric dog hater and cat lover, Humdinger (Ron Pardo) – causes all sorts of havoc in the neighbouring town of Adventure City. Gladly, the PAW Patrol have new headquarters and flashy gadgets, and also support from savvy, streetwise pup Liberty (Marsai Martin), to tackle the challenges of the big city.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Animation; Animal heroes; Adventure; Friendship.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Humdinger unlawfully dognaps dogs and puts them away in a dog prison.
  • Humdinger purposefully destroys the remote control of a scientific machine to get his own way.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are multiple scenes in which people are in serious trouble, danger, and predicament, and are seen scared, panicking, running and fearing for their lives, as well as situations in which people, including main characters, nearly get severely injured or killed. For example:
    • A truck driver loses control over his vehicle and is seen panicking as he is swerving at high speed, crashing into and breaking through the crash barrier of a bridge, and getting trapped in the driver’s cabin that is dangling over the edge of the bridge.
    • Fireworks are getting out of control, with rockets nearly hitting people and setting things on fire. A group of people gets trapped on a balcony of a burning building.
    • Passengers get trapped in a train that is dangling upside down and is about to crash down.
    • A tower collapses into a neighbouring skyscraper, crashing into and completely destroying the top levels, leaving Ryder trapped under rubble. Large chunks of debris come crashing down onto the streets below.
  • A scientific device, “the cloud sucker”, gets out of control, creating a dangerous mega-storm, releasing masses of dark thunderclouds and lightning. Skye destroys it, causing a massive explosion.
  • The viewer learns that Chase has had traumatic experiences in the city, and he suffers from post-traumatic stress, including flashbacks, avoidant behaviour, and physical symptoms (panicking, freezing). This could be triggering for children who have experienced trauma.
  • It is indicated that Ryder ‘adopted’ Chase, and Chase feels self-conscious and like he has to constantly prove his ‘worthiness’ and that he is loveable. This could be triggering for children with an adoption background.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Sensitive children in this age group might feel triggered by the points mentioned above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • No specific products but the movie plays on social media consumerism (“Hashtag”) and the desirability of high-end flashy, fancy products and devices.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

PAW Patrol: The Movie is based on the popular Nickelodeon TV series, aimed at and popular with preschool audiences. While the positive, core messages of teamwork, friendship, courage, and problem-solving are still front and centre, in comparison to the TV series, the movie is much faster, louder, more action-packed, and featuring more serious peril and predicament. This is why the movie is more suitable and appropriate for a slightly older audience than the TV series, and parental guidance is recommended due to scary themes, and in particular, for sensitive children who might feel triggered by themes around trauma or adoption.

The main messages from this movie are that you can achieve more when you work as a team; that it’s important to look out for one another; and that you can move on from past challenges and use them as an opportunity for personal development and growth.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Teamwork
  • Friendship
  • Courage
  • Facing and challenging fears
  • Selflessness
  • Problem-solving.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Selfish behaviour: Mayor Humdinger is so self-absorbed and obsessed with his own fame that he takes irresponsible risks and puts other people in severe danger. He then relies on others to sort out the mess he has caused, and in the end he loses out.