Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Paw Patrol

Paw Patrol

Spring 2014 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TVY

Troubled by landslides? Power outages? Kittens stranded at sea? No worries because the PAW Patrol will be there on-the-double to save the day. Nicklodeon premiered this half-hour CGI-animated adventure in 2013, featuring hero pups who do the jobs of real-life first-responders and civic-minded citizens. PAW Patrol— made up of members Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Skye, Chase and Zuma— conducts rescue missions around a fictitious community called Adventure Bay and according to lyrics in the zippy opening theme song, No job is too big and no pup is too small.

A young boy named Ryder leads the PAW Patrol with his wits and a very cool collection of high-tech vehicles. In Pups Save a Train, a rock slide blocks a train and the PAW Patrol must race the clock to repair a trestle before the bridge collapses. In Pups Turn on the Lights, a major storm knocks out the community's power source and it's up to the PAW Patrol to repair a damaged windmill. And in another episode entitled Pups Save a School Day, the pups take to the air, water, and roadways as they comb the city in search of a little boy's missing backpack. (Okay, maybe that one doesn't sound as dire as some of their other adventures but it's the kid's brand new backpack and he's really worried about it.)

The puppies' careers featured in this program are ones stereotypically associated with macho males (firefighter, police officer, construction worker) and even though most of the PAW Patrol characters are portrayed as males, helicopter pilot Skye is a female and so is Ryder's veterinarian friend Katie. Scripts also include corny canine jokes, bright music, and a cast of human and animal characters populating the friendly community of Adventure Bay, adding up to good, gender-neutral viewing.

PAW Patrol doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the glut of television and DVD series filled with anthropomorphized animals modeling positive character traits, cooperation, and good citizenship. But it's still cute and it offers an optimistic message, so if your kids have a serious case of puppy-love, steer them towards PAW Patrol for upbeat and positive entertainment.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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