Paw Patrol: The Movie is not the type of movie you would expect a college student to write about, but I promise you there is a good reason for it.
“Back in the day,” meaning when I was a kid, there weren’t really any movies that discussed mental health. There was nothing to show that mental health issues were “normal.”
I’ve noticed a shift in this in the last few years by observing what my younger sisters watch on TV. They are eight and twelve-years-old, so they have truly grown up in the digital age, where social media has taken the world by storm, but also has caused a lot of mental health issues.
I see examples of this effect with my younger sisters, who are unfortunately already experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety.
The difference between kids having anxiety now versus then, is that kids actually KNOW what the feeling of anxiety, depression, etc. actually is. This is thanks to the media they take in. In the form of television, movies and even books. I’m going to focus on movies, specifically one, Paw Patrol: The Movie.
Last Friday, when I tossed around the idea of seeing the Paw Patrol movie with my friends, we were all planning on just seeing it as a joke. We saw it as a fun way to hangout and probably laugh at. What we got from the experience was the opposite of that.
About 10-15 minutes into the movie, we were introduced to the plot of the movie. A crazy mayor in the next town over, Adventure City, is wreaking havoc, imposing “no dog” rules and taking advantage of his position. The pups are given the mission to go to Adventure City and try to solve the many problems the mayor is causing.
This mission brings up the first example of mental health representation in the movie. We learn that Chase, one of the pups in the squad, has some past trauma with Adventure City, bad enough that it causes him to be hesitant about the mission.
With the support of the other pups and their leader, Ryder, Chase decides to push past his trauma and join the team on their mission in Adventure City.
During their first big mission in Adventure City, Chase experiences flashbacks to his past in the city and has a panic attack in the middle of his mission. Chase completely freezes in one of the most important parts, but his team makes up for it. This doesn’t help Chase though, as he blames himself for what could have happened, which is anxious thinking.
We also see in the movie lots of flashbacks to when Chase was a puppy all alone in a huge city, referencing his PTSD. During his most anxious times, these flashback scenes come about.
This movie also shows what a caring supporter of someone with a mental illness looks like. Ryder made sure to always keep an eye on Chase, and make sure he didn’t do more than he can handle, and when he did do more than he could handle, Ryder always reassured him and helped him cope.
Overall, I feel as though I have to recommend this movie to everyone I see because of how perfectly it depicts mental health. I think everyone, not just kids, should watch this movie.