Ryder and his team of pups, The Paw Patrol, help keep the town of Adventure Bay safe from all kinds of emergencies while learning lessons along the way. Each pup has a special ability based on a real life occupation, fireman, policeman, construction worker, and more. In each episode you find the pups working together to find an outcome to a problem that needs fixing, overcoming obstacles, and learning about friendship.
I wasn’t truly aware of what Paw Patrol was for quite a while. One morning my son went upstairs to watch television and it was just on. Then, suddenly, one day he had a figure from the show, Marshall I think. Then a shirt, and a puzzle. It was becoming very clear how important this show was to him and I was just cluing in. One such morning he started jumping up and down and shouting that “This is the Tracker episode, this is the Tracker Episode!” I had no idea what a Tracker was. Was he watching hunting show? Was I not regulating his television time enough? It had happened before when once I discovered he had been watching Pac-Man, a cartoon based on the video game that has nothing redeemable to provide children. Also it’s the Pac-Man show? Can we find an idea that came after 1980? Oh yeah, it’s shows like Paw Patrol. It turned out that Tracker was a new character being introduced in the show. Though little tracker might have been important to my son, what was clear to me by his reaction, was that Paw Patrol was in general a big deal for him, bigger than I realized. This meant that he had been paying attention to this show for a quite while and I had no idea. He talked with his friends about this show, thinks about these characters when he is not watching, and has his own adventures with them when he plays.
The more I looked into it the more I realized that Nickelodeon, the show’s producer, had really created an empire with shows like this and Blaze and the Monster Machines. To go with each show there are toys, clothes, and all kinds of other merchandise that is a licensing dream. This means that these characters will come home with my child in a variety of forms but that each one will be rooted in the show, and each show, in this case, has something good to say.
These are solid characters for preschoolers that represent their real world challenges but still manage to feel, for lack of better words, cool and imaginative. If, as a parent I am going to support a company that when you really look, is everywhere in kid’s lives, it’s going to be a show like Paw Patrol. It is kind, action packed, and leaves my son with lessons that only strive make him a better friend and in general, a better human.