Y’all know my love for PAW Patrol runs deep. My youngest son was born when the series debuted, and my oldest son was only 4 years old. I’ve been with PAW Patrol since the very beginning! These pups definitely hold a special place in my heart.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Director, Cal Brunker, and Writer, Bob Barlen of PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie.
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie Interview
In this exclusive PAW Patrol movie interview, we discuss developing an engaging storyline for all audiences, being a part of the PAW Patrol franchise, the future of the pups, and much more!
The first film was such a success, and the second one has also been a really big hit. How is it being part of such a big franchise like PAW Patrol?
Cal: “It’s wonderful to be part of the PAW Patrol franchise. I have two kids myself, eight and five, so they just been through the PAW Patrol years watching these movies as we’ve been making them. I think what’s really wonderful is that there’s such a community of fans around the world really eager for these movies when they come out. So, we’ve been working hard for years and years on these things. Hundreds of artists. And then you put it out into the world and you’re putting it out into really open arms you know. Everybody’s there to embrace the film, and so it’s a wonderful wonderful way to put out a movie.”
So the first movie you focused on Chase and the second one kind of goes into Skye’s story, can you talk about bringing her character to the main focus of the film?
Bob: “I mean you know we love all the characters and on the first film we got a chance to write for Skye and you know her character. Well Chase with the first one but even the Skye like the focus the first one is Chase, and then on while we were writing for Skye we wanted to expand her character into you know the second film which is you know fun. I mean one of the great things about that is her story is very universal you know she’s small and you know throughout the movie you see that she learns that even the smallest pup can make the biggest difference. And I think that that’s something that everyone can relate to, whether you’re a kid and you’re small or you’re just the experience of being a kid whether you’re an adult. We’ve all sort of felt that thing and so you know kind of tying into her journey was really part of the reason we wanted to to focus on her.”
Cal: “And to add on to Bob’s point as as adults you can always think well what difference can one person make and I think Skye’s story really ends up being universal to his point of whether you’re a small kid, whether you are just a kid looking out into the world feeling small and wondering how you can affect things, or whether you’re just somebody who’s wondering what difference one person can make. Skye’s story is kind of a universal theme that we can all connect to.”
I love how it kind of came full circle with the tagline “no pup is too small.” That just really hit home. It was really great. So, Victoria Vance was a great villain. I also felt she kind of had a connection with Skye. Can you guys talk about that a little bit?
Cal: “Yeah with the the scene you’re talking about specifically is one that we got excited about early on. We thought well what if this mad scientist felt that she had to kind of push back against the world because she was made to feel small and insignificant. And so there’s this moment where Skye is able to kind of reach out and you see just for a glimmer that she might be connecting with V over this. But then V kind of dismisses that and returns to her villain-self. But it’s always interesting if you can have some kind of reflection of your main character’s struggles or journey in your villain. It’s always a fun thing so when we came up with that idea we were really excited.“
The Junior Patrollers they’re super cute! Were they inspired by anybody or can you talk about the design process a little bit? When they first came on the screen they totally reminded me of the Chipmunks like Alvin Simon and Theodore!
Cal: “Hearing you say it, I can see it that wasn’t the inspiration at all. As in the beginning, Bob and I were writing and I just drew three circles and I was like what if they’re so puffy you can’t even really see their legs. They’re just these like little pom poms is what we kind of like talked about them as at the at the beginning. And and we thought it would be fun to have you know these these younger characters that look up to the PAW Patrol and ultimately end up being characters that Liberty can take under her wing. So yeah we just thought what’s the cutest cutest thing we could do and it was three pom poms and we’re like Pomeranians perfect let’s let’s go with it.”
Bob: “I think with them too we also all wanted to have they’ve got their own journey throughout the movie and you can see that they start off as super fans but then they actually end up you know playing a key part of it. And you know again tying into that theme of no pups too small, they are literally the smallest pups on the team but they still end up doing their part and you know just was a really fun way to include them in the movie in the story as well as having them be fun characters to play with.”
Speaking of Liberty, I love that Marsai Martin came back to reprise her role. I interviewed her for the last movie and she’s just so great and I I love that pup, she she just brings something so special to the story. Paw Patrol is geared toward a younger audience but it also has engaging story lines for all people. Parents don’t hate it, which is always a good thing! How are do you guys create that balance?
Cal: “Yeah for for us that’s always really important is that it’s a movie that kids can watch with their parents and there can be a you know we’ve heard from a lot of parents ‘oh I got emotionally wrapped up in this story seeing it in the in the movie theater’ and for us that’s always the goal is if you can have a shared experience as a family, it makes it so much more special than if parents are just on their phone and the kids doing something else and like you’re trying to zone out from the movie as opposed to engaging in it along together. So that’s really tour goal and you know we try and make these movies as movies that we would love as as adults. Obviously we make sure that the the themes and what happens is appropriate for a younger audience, but we try and make movies that we love too. And so hopefully that translates to parents and to the older audience that’s there as part of the family.”
What takeaway would you like families to have or even young children to have after they watch this movie?
Cal: “I think that no matter how small you are, no matter who you are, you can make a huge difference to the world around you. I think Skye’s journey she starts having this kind of negative story she tells herself about her size and about where she came from and all these things and you know at the end of the movie she lets go of this pink bandana that reminds her of her childhood and that’s always symbolized for us is like the letting go of the the negative stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. So while that’s maybe a complex idea for a younger person I think the idea of getting past your insecurities and seeing what your potential is, is really the inspiration we’re hoping that kids and families leave with.“
Bob: “I completely agree that was going to be my answer too. I think that we’re on the same page aligned with Skye’s journey there and I mean you know just that’s something that hopefully reflects all audience members small and big when they’re watching the movie.”
Chase has his backstory, Skye has hers, are the other pups going to get their chance? Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Cal: “We can tell you we’re hard at work on the next movie. It’s fantastic, we love it so much, but it’s so classified we can’t say anything.”
Watch complete PAW Patrol Movie interview below
You heard it folks! More PAW Patrol movies are coming, and I cannot wait to see their next adventure! Special thanks to Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen for taking the time to discuss these MIGHTY pups!
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie is Available Now to Watch at Home on Digital!