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PAW Patrol: Ultimate Rescue
Lately I've been using Paw Patrol the same way I had (and sorta still) use the Peppa Pig films for my son, albeit in a different way lately. In the past I'd been using them as a means of occupation while his meals for the day are made, now they are tied in to how he goes to bed the previous night. We're in sleep independence now, and if he does not stay in his bed or room, no Paw Patrol the next morning. We're not at a live or die without it point yet, but we could be getting there?
The premise of the show is very much like one you may be accustomed to when you were a kid and discovered television for the first time; a group of friends (in this case, dogs) join up when they are called upon to solve a case, for lack of a better word. It's storytelling 101, introduce characters, provide conflict for them, show how they negotiate conflict towards resolution.
This particular disc, titled "Ultimate Rescue," focuses on the rescue portion of things. The show is computer animated, produced in Canada and shown there and in America on Nicklodeon, culling episodes from the show's fifth season (a sixth is underway). The show is a little out of my kid's age (he is almost three) when it comes to some of the jokes that the characters utter, but it nurtures the problem-solving aspects that are valuable to kids around that general age, and he is mesmerized by it, so it works for us.
It's that rarified air of Paw Patrol trying to capture a couple of different pockets of crowds that shows like (and exactly) it tend to stumble; the dogs look nice and on the surface of the ‘talking dog' veneer it works, but compared to other shows like Peppa or "Stinky and Dirty," it doesn't overly commit to one direction more than another. On the surface it's muddled but if you're getting more out of it than your kid, we'll need to have a talk over some bourbon or something.
Is or should Paw Patrol be the co-parent in surrogate form while you get your child's and your own stuff ready over the course of a day? Of course not, but I wouldn't rely on it too much in your bag of clubs, so to speak. Your child may go back to Elmo but it could be too late.
The five episodes of the show are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and they look fine. The show is computer animated but looks cartoonish, no real looking dogs or people here. The colors are good and the image lacks haloing or smearing, there's really not much to glean from these technically.
Two-channel Dolby for the episodes which is decent. Given the nature of the source material there isn't anything from a directional effect or channel panning perspective that younger ears may pick up on, so all of the dialogue and action is in the front of the soundstage, is clean and without chirping or hissing, sounds as good as it's going to.
The only extra is an episode for a show called Top Wing which conceptually looks like Paw Patrol; a quartet of birds who are friends team up for challenges or tasks to do each episode. Not entirely sure what the difference is, but I'm not the demo…yet.
There are some gaps in logic when it comes to Paw Patrol, and not even when you get into the weeds of it. It's the too hot or too cold of children's televised programming, always flirting with ‘just right' but never consistently achieving it. Technically the disc is fine, as is the bonus episode. If you need to do food prep for your kid, it's fine but not special.