Watching This Week #104
An abbreviated newsletter with updated listings for March 20-26, 2023.
The animated movie is not available on Paramount+ in Canada, but we'll explain where it is (and will be) instead.
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PAW Patrol: The Movie is a Canadian animated film based on the PAW Patrol TV series and toy line created by Keith Chapman about a group of canine first responders, which was released in theatres in the United States and Canada on Friday, August 20, 2021. (We're respecting the creators' all-caps rendering of "PAW" since there were apparently some early references to it being an acronym for "Pups At Work", though it's not clear that it was ever commonly used.)
This web page is intended as a reference for adults. If you are a kid who is trying to watch this movie, you should talk to your parents or guardians before doing anything else.
In Canada, the movie became available for premium on-demand and digital rental starting on Thursday, September 9 and has since become available to buy or rent at a lower price. Retailers that we are aware of that are offering the film for around $4.99 to rent, or $24.99 to purchase (both prices before applicable sales taxes as of December 2021), include:
Additionally, in December 2021, the film became available to stream on Paramount+ Canada (in English) and Crave / Super Écran (only in French). This Canadian streaming release came several months after the movie's day-and-date release in theatres and on Paramount+ in the United States, which confused some potential Canadian viewers, as we'll explain below.
Outside of Canada, distribution is being handled by Paramount Pictures – a subsidiary of ViacomCBS, which is also the parent company of Nickelodeon, which broadcasts the show in the U.S. and in several other countries.
In the United States, where several companies including Disney and WarnerMedia have been experimenting with so-called "day-and-date" simultaneous releases on their streaming platforms, Paramount decided to release the movie both in theatres, and on the Paramount+ streaming service.
Although a version of Paramount Plus is available in Canada, the range of programs available is significantly different from what's offered in the U.S. and elsewhere. In most cases, this is because ViacomCBS previously sold off the Canadian broadcast and streaming rights to many of Paramount+'s key originals, like the new Star Trek series, to other companies.
However, even if programming was otherwise similar, there is a key difference for PAW Patrol specifically: the Canadian theatrical release is being handled by Elevation Pictures, which has had a long relationship with Spin Master, the Toronto-based toy company which owns the PAW Patrol franchise, and handles the production of the film and TV series.
This distinction has been understandably confusing to many Canadians, especially considering that PAW Patrol is a Canadian-based franchise whose official social media accounts promoted the dual release in theatres and on Paramount+.
Notwithstanding this, the Canadian streaming rights to the film appear to have subsequently made their way to Paramount+, as described in the next section.
In addition to the digital and on-demand rentals noted above, PAW Patrol: The Movie became available on streaming in Canada in December 2021.
On December 24, we noticed that the Apple TV app had listed the movie as being available on Paramount+ in Canada, both in the app-based and Apple TV Channels versions of the service.
Paramount+ currently costs $5.99 per month for Canadian subscribers, with a short free trial available to first-time subscribers.
Additionally, as of December 24, the dubbed French-language version of the film (La Pat' patrouille: Le film) became available to subscribers of Bell Media's Crave and Super Écran services. Although the movie is searchable and available to watch under the PAW Patrol name for English-language users of Crave's website and apps, only French-language audio and captions are available at this time. Presumably only the French-language rights were available to Crave, as Paramount+ is currently only available in English.
Prior to us noticing this on December 24, we were under the impression that the movie's Canadian distribution by Elevation meant its streaming rights would go to Amazon Prime Video, which has an output deal with Elevation for what's known in the industry as the "pay-1" window – the first window of availability for a pay TV or subscription streaming service – which has seen other films distributed by that company, like Ammonite and Minari, become available for free streaming to Prime subscribers within a few months of their theatrical runs. While we're not entirely certain how the arrangements ended up being different in this case, it appears this discussion is now moot.
As of this writing, the PAW Patrol TV series remains available to watch in Canada via TVOntario (episodes from seasons 2 through 8), Knowledge Network (BC) (selected episodes from all seasons), Télé-Québec (in French), Netflix (seasons 1-7), and Crave (selected episodes from season 4-5 and the "Original 5s" shorts). It's possible the selection may change from time to time.
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