A few news items and site updates for mid-September 2021.
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 is currently available in theatres, and became available for premium on-demand and digital rental starting on Thursday, September 9. Retailers that we are aware of that are offering the film, typically for $24.99 to rent, or $29.99 to purchase (both prices before applicable sales taxes), include:
- Amazon Prime Video Store
- Apple TV / iTunes Store
- Cineplex Store
- Google Play Movies & TV
- YouTube Movies
- Cable or fibre TV service provider video-on-demand services (on set-top boxes), including Rogers and Shaw
Current prices are comparable with the initial prices of similar PVOD or "Home Premiere" offerings over the past year, but the rental price will likely come down over time.
Availability as part of a subscription streaming service at no extra charge, most likely Prime Video, will come later in Canada, probably in several months. This differs from the situation in the U.S., as we'll explain below.
Why can't I watch the PAW Patrol movie on Paramount+ in Canada?
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 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.
Thus, Paramount doesn't really have anything to do with the Canadian release – even if you see its logo at the beginning, Paramount can't influence when or how it will be available to stream in Canada.
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+, without noting that the latter option would not apply for Canadians.
When will I be able to watch PAW Patrol: The Movie on streaming in Canada?
In addition to the digital and on-demand rentals noted above, there's a strong likelihood that PAW Patrol: The Movie will become available on a subscription streaming service in the next several months.
Most likely, this will be 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.
Essentially, this means that most movies released by Elevation, like The Marksman or Wild Mountain Thyme, become available to stream to Prime subscribers – and not on any other service like Netflix – within a few months of its release in theatres. Occasionally, there've been exceptions for Canadian films (and PAW Patrol would likely technically count as a Canadian film); some of these have been released on Crave instead, but in the vast majority of those cases, Crave was also involved as a funding partner – something which we do not believe applies to PAW Patrol.
Based on recent patterns, the most likely streaming release date would be January 2022, but it could be a couple of months sooner or later. The most recent film distributed by Elevation that became available for streaming on Prime Video, The Courier with Benedict Cumberbatch, arrived in late August, about five months after its theatrical release in March. However, back in March, very few Canadian theatres were open, so Elevation didn't really have a choice but to accelerate its schedule; it's not yet clear if it will maintain this pattern for the PAW Patrol film since it received a slightly more regular theatrical release.
What about the PAW Patrol TV series?
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.
- September 9, 2021 – Updated to reflect availability on digital retailers