Maybe it's Stockholm syndrome kicking in. Maybe it's the intricate and involved plotlines. I've been stuck watching Paw Patrol with the kids for the past two weeks and have a lot of thoughts.
Are the Paw Patrol Pups actually humans trapped in dog bodies? Or, are there specific types of animals that are human-like sentience (and able to speak) and others just regular-ass animals? Are all humans vegan? How do these pups have access to highly-advanced nanotechnology and highly miniaturized heavily durable mechanized "transforming" parts when the rest of the island appears to run on 2011-era technology? Who are the suppliers for outside food and parts, as the one farm is not sufficient to supply the wide variety of foods we've seen there, and what are the major industries of the island?
Our careful and thorough analysis has led us to conclude: Paw Patrol, a show developed to sell lots of merchandise, is set in an anarchist society.
Paw Patrol: An Anarchist Tail
Paw Patrol takes place entirely in an anarchist society - everybody in the society self-directs and works at their own leisure, from the children to the adults. There doesn't seem to be a form of currency in this society; it seems to be entirely driven instead by volunteer labor.
The titular Paw Patrol consists of its boy leader, Ryder, and pups Chase, Skye, Rubble, Marshall, Rocky, Everest, Tracker, Robo-Dog, and Zuma. Each of the pups specializes in operating unique machines and sleep at the Paw Patrol Tower; when they're not rescuing some dork or pitching into help the town, they're off at play - until Ryder sends out the Paw Signal.
The closest thing to Adventure Bay's community government is Mayor Goodway, who seems to do no governing whatsoever: instead, she mostly organizes and participates in community events. Adventure Bay seems to have a small, but thriving service economy, though the show only introduces us to one shopkeeper - Mr "Grandpa" Parsons, who runs a small food grocery (but frequently wanders off). We know other shops and services exist; in an early Season 1 episode, Chase and Mr Parson's grandson visit a dentist. We also know that a hospital exists - we've seen ambulances in a show.
The police and fire patrol services seem to be composed entirely of community volunteers stepping up - Marshall and Chase seem to be part of these volunteer services, acting under the branch of Paw Patrol.
Captain Turbott operates the only fishing trawler in Adventure Bay, operating the craft at his whims. He doesn't seem to have any schedule whatsoever; episodes have shown him just wandering around the island, getting lost in arctic waters, and cruising for fun.
Paw Patrol: Post-industrialist?
The Paw Patrol show does not feature any sort of environmentalist themes at all. The ecology of the island appears to be mostly composed of small animals and domesticated crops. But off the island, a fairly diverse aquatic ecology exists, with penguins, squid, dolphins (?), orcas, and fish.
While vehicles exist, their fuel type does not appear to be specified. We examined car models; the lack of exhaust pipes indicate that these vehicles may be electric. The Island doesn't seem to have any power plants - definitely no coal-fired plants, and absolutely no windmill farms. We conclude, then, that the power infrastructure might be instead located on a nearby island.
The lack of bridges indicate that the port is the main source of shipping. With the existing amount of road infrastructure, the Island sees some degree of internal traffic across the three small settlements.
Given the telecommunications technology we see, the Island seems to exist in a world where telecommunications for the most part is frozen in the early 2000s. However, the existence of projection screens and highly advanced machines the pups possess implies that this was a deliberate choice by the denizens of the island - that they deliberately chose to retain archaic affectations of a capitalist society that has been since supplanted by an anarchist one.
Paw Patrol: A Greenways Adventure?
The series is possibly secretly set in the Greenways Universe - a book series created by Dave Patterson, a socialist and wild-haired grandfather. In the Greenways universe, Green Island is a semi-established island where everything is collectively owned (hmm), everyone chooses when to work and what to work as (HMMM).
But no, no it isn't. The Paw Patrol universe features talking canines and cats. Currency does not seem to exist in the Paw Patrol universe, whereas a form of currency exists in Greenways.
We still like Paw Patrol as an introduction to anarchism, 10/10, would recommend for young children and very high adults.
Photo credit: Gabriel Jimenez