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Film Theory: Paw Patrol, Ryder is EVIL!


Last time I covered Paw Patrol I convinced
you that this kid, Ryder, child genius inventor, was recruiting homeless dogs to use as members
of his crew of rescue animals, the Paw Patrol. Why? Well, because the missions are dangerous,
dogs are cheaper and more expendable than humans, and stray dogs are the most expendable
of all. Now obviously, what Ryder’s doing there
is REAL bad. But the crimes of Ryder don’t just stop
there my friends. Not only is he putting his dogs into the direct
line of danger with little regard to their well-being, he’s the one CREATING those
dangerous situations in the first place! Get ready, all you good pups, because today
we’re exposing Ryder for the money-hungry criminal mastermind that he really is. Hello Internet. Welcome to Film Theory, where they’re all
DEAD pups and they’ll be replaced. Cus it’s just another day around Adventure
Bay. D-d-d-d-d Dead Patrol. So, it’s been a couple months since I last
covered Paw Patrol, and due to the blessings of owning a four-year old discovering media
for the first time, I am still watching a TON of the show.

Now, if you’ve somehow missed this gargantuan
hit of a Nickelodeon series, the Paw Patrol are a team of six puppies led by a boy named
Ryder. Each pup has a specialized set of skills,
vehicles, and tech that Ryder designs based on typical emergency services. We have Chase the Police Dog, Marshall the
Firefighter, Skye the Aviation Pup, Rubble the Construction Dog, Zuma for water rescue
and Rocky for Garbage collection. Episodes of the show are pretty classic action
adventure fare – there’s a problem that needs solving somewhere in Adventure Bay;
the Paw Patrol suit up and say: And then they use their technology, teamwork,
and winches…lots and lots of winches…to make sure everyone winds up safe and happy. Have the farm pigs have run away? Call the Paw Patrol! Is a plane about to crash land? Call the Paw Patrol! Has the villainous mayor of a nearby town
discovered an ancient relic in the jungle that turns them into a monkey? Call the Paw Patrol! Yeah…as you might be able to tell, now that
I’m into the late seasons, the rescues get REAL weird.

DON’T EVEN get me started on the MER-Pups,
and the quest to save Pup-lantis. So that’s the premise of the show. Cute, simple, cut-and-dry. BUT, if you look even just a little bit past
the surface level, you realize that not everything is peachy keen in Adventure Bay. In our last Theory, we concluded that there
have been pups in the Paw Patrol before the main six in the series. Pups who died in the line of duty before being
callously replaced. Ryder himself was the mastermind of the whole
operation, finding stray and abandoned dogs to recruit for dangerous rescue missions,
knowing full well that if they die, well, they can just be easily replaced. And on top of all of that, Ryder doesn’t
even pay the pups with anything but treats, he keeps the considerable amount of money
generated from their merch sales, government contracts, and literal stolen gold coins all
to himself.

So, okay, the kid’s a bit unethical in the
way he treats his pups, not great, but overall, Ryder and the Paw Patrol are doing far more
good than bad, right? They’re solving problems, they’re saving
lives. It’s just what has to be done in the line
of duty. It might make Ryder a bit of a jerk, but it
doesn’t make him evil, right? Weeeeell, Loyal Theorists, as I’ve continued
to watch more and more of the show, my suspicions around Ryder have only increased. You see, in later seasons, a lot of the problems
plaguing Adventure Bay are caused by the various villains of the show – Mayor Humdinger,
Sweetie, the Kitten Catastrophe Crew – but, the technology that they use sure looks a
LOT like the stuff that Ryder builds for the Paw Patrol. And that’s because Ryder is doing much worse
than just taking advantage of disasters and putting these innocent pups in danger to make
a quick buck.

As the series goes on, it seems like Ryder
is the one CREATING the dangerous scenarios that are putting everyone at risk. He’s selling many of the villains his technology,
he’s hoping that they’re going to create more trouble for the Paw Patrol to solve. In short, Ryder is a war profiteer, he’s
an arms dealer who’s playing all the sides, and in the process, he’s putting both his
dogs and his town at risk. All while he literally sits atop his Ivory
Tower, the Lookout. Now, obviously those are big claims, so let’s
step back and look at the proof that Ryder is actually giving his tech to the villains,
shall we? In Season 1, we meet Mayor Humdinger, the
very competitive elected leader from the nearby town of Foggy Bottom. We’re told that he always wins the competitions
he enters. Well, that is until the Paw Patrol rolls into
town and suddenly helps Mayor Goodway win ALL the contests, from Hot Air Ballooning
and Cake Making to Cleaning up and Basketball. After that, Humdinger is no longer the Top
Dog, and no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t seem to win.

Goodway is always getting help from the Paw
Patrol, which means that he’s always playing catchup. So far, so good. Just a little healthy competition, right? Well, in Season 2, sick of always losing,
Humdinger pulls out a new strategy, A new set of minions: The Kitten Catastrophe Crew, who are now tasked
with getting Humdinger whatever he wants. They sabotage water towers, they make messes,
they steal giant gold chicken statues. I’m a Chicken *Bawkaaaa*
But here’s the weird thing about the Catastrophe Crew, each kitten directly maps onto a Paw
Patrol member.

Their pup-packs…ha, I guess, cat-packs? have the EXACT same equipment as their Paw
Patrol counterparts. Cat Chase uses a zip-line and launcher, just
like real Chase. Skye has wings, just like the original Skye. Cat Rocky has a claw arm, just like the dog
Rocky. You get the idea. Now at this point, you might be wondering,
well… Isn’t Humdinger just super tech-savvy? Couldn’t he have just replicated Ryder’s
technology rather than it being given to him? And that’s what I thought at first too! Except for one thing…Humdinger ain’t exactly
what you’d call a tech whiz.

In Season 5 Episode 17: Pups Save The Movie
Monster, Humdinger tries to steal a Robot Monster but just doesn’t understand its
control. And, in the Paw Patrol movie, his complete
ignorance of technology is what causes the cloud catcher to malfunction and destroy Adventure
City. Now, those are just two instances, but across
the series there are plenty of examples where he's just not that great with tech. That said, Mayor Humdinger DOES try to create
several inventions throughout his appearances in the series, and they’re just AWFUL in
comparison to the stuff that we see Ryder make. For example, in Season 3 Episode 3: Pups Save
The Soccer Game, Humdinger creates a remote controlled ball in an attempt to cheat and
win a soccer game. And yet, his remote short circuits and breaks,
causing the ball to lose control. It gets so bad that the Paw Patrol has to
step in and save the day. Now, I don’t know about you, but a remote
controlled soccer ball seems just a little bit less complicated than a voice-controlled
Cat-Pack with a freely-rotating, fully-operational robot arm, and yet… it malfunctions with barely any prompting.

And this isn’t just a one time thing either. In Season 4 Episode 2: Pups Save the Cat Show,
Humdinger creates a robot cat to win yet another competition, but when it trips and falls onto
the floor, it goes haywire, requiring the Paw Patrol’s intervention. Later, in Season 4. This time Episode 16: Sea Patrol: Pups Save
a Shark, he creates a robotic shark that’s powered by a wooden contraption that resembles
a Hamster Wheel. Not exactly top-of-the-line tech, but more
importantly, the stability of that shark is ATROCIOUS. Its internal welding gives way and the shark
begins to flood after it gets hit.

This is absolutely not on par with the quality
of engineering that we see with both the Paw Patrol packs and Catastrophe Crew packs, which
get thrown around a LOT during the rescue missions and dastardly plots. It only makes sense if Ryder was the one who
created all of the tech. Now, it would be one thing if the Kitten Catastrophe
Crew were the only bad guys to have identical Pup-Pack tech… At that point, maybe you can write it off
as a coincidence.

But the Catastrophe Crew are far from the
only rogues in the Paw Patrol gallery to use tech eerily similar to Ryder’s inventions. The Rescue Knight series introduces us to
Claw, an ex-knight and the villain terrorizing the Kingdom of Barkingburg. By the time the Paw Patrol faces off with
this guy, he already has his own personal pup-pack with a claw that can grab things,
functionally and aesthetically identical to the packs used by the Paw Patrol. Then in the Mission Paw series, we meet Sweetie,
the pet of the Princess of Barkingburg.

Unlike what her name would suggest, Sweetie
is anything but! She’s the biggest cause of trouble in the
Mission Paw series, with crimes ranging from theft to kidnapping! Now, all of this is possible only because
of her vehicle and her Pup-Pack, complete with a pincer, vacuum, and even a selfie stick. I guess you’ve gotta keep your followers
up to date on that #VillainLife! And, once again… all of it is strikingly
similar to the designs that Ryder has for the Paw Patrol. In fact, when Sweetie suits up, her attire
matches the aesthetics of the Mission Paw outfits that the Paw Patrol is wearing! Mostly black with colored accents.

This actually has to be one of the biggest
pieces of evidence towards Sweetie’s gear being a Ryder original creation… See, this isn’t a case of Sweetie seeing
the Paw Patrol’s look and liking it enough to copy it, or Ryder seeing Sweetie and digging
her outfit to make it into a Paw Patrol uniform. No, Sweetie puts this outfit on BEFORE any
of the Paw Patrol pups put theirs on, AND the Paw Patrol suit-up before Ryder sees Sweetie
in the gear. This CANNOT be a coincidence. They HAVE to have been made by the same person! But okay, maybe this sort of technology is
just super common in the Paw Patrol universe. Maybe Pup-Packs are something you can just
order from your local Best Buy… but again, that’s not the case. As we called out in our last Theory, the Paw
Patrol are relative unknowns in this world, they're only becoming more well known as the
series progresses BECAUSE of their daring rescues. Rescue dogs and technology for cats is not
something that exists normally in this universe.

It is specifically being built by one guy:
Ryder. “Alright, Matpat,” I hear you saying. “Sure, the tech used by the Sweetie, Claw
and the Kitten Catastrophe Crew ARE similar to the Paw Patrol’s. But maybe that’s just how technology looks
in this universe.” That would be a fantastic explanation for
what we’re seeing here; a lot of times, the art direction of a show (especially an
animated show) can end up with character and technology designs that look same-y. And while the Paw Patrol series definitely
has an art style that it sticks to, it also goes out of its way to show that different
technology made by different people look different compared to the Paw Patrol’s pup-packs.

We already pointed out how different and almost
primitive Humdinger’s tech looks compared to Ryder’s, but there are other examples
throughout the series. For example, the Ruff-Ruff Pack are a group
of villainous biker dogs featured in the Moto Pup series, and its three members all have
pup-packs as well. But their packs are WAY different from the
ones that we know that Ryder makes. Every pack that we’ve seen up until this
point looks very similar – they’re made with clean, cylindrical or cuboid pieces and
their joints are easy to move. Plus, they’re all colored and feature iconography
that matches the pup or kitten that they were made for.

The Ruff-Ruff Pack’s gear, however, looks
like it was made with limited time and resources. These pacs are older, rusty, they’re made
using scrap metal, the joints are barely held together with screws and bolts. This suggests that they were made by Gasket,
who we know is an amateur inventor. So, clearly the show’s art style cares enough
to indicate when technology is made by other inventors…the Ruff-Ruff’s packs scrapyard
inventions, Humdinger’s early primitive tech. But the Catastrophe Crew? Sweetie? There’s no other way to explain it. It HAD to have come from Ryder! So, Ryder is clearly designing the tech that
villains like Humdinger and Sweetie wind up using throughout the series, but why? Doesn’t necessarily seem like a great business
model to just be giving this tech away. But, just look at what happens once these
villains get a hold of it. In Season 1, the pup’s rescues can honestly
seem pretty trivial.

They help the farmers out during the fall
festival, they gather up some lost bunnies. They help Mayor Goodway win a few competitions
and, in rare cases, they fight the occasional fire. It’s not exactly the high-stakes rescues
that Ryder was hoping for when he started the Paw Patrol to make cash off of disasters. But then, look at the escalation. By season seven, they’re being hired out
by royalty to protect the crown jewels as private bodyguards. They’re being asked by Mayor Goodway to
save stolen ferris wheels. Crimes that are only possible thanks to HIS
technology getting in the hands of the show’s villains. Ryder is clearly a smart kid, and a shrewd
businessman, and he takes his opportunities where he sees them. Take Humdinger for instance – clearly the
competition between the towns was important to him. And as time goes on, he gets more and more
discouraged as he loses because of the Paw Patrol, to the point where he’s suddenly
willing to cheat in a way that he never did before.

Think about it: In Season 1, we never see
Humdinger do anything shady or illegal – he’s just a REALLY competitive guy from a nearby
city. And yet, in Season 2, we immediately see Humdinger
playing dirty, as well as ignoring both laws and the safety of others as he destroys and
vandalizes property. What’s changed? One thing… he now has his own minions in
the Kitten Catastrophe Crew, minions outfitted with Ryder’s tech. Ryder saw the competitiveness in Humdinger
and exploited it. He CREATED a villain in Humdinger and the
Catastrophe Crew to escalate the problems that the Paw Patrol could respond to. Suddenly, they’re not tracking down misidentified
cows in the snow – they’re stopping bonafide bad buys. Ryder can suddenly charge more for it, he
can get more publicity for it. He’s now building an empire for both his
exploited rescue pups and the technology that allows this stuff to happen.

But it doesn’t stop there, friends. Ryder expands his little racket beyond Adventure
Bay and even Adventure City. He seeks out new locations like Barkingburg,
where he can give other misguided pups some of his tech. He creates new villains, and therefore, new
disasters on a scale that even he couldn’t have dreamed of before. Instead of a vehicle, Claw uses his Pup Pack
to find a magical dragon tooth that lets him control a REAL ACTUAL dragon which he then
directs onto the people and city of Barkingburg. When the Paw Patrol avert that disaster, Ryder
couldn’t ask for better publicity – “Brave Pups led by Genius Boy Save City from Dragon”.

With achievements like that under his belt,
just like that, Ryder has suddenly made himself a valuable new client for life in the Princess
of Barkingburg. But worst of all, the kid doesn’t even bother
to make sure the bad guys see proper justice! He isn’t taking the steps required to prevent
these from happening in the future Sure, Sweetie is often put in the proverbial doghouse when
she’s caught, but she’s out again by the very next episode. And Humdinger and the Kitten Catastrophe Crew? Ryder doesn’t even bother to arrest them
when they’re caught red-handed! Instead, they’re just slapped with the catchphrase
“That Troublesome Mayor!” before getting off scot-free, ready to wreak
more havoc in the very next episode. Ryder is the city’s law-enforcement here,
arresting criminals would fall under HIS jurisdiction.

But he DOESN'T, because that would be bad
for business. One thing is clear… Ryder is no hero. Not only does he put the lives of his pups
in constant danger with little regard for whether or not they die in the disasters they
face, but he’s responsible for creating those disasters in the first place. In his greed, Ryder encourages these misguided
souls to cheat and commit crimes in order to drive up business for himself, strengthening
his empire as it spreads from city to city.

Ryder offers them advanced tech to escalate
their crimes to new heights, and then doesn’t apprehend them to prevent future crimes. Ryder is the Paw Patrol’s worst enemy, the
true villain of this franchise, sitting pretty atop a Scrooge McDuckian pile of cash, while
he puts the lives of both his pups and innocent people on the line. Sure, they all may be good pups, but Ryder? He’s bad to the bone. But hey, that’s just a theory! A Film Theory! Aaaaand cut.

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