With cases across the globe of police brutality being spotlighted, the internet is ablaze with people using fictional characters or stories to justify the #defundthepolice movement.
Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to diminish or make light of the movement itself, this comparison is purely about Paw Patrol and The Purge Franchise.
As a new parent and also a diehard horror movie fan, two interesting examples of this have frequently been filling my social media newsfeed, which of course spawned this article…
The Purge Franchise (2013-Present)
- The Purge (2013)
- The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
- The Purge: Election Year (2016)
- The First Purge (2018)
- The Purge (TV Series) (2018-2019)
Everything about this meme drives me up the wall as a horror fan (which has nothing to do with my personal stance towards the movement), because it’s a gross misunderstanding of the movie franchise.
The Purge films take place in a dystopian version of America, where big corporations run the country and use a Hellish holiday to annually allow people to commit their most depraved desires on one another.
However, in the franchise we learn rather quickly that the government is behind a lot of the killings of marginalized communities and this spurs somewhat of a class war in the later entries.
In the sadly short-lived TV series, the audience is showed more about the government-funded watchdogs, who surveil the streets not only during the Purge night but all year round.
The franchise blatantly takes place in an incredibly well funded Police State, which in itself makes its comparison to a world with defunded police completely inaccurate.
In fact, the universe in which the film takes place in is incredibly rule-bound and heavily monitored, that’s why you don’t see rocket launchers used throughout the films.
Now, on to my next grievance…
Paw Patrol Franchise (2013-Present)
Unless you have a small child in your life, chances are you’re not too aware of what this show even is, so let me sum it up quickly.
Paw Patrol follows a young boy named Ryder and his team of talking dogs living in a city called Adventure Bay, a society that has sketchy non-exist parents at the best of times.
Lately (because people have too much time on their hands), the show has come under extremely strange scrutiny, due to the fact that one of the dogs in the show named Chase wears a police uniform.
During the heated topic of systematic racism, it has inspired a small circle online to demand the show be canceled for its glorification of the police dog.
The whole thing is, of course, an absolutely ludicrous claim and stance to take… because Chase isn’t even a police dog.
None of the dogs in the series are actually the professions their uniforms suggest, they are independent contractors working for a pint-size Tony Stark.
In fact, you could even argue that the show works as a Utopian example of a society without a police department that uses its allocated funds towards science, technology, and education.
Think about it…
Paw Patrol mainly deals with accidents (natural or man-made), and to their credit, Ryder always makes sure the appropriately trained team member handles the various incidents.
In some ways, this is actually what the Defund the Police Movement is aiming towards, but without the hyper-smart children and talking dogs fun of the animated series.
Thanks to Ryder and his team, Adventure Bay has had no violent crime whatsoever, and for the most part, the only person even causing trouble is the neighboring mayor.
Paw Patrol and The Purge franchise could not be further apart when it comes to entertainment and the audiences that they were made for.
Due to the purely chaotic nature of 2020, they are now forever connected due to movements involving the police and the ongoing argument to disband or defund them.
Both franchises do have one major thing in common, and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the Defund the Police movement at all.
The franchises both focus on teams working together, usually lead by a vastly skilled leader and this works, whether the story world is a dystopian or utopian society… or hey, even the real world.
With that being said, their similarities stop there, and hopefully, the wrongful use of their stories and characters to fuel these odd online arguments ends now that you’ve read this.