In a world where Cats and Dogs live in separate places, and choose not to interact with other species, moviegoers will find Paws of Fury. Dogs aren’t allowed on the island where Cats have created their civilization in some weird xenophobic setting. This isn’t Zootopia where animals live harmoniously – instead, it’s a weird feudalistic time period that had pops of modern technology and conveniences tossed in.
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is the story of a dog, Hank (Michael Cera) who instead of being put to death by the ruler of the area (Ricky Gervais), is named as the samurai for a village of cats who hate dogs. That’s not the biggest hurdle he has either, Hank also doesn’t know anything about being a samurai, let alone a hero.
Begrudgingly taken under the wing of a former Samurai (Samuel L. Jackson), Hank has to go through training. The movie has of course the required training montage showing how Hank just can’t learn to be a cat samurai. And hits home (possibly a little too hard) that maybe he should focus on being himself instead of what everyone else wants him to be. He’s not a cat after all.
The movie does try to get a little meta and is very self-aware. It mentions its run time several times (85 minutes) and the fourth wall is broken repeatedly. But as much as this is done for laughs, it will be lost on younger viewers and becomes a bit wearing as time goes on. The movie ends up being predictable and a bit of a mess – in between cat gags and moments that will make you chuckle.
Is Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank the worst animated movie out there? Absolutely not, it’s got some charming qualities and kids are going to love it. But its lack of focus, direction, and maybe even consistency is going to drive a lot of viewers nuts. Kids, however, are going to absolutely love this nonsensical movie full of potty humor and cute cats.
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is in theaters everywhere today.
Kids Review of Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
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About Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
A hard-on-his-luck hound Hank (Michael Cera) finds himself in a town full of cats who need a hero to defend them from a ruthless villain’s (Ricky Gervais) evil plot to wipe their village off the map. With help from a reluctant teacher (Samuel L. Jackson) to train him, our underdog must assume the role of town samurai and team up with the villagers to save the day. The only problem…cats hate dogs! Also starring Mel Brooks, George Takei, Aasif Mandvi, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh, Kylie Kuioka, and Cathy Shim.
Directed by Rob Minkoff and Mark Koetsier.