PAW Patrol: The Movie is out now on digital and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on November 2. The film stars Young Sheldon star Iain Armitage in the lead role as Chase.
“The PAW Patrol is on a roll! When their biggest rival, Humdinger, becomes Mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and everyone’s favorite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge head-on,” reads the official synopsis. “While one pup must face his past in Adventure City, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty. Together, armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the PAW Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City!”
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Paw Patrol: The Movie star Iain Armitage about voicing Chase, how he got into playing a dog, his love of theater, and more.
Tyler Treese: What was most exciting about playing the role of Chase?
Iain Armitage: That’s a great question. I think all of it. I just had so much fun doing this movie. It was also so cool because when you’re recording a voiceover thing like this, you could come to work in your pajamas and they wouldn’t care at all. Also this particular movie was really fun because since it is a movie about dogs, they had a whole thing at the end where they just had me sit there for like five or 10 minutes just barking. So I was just sitting there in like a tiny little recording booth going, “Woof. Woof! Woof?” And I sounded absolutely insane.
How was finding your inner dog for this film? Like you said, you’re woofing, barking, panting, making all kinds of dog noises. It has to be quite the experience.
It was crazy, yeah. It was fun and it was awesome and kinda weird at some points because I was just sitting there sounding absolutely insane. I joked with another reporter about starting eating my meals off the floor, because she asked me how I prepared for the role. And I said, “Well, I think preparing for character is very important. So for this one, I started eating off the floor and I switched to a diet of only dog food.” [laughs]
You’re truly a method actor.
Well, thank you. [laughs] This was just, just a fun, crazy, awesome movie to do.
There’s a lot of relatable moments in the film. Your character has that arc with anxiety and overcoming his fears. What are your thoughts on his journey?
It was just really fun to do. And I think it’s very important to talk about mental health, especially with young kids, because it’s a universal thing. Everyone has up days and down days. And I think it’s very important to talk about anxiety and fears because they’re perfectly normal.
How did you relate to the character and are you afraid of heights as well? How’d that go?
Actually, funny enough, I am not at all afraid of heights. I love doing slackline and a tightwire and I love flying. I love climbing. I love all that stuff. So I am definitely not afraid of heights.
You have a love for the wild side. That’s very cool. What was your favorite scene to record?
I think all of it. That’s a great one. I think the dog thing is pretty fun, panting and just woofing, but I think probably the scenes with the action sequences were really cool. They were especially awesome to watch because the animators did an amazing job with this.
There’s such an all-star cast here — Kim Kardashian-West, Dax Shepard, Tyler Perry, Jimmy Kimmel — it’s such a star lineup. Were you surprised when you saw just how many celebrities and big names were also involved?
I really was. And it’s funny because I didn’t actually get to meet any of them while doing this because I was at a tiny little recording studio in Virginia and a lot of them were in California or New York and it was over the pandemic. In general, they don’t have you record together even in non-pandemic times. But I think especially because it was a pandemic, they were very careful in separating us. The only person from the cast I got to meet was Marsai Martin, who is awesome. She plays Liberty and, I got to meet her at the opening.
So since this is Paw Patrol, do you have any dogs?
I actually used to have an awesome dog. He was a black lab named Coco and he lived to be 14, which is really old for a black lab, but I currently have hamsters who I love so much and they are awesome pets.
I used to have hamsters, too. What are your hamsters’ names?
I have two. I have one that’s named Romeo and one’s named Julian and they’re both boys and they’re adorable.
Awesome. Do you have a favorite breed of dog? Is there a certain breed that you’d like to get maybe in the future?
Good question. I love all of them. I love black labs because they’re so friendly, but they do shed a lot, which is one problem. I also love border collies because they’re really smart and poodles because they’re just adorable. I think it’s so funny to see a tiny little dog with like this huge hairdo.
The film’s been so positively received since it released. How rewarding is that as an actor?
I’m so happy that people enjoy it. And I always love making people happy with everything. I love making people laugh and I love making people happy. So I’m so glad that people enjoyed this film. I had so much fun working on it and it was almost even more fun to see, which is saying a lot.
You’ve done a lot more live-action work than voiceover. In general, was it difficult at first to just focus purely on your vocal performance and not really using your body as much?
Yeah, it was crazy. It was a very new experience and since then I actually have done some more voiceover stuff. A lot of it hasn’t come out yet, but I am very excited for people to be seeing Paw Patrol and it was such a fun movie to work on. But it was funny because my first thing, like way, way back when I was like five or six, I did this little song for like a Christmas amusement park. And I recorded it and it was like my first thing that I had ever done. I think that was actually my first thing. So oddly enough, it was sort of a return to the original.
Speaking of doing this voice-over work, you said you’ve done a bunch since then. Do you feel like that’s helped your live-action performances as well since you maybe have a bit more control over your voice?
I think so. Yeah. And I think it’s funny because I love doing like weird, funny, silly voices. So I think it’s fun to incorporate them into movies like that.
We’re probably not gonna see Sheldon Cooper barking though, right?
Yeah. [imitates dog]
So you mentioned singing and doing some songs. Broadway just reopened. You’re big in the theater. How excited are you that Broadway’s back?
I am so excited. I am, as a lot of people know, a really big Broadway fan and I am so happy to go back and see all my favorite shows. Hamilton just reopened and my dad’s in it again. It’s all opening up and I’m so happy we’re returning to normal. Although I must say we still do have to be careful and wear our masks in the theater, which I think is a very good idea and be vaccinated and all of that because COVID is still here a little bit longer, so we just gotta wait. But things are getting better now and I’m so glad.
You mentioned your dad being in Hamilton. How cool was that and how much do you love seeing him perform?
It was so cool. He is so awesome. And he’s such a good actor and it makes me so proud because he’ll be up there on stage singing and dancing and I’ll be like, “That’s my dad up there.” And people will be going to be like, “Shhh! I am trying to watch.” [laughs]
Young Sheldon’s coming back. You’ve been playing this role for a couple years now. How exciting is it that know this show isn’t just a gimmick and it has its own fan base? How rewarding is it to see it continuing on for so many seasons?
It is so awesome. And I’m so glad that people enjoy it. And like you said, it’s cool because I think at first it was a lot of Big Bang Theory fans who started watching it because it was sort of a continuation of Big Bang, but now I think we’re sort of getting our own Young Sheldon fan group, which I love. I’m so glad that people enjoy it. And I love being in things that make people smile.
Speaking of smiles, you played like young Shaggy in Scoob. How was it like voicing this character? You’re playing the characters that you probably grew up watching.
Like zoinks! It was awesome. It’s funny because when I was doing it, it was such a long time ago. Like it came out during early COVID and I had actually been doing it way before that. So animated stuff actually takes a way longer time than you’d think. Like with Paw Patrol, I think I started doing Paw Patrol like way before COVID and I had started researching it way before COVID. It’s funny because when you watch it on the screen, it looks so effortless and easy, but actually it can take years.
Speaking of Paw Patrol, the series was so successful before the film. Were you very familiar with the series before you got this role or did you kind of look it up afterward?
I am. You can’t be a kid without knowing at least a little bit about Paw Patrol. I didn’t watch a whole lot of TV when I was little, I did watch some Scooby-Doo like you were saying. And I think I must have watched Paw Patrol at some point. But I have since watched little clips of it and I must say it’s adorable and very funny. So I’m so glad to be part of this movie.
You’ve worked with so many great actors. What was the best advice you’ve received over your career so far?
It’s funny you should ask that because recently I’ve been doing a whole thing where I’ve been asking just a bunch of different people what they wish they had known at my age and for their best advice. And I have about 11 pages of advice that I love and is just fantastic. I’ve received so much awesome advice.
Showing up on time and knowing your lines is such a big thing. You really know that it’s a big thing because I think almost all actors, when you ask them their advice will say some form of that because it is big. Staying humble and staying grounded and always showing up early and knowing your lines is a very big deal.