Released by: Ruthless Studios
Released on: December 13th, 2016.
Director: Evan Tramel
Cast: William Mcnamara, Bobby Catalano, Jason Pascoe, Kj Schrock, April Rose
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There’s a long, drawn out prologue that starts of Star Paws by over explaining everything and somehow not explaining anything. There is an ongoing battle being waged between cats and dogs. For reasons not known to us, this battle is taking place in outer space. The cats are the bad guys, they line up behind their commander, Captain Adventure Cat, brandishing rifles looking kind of like Stormtroopers. We see this same clip repeated over and over again in the movie. Captain Adventure Cat is an oddly heroic name for a villain, but a villain Captain Adventure Cat most certainly is, and the character comes complete with a sinister and oft repeated evil snicker of a laugh. In his opening soliloquy, Adventure Cat talks to his minions about how they must steal from the dogs a magic bone. Why? Because this bone is so delicious that it makes all the dogs super happy – but it will also allow the cats to take over the galaxy. It’s never explained how this will work and five minutes into this movie you have to just sort of stop asking questions.
Thankfully for the dogs there’s the noble General Ruff (William McNamara) and his squeaky voiced assistant. Some of the dogs are Shih Tzus, some of them are not. They’re all pretty cute. Ruff really wants to keep the magic bone because he’s a dog and dogs really like bones. When Adventure Cat steals it, Ruff and his assistant build a time machine out of cardboard and tinfoil and then they talk to some dinosaurs. It just sort of snowballs from there.
Adventure Cat and his crew are rendered in weird CGI. Ruff and the other dogs are played by real life dogs. Whenever a character speaks, it’s a total crapshoot as to whether or not that character’s mouth will move. Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not, but when their mouths do move, the lip movements never come close to matching what’s being said, even in the case of the animated characters. It almost looks like they were meant to be speaking another language and were dubbed into English (there are a lot of Swedes in the credits so maybe this actually is the case? Who knows!).
Ruthless Studios, the company that has unleashed this movie complete with the ‘Dove’ family friendly stamp of approval on the front cover art, is no stranger to weird animated animals films. They previously released Stoner Cats In Space but seem to specialize mostly in straight to video low budget action and horror movies. If you compare the two movies it sure seems, based on that trailer at least, that the animation style is the same and maybe they share some footage. Weird.
The dogs launch a rocket that is shaped like a bone but sort of looks like a misshapen penis. The CGI dinosaurs look like they came out of a Playstation 2 game. The honest to God living and breathing dogs used in this movie just look confused. Even when they’re just sitting in the desert they look very confused. I’m very confused just thinking about this. The voice acting is over the top but the characters move very slowly. It’s disorienting.
I can’t decide if I want to throw this DVD into a bottomless pit or watch it again…
Star Paws actually looks great on DVD, framed at 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen. The digital animation is super colorful and detail is pretty solid here. Black levels are nice and the image is pristine, just as it should be given that it never went anywhere near actual film. There are no compression artifacts or irritating transfer flaws here – no qualms to note about the look of the movie.
Audio chores are handled by an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track and it too is of decent quality. Captain Adventure Cat’s annoying and overdone laugh is crystal clear and the levels are properly balanced throughout. There are no problems with hiss or distortion to note. The movie sounds just fine.
There are no extras on this disc outside of menus and chapter selection options.
The Final Word:
Star Paws is absolutely absurd and completely nonsensical. It’s simultaneously hard to watch and somehow strangely compelling. It makes no sense, it doesn’t even seem to try in that department, but it’s just so insanely stupid that you kind of feel sorry for it.