disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. I was invited to a screening of Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Imagine this: It’s Saturday morning and I am sitting in a kid-filled movie theater with my teenager about ready to watch the new animated Paramount movie, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, starring Ricky Gervais, Samuel L. Jackson and Mel Brooks. In a weird cross between Kung Fu Panda and Blazing Saddles, what could go wrong, right?

About the movie

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. Also starring Mel Brooks, George Takei, Aasif Mandvi, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh, Cathy Shim and Kylie Kuioka.

What I thought

PAWS OF FURY THE LEGEND OF HANKI have always been a Mel Brooks fan, but as we all know, Mel Brooks is not known for family-friendly(Spaceballs, History of the World, Blazing Saddles). Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank honestly surprised me. While this is another cute animals save the town type movie, the strong casting and Mel Brooks references totally won me over. At times, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank felt like it was a kid-sized version of Blazing Saddles, especially one particular scene. But, there are other pop culture references hidden in this movie.

While Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is just another animated animal movie, this one is worth sitting though for the messages. Hank shows determination, faith, friendship and teamwork really do make the dream work. The message is simple and done in a humble manor. Hank has a moment where he lets his “fame” go to his head, but he is brought back to reality quickly and works to repair the damage done. Hank shows that it is ok to admit when you are wrong and seek ways to repair the damage done.

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank runs about 90 minutes, which is perfect for little ones. But should you take your whole family to see this movie?

Is this family-friendly?

I know what you are thinking – an animated movie starring Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks and Samuel L. Jackson, with screenplay credits for Mel Brooks AND Richard Pryor – what could possibly be family friendly about that???

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank did have my eyebrows raised in a few parts, but also had us laughing quite a bit. It was honestly funny, but more along the lines of a Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes type of story. Even the teenager laughed and enjoyed it.

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is rated PG for some language, rude and suggestive humor, action, and violence. Let’s break those down:

  • Some Language: I feel the language used is in line with the slapstick humor of this movie. Nothing blatant or worthy of ‘covering ears.’ There is one particular line “mother father cocker spaniel” – I’ll let you guess which character uses that line.
  • Rude and Suggestive Humor: There is a lot of this throughout the film, mostly potty type humor. There is suggested use of alcoholism, in the form of catnip.
  • Action & Violence: This is a samurai movie, so plenty of killings and fighting. There is also talk of killing, death and destruction.

If you watch the above trailer, you will see examples of these items.


In all seriousness, if your children have seen Kung-Fu Panda, they will be fine seeing this movie. As an adult, if you are a Mel Brooks fan, go grab some popcorn and catch a matinee of Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank. Just seeing an animated Mel Brooks with his little mustache is worth it.

paws of fury mel booksPaws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is in theaters today, July 15th.




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