Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Keith Chapman Shares Early 'PAW Patrol' Concept Art

PAW Patrol is celebrating its 10th anniversary on-air this year. The CG-animated preschool series became an instant hit, with millions of fans across the world tuning into the adventures of the pack of heroic rescue pups, who are led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder, as they save the citizens of Adventure Bay, and Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Everest and Tracker becoming firm-favorites with fans.

While the pups have become instantly recognizable, there was a time when the PAW Patrol looked quite different! To celebrate the recent launch of Rubble & Crew, the first spin-off from the long-running show, Keith Chapman, the renowned creator of a raft of hit children's series, including PAW Patrol, shared early concept art for the cast of PAW Patrol, when the project was named Robbie’s Rescue Dogs!

Original concept drawing from Keith Chapman for ‘Robbie’s Rescue Dogs’ which evolved into PAW Patrol. Courtesy of Keith Chapman

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the visual style of PAW Patrol, Chapman said: "I remember when we kicked off with this, I did a few little doodles really to sell the idea to Spin Master. We went down that route. There was a studio that put together the original trailer — animation test — which we showed and pitch to Nick Jr. It was when you got the toys out on the table, but that was a different look, more rounded heads and slightly different look. I think the lucky break for us when we managed to get the green light from Nickelodeon. [Jen Dodge, Spin Master’s executive vp entertainment] and Tim went out and found, right on their doorstep, Guru Studios, who just did the most amazing designs. It was almost like a bit of a throwback to old Disney artists, the way they captured the pups and the personalities in this brilliant style. They look so adorable with the proportions of the eyes and the bodies. It worked — including the vehicle designs. The coloring was beautiful. A lot of CG shows actually don’t look that good because the coloring is not that good or the styling is not that good. But Guru just got it together. It was perfect.

Dodge added: "We looked at a lot of different design styles, and we could have gone quite cartoony, but what we felt was important was that the dogs looked like real dogs. That they looked like their breed and that they had a realism to them because wanting a puppy is such a universal thing for children. They couldn’t be so cartoony that you couldn’t feel like that’s the pup that you have at home or that’s down the street. It had to fit into the human world in a really realistic way. Another thing was that because they were puppies, they couldn’t look like adult dogs. So the paws are a little bit bigger, Marshall’s clumsy because of it. They move like dogs. Rubble’s gait as a bulldog is very different than Chase’s gait as a German shepherd, or Skye’s as a cockapoo. When we looked at them all in black and white silhouette, they all had to have unique silhouettes that were distinguishable from one another, but also identifiable to their breed."

PAW Patrol fans can stream full episodes of PAW Patrol, PAW Patrol: The Movie and PAW Patrol Live! At Home featuring "Race to the Rescue" on Paramount+. Try it FREE today at

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