‘Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’ Is a Refreshing Tale of Friendship, Acceptance and Love

I have a confession to make. 

I’m a cat person. There, I said it. There’s no turning back now.

Don’t get me wrong; I love dogs. I love how loyal they are, the energy they bring, and the joy to add to their owners’ lives.

However, cats are just … superior. And if they could talk to humans, they would definitely say the same.

This is why, I loved the new animated movie, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank.

I’ve grown up on children’s movies centred around animals. There’s been Stuart Little, Cats & Dogs and 101 Dalmations, to name a few.

While I love each and every single one, I do think there’s an unfair bias surrounding cats in Hollywood.

They’re always shown as evil and conniving instead of smart and tactical. However, the misconceptions surrounding our feline friends are nowhere to be seen in Paws of Fury, with cats now getting the representation they so rightfully deserve.

The film’s protagonist is a dog named Hank (voiced by Michael Cera) who has dreams of becoming a Samurai — a role that is typically carried out by cats. 

But after crossing paths with a scheming cat lord, Isa Chu (Ricky Gervais), clumsy Hank finds himself as the next Samurai of an all-cat town. 

With the help of Jimbo (Samuel L Jackson), who is a retired and disgraced Samurai, the K9 manages to learn and teach many life lessons.

“The film captures what it means to be a loner, a little insecure, a little trepidatious about doing things. But then, the title says Hank goes on to become a legend, so it’s a tantalising tease on what the story is about,” George Takei who voices Olga in the film told The Latch.

“When the movie’s title character is a lone dog in a world of cats — and we know how cats and dogs get along — yet the ultimate goal is to understand that dogs too can learn from cats and become a contributor, and I love that idea.”

Drawing inspiration from the world’s current climate, it almost felt as if Paws of Fury was highlighting the division between immigrants and non-immigrants.

Hank, as you could expect, didn’t receive a very warm welcome from the town full of cats, and despite the film being geared towards children, it made me think.

Speaking to Takei, who is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek franchise, the role of Olga didn’t immediately jump out at him.

It’s a surprising confession, as the goofy cat was one of my favourite characters from the movie, but for Takei, it took some time for him to warm up to the part.

“I had some trepidations at the beginning because they showed me a drawing of Ohga, and he was supposed to be a top-notch Samurai,” said Takei.

“And I saw a picture of an obese, fat cat who is supposed to be a good Samurai. And I said, ‘no, this cat can’t be a Samurai because Samurai’s have to be physically fit, and knows swordsmanship. 

“And they said, ‘well, he has muscles. Big muscles, but they’re hidden behind that fat. So, I was generous enough to accept that, because that’s a part of the story.”

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is a brilliant story, and one people of all ages will enjoy. So, head down to your local HOYTS Cinema during these school holidays, and give it a watch. 

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank will be released in HOYTS Cinemas on September 22, and HOYTS Cinemas in Victoria and Queensland on September 15.