What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the latest installment in the Buddies franchise is intended as a puppies-meet-Indiana Jones adventure in Egypt. Though the treasure/archeological hunt is mostly fun, there's a fair amount of intrigue, mild peril, and occasional danger that might momentarily scare kindergarten-aged kids. A villainous cat (and her owner) wreak havoc during an expedition for their own selfish gain. A few evil felines and even a couple of men fall and are buried or injured during the adventure. But in the end, the protagonist puppies and their owners prevail, and all is well.
What's the story?
In the newest addition to the Buddies franchise, the pups are the grand-puppies of a famous archeologist's devoted dog, Digger. When retired archeologist Thomas Howard (Richard Riehle) and his grandson, Pete (Mason Cook), are asked to help a rich patron (Edward Hermann) travel to Egypt to find the legendary necklace of "Cleocatra," Cleopatra's once beloved but then banished cat, the Buddies -- Rosebud (voiced by G Hannelius), B-Dawg (Skyler Gisondo), Budderball (Tucker Albrizzi), Buddha (Charles Henry Wyson), and Mudbud (Ty Panitz) -- stow away on the trip. They discover that the Howards are being misled, so they join forces with a camel and a monkey to save the day before an evil cat dons the necklace to reclaim feline domination as "man's best friend."
Is it any good?
This installment in the intrepid puppies series is less frightening than Spooky Buddies and provides an interesting storyline that takes kids on a virtual adventure to Egypt. Although there's some expected potty humor (dog emissions continue to be the apex of comedy in these movies), canine shenanigans, and an obnoxious level of text speak (OMG!) and slang ("bling," "dude," "dawg"), it's got decent actors (Hermann and Riehle are fine character actors) and a fun voice cast.
The doggies-meet-Egyptian lore tale is more inventive than some of the other movies and offers an ancient dogs vs. cats basis for the story. Kids shouldn't consider the Cleopatra story to be historically accurate, but the Egyptians really did revere cats as sacred being. That could lead to a welcome fascination with ancient cultures or at least an interest in visiting a museum or two. Overall, TREASURE BUDDIES is a decent DVD pick for a lazy afternoon for kids old enough to handle live-action but still young enough to appreciate talking puppies.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why filmmakers take liberties with historical characters and events in order to make a story fit their needs. How is Egypt usually portrayed in movies? How accurate is that portrayal? What do you know about Egypt today?
How do the Buddies and Pete and his grandfather work together to defeat the story's villains? Who helps them along the way? What cultural lessons do they learn about Egypt?
Why are the Buddies movies so popular? Do you think the puppies should continue to go on various adventure, or should the series end? Are the talking animals funny when they use slang and catchphrases?