Air Bud: World Pup
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this direct-to-video production is predictable but wholesome and entertaining family fare that's ideal for younger kids. There is some dog-napping, but it isn't very scary and the puppies are safely returned. There's lots of sports action for grade school-age kids, and older kids will relate to the themes of first love and forming new school friendships. There's a scene in which an older man has chronic flatulence while he's being interviewed to be hired as a butler.
What's the story?
In AIR BUD: WORLD PUP, Buddy and his owner Josh (Kevin Zegers) join the school soccer team, which includes a pretty, new student from England named Emma. While Kevin falls for Emma and while Buddy finds love with Emma's dog, Polly, the soccer team gradually continues to improve, despite an opposing coach's attempt to get Buddy banned from the league. After Polly has a litter of puppies, a pair of nefarious dog-nappers steals the pups on the day of the championship soccer game. Kevin, Emma, and Buddy track down the thieves and return to the game in the nick of time for Buddy to score the winning goal.
Is it any good?
Air Bud: World Pup has a big heart and positive values involving sharing, cooperation, and friendship, but it never gets preachy or sappy. There also are lots of adorable dogs, the soccer scenes are well-filmed, and young children will marvel at Buddy's athletic prowess.
For older kids, the movie touches on such issues as first love and dealing with a parent's remarriage. The movie also is refreshingly non-sexist, typified by Emma's superior soccer skills and an epilogue featuring appearances by U.S. women's soccer team notables Brandi Chastain, Brianna Scurry, and Trisha Venturini.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how Kevin deals with his first crush. What would you do in his situation?
If you've seen other Air Bud movies, how is this one similar to and different from the ones you've seen?
How is the issue of a new stepfather in the family addressed? What does the stepfather do to get closer to Josh?