Air Bud: World Pup Movie Poster Image

Air Bud: World Pup

Wholesome, endearing dog movie will delight grade schoolers.
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This movie is intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive messages

This movie shows through example the importance of teamwork, cooperation, and friendship.

Positive role models

Josh is a tween who learns the importance of being yourself, especially when on dates. Emma is a very talented soccer player but always plays for her team and not just for herself.

Violence & scariness

Some sports action. There is some dog-napping, but it isn't very scary and the puppies are safely returned

Sexy stuff

Themes of first love.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 5, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:December 12, 2000
Cast:Caitlin Wachs, Dale Midkiff, Kevin Zegers
Director:Bill Bannerman
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Air Bud: World Pup was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bymomof2b July 2, 2010

More romance than action.

I'm wondering if the the common sense review person actually watched the movie. The story is really a love story. A love story about 2 dogs and 2 teenagers. It is fine, but there is not as much soccer or action as we would have hoped. Much more love, love, love. It think the target of this movie is a girl for sure probably around 7-8, who is interested in romance. There is the "girl power" theme heavily at the end with professional world cup players. My 2 boys enjoyed it (ages 3 and 6) but it was different than we thought it would be. It is fine for younger kids like 3-5, but not really interesting for them. There is also a kidnapping scene of the puppies of the dogs. It isn't horribly scary, but it did raise alarm in the kids. It came from no where and for no reason. While there isn't a true "bad guy" that they are fighting through the movie, there are dog catchers at the end come and take the puppies for no apparent reason or build up (which makes it less scary). The situation is resolved, however, in a funny manner without violence
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old June 15, 2012
Kid, 12 years old June 22, 2010


What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Great messages