A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this direct-to-DVD movie in the Air Bud series shows puppy siblings working together to support one another while they try to rescue their parents from a villain. Puppies, and eventually their child owners, are imperiled by bungling henchmen. A threatening-looking wolf turns out to be a helper to the lost pups.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In yet another sequel to the movie Air Bud, AIR BUDDIES follows the adventures of Buddy and Molly's five frisky offspring, who have inherited their doggy parents' ability to talk. Working together to outwit an evil villain who wants to kidnap their famous father, the puppies learn lessons about teamwork and their special ability to help the new owners who have been chosen for each of them. Puppy siblings Budderball (voiced by Josh Flitter), Rosebud (Abigail Breslin), Bud-dha (Dominic Scott Kay), B-Dawg (Skyler Gisondo), and MudBud (Spencer Fox) live with Buddy's owner Noah and his family. The puppies' shenanigans have their human parents thinking that they're ready to go to their new "forever" homes, but the puppies aren't so sure; they get wind of the plan and run away. When Molly and Buddy go in search of their pups, they cross paths with an animal kidnapper who's agreed to capture Buddy for a rich man with a spoiled, bratty son. It's puppies to the rescue, of course. As they follow the trail to Molly and Buddy, they must stay ahead of two bungling henchmen and get past a threatening-looking wolf (Michael Clark Duncan). Bravery and teamwork help the puppies save the day, and along the way the five realize that they are ready to go to their new families.
Is it any good?
The story is fairly predictable and the humor slapstick, so older kids will probably lose interest along the way. But younger dog lovers are sure to enjoy the puppy antics and the DVD's special features, which include a segment called "Train Your Dog to Be a Star" and in-depth Puppy Profiles for each of the five main characters.
For some reason, the animation technique used to bring talking dogs to the screen was breed-specific: Chatting golden retrievers seem completely believable, and the wolf was suitably threatening, but the talking Basset Hound, Deputy Sniff (Don Knotts), looked jerky and fake -- perhaps it was the jowls? Overall, human and canine performances alike are solid, though the villain's accent veers from German to Cockney to the Bronx and ends up somewhere in Holland.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the puppy siblings have strong personalities but come together as a team when there's a problem. How are you and your own siblings (or friends) alike, and how are you different?
Have you ever been on a sports team or worked on a class project with
someone very different from you, and if so, how did you get along?
- In theaters: December 12, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: December 12, 2006
- Cast: Cynthia Stevenson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Richard Karn
- Director: Robert Vince
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild rude humor.
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