Santa Buddies

Movie review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Santa Buddies Movie Poster Image
Popular puppy series adds a cheery holiday message.
  • G
  • 2009
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value
Positive Messages

Thinking about others, being kind even when others aren't, and taking responsibility for your actions are the positive messages here. The puppies have a conversation together blaming Puppy Paws for their problems, but they quickly realize they're not being kind and change tactics. However, there's no acknowledgment of cultures that do not celebrate Christmas.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The puppy, dog, and elf characters are generally positive characters. One father and son welcome the dog catcher into their home for Christmas dinner because they realize he's alone.

Violence & Scariness

Some mild peril when Puppy Paws is caught by the dog catcher. It briefly seems like Christmas (and Santa) might be finished forever.

Sexy Stuff

"Doo-doo" is the extent of it.


This puppy series is highly marketed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this holiday movie is generally worry free. A puppy disobeys his father and ventures out on his own, where he gets into trouble and needs to be rescued. Several scenes occur in a dog pound where dogs are in cages and sometimes sad. The villainous dog catcher sneaks up on puppies and traps them, which provides a few moments of tension. At one point Santa Claus seems comatose, which might bother or confuse younger children.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byediee11 December 13, 2018

Terrible Quality and Offensive

* Terribly stereotyped characters
* "B Dawg" voiced by a white guy using terribly stereotypical phrases
* Racist jokes about India and Italy
* Awful C... Continue reading
Adult Written byAnna J. April 27, 2018

Should be zero stars and is a horrible movie for Christmas!

DO NOT LET ANYONE UNDER 12 WATCH THIS! I can not for the life of me figure out who thought this was a good idea?! It has tons of horrible messages about Christm... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJoetherat April 6, 2021

Santa buddies is inspiring

This movie is so inspiring it helped me get through depression. It was so great that before I die I will think of it and nothing else. The football dog was so r... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 25, 2019

Another stale late 2000s cash grab for disney

This is an awful film. The characters are stereotypes of personalities, gender, and religion. The CGI is crap and so is the plot. There are just way too many Ai... Continue reading

What's the story?

Up at the North Pole Santa Claus and his buddy Santa Paws notice that the Christmas spirit icicle is melting. They attribute this not to climate change but to a lack of Christmas spirit in the world, where people have forgotten about the "unselfish spreading of love and kindness" and instead think only of themselves and material things. At the same time, young Puppy Paws is itching to get away from the North Pole to become a normal puppy. He escapes to the real world where he meets up with the familiar Golden Retriever pups who he hopes will help him become a regular dog. These efforts go badly. Simultaneously the cold-hearted dog catcher gathers stray dogs and eventually gets Santa Paws. In the end, the true spirit of Christmas wins out.

Is it any good?

Few people will argue that this story is predictable, formulaic, and lacking in any nuance; but hey, it's got puppies. To determine if the Buddies franchise is "good" depends partly on one's opinion of talking animals in movies. Some might find this a disturbingly unnatural quality in a movie that does little to make the characters feel relatable. Others might find a collection of fluffy, cute puppies irresistible and the fact that they speak even more appealing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Christmas spirit. What is Christmas spirit and why are the characters in this movie so concerned about it going away?

  • If you celebrate Christmas, what do you consider to be the most important part of the holiday? What kinds of activities do you do that help you stay in the Christmas spirit? What would Christmas be like without presents?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the holidays and dogs

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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