Santa Buddies Movie Poster Image

Santa Buddies

Popular puppy series adds a cheery holiday message.
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
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

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
Not applicable
Language

"Doo-doo" is the extent of it.

Consumerism

This puppy series is highly marketed.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:November 24, 2009
DVD/Streaming release date:November 24, 2009
Cast:Christopher Lloyd, Danny Woodburn, George Wendt
Director:Robert Vince
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Holidays
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Santa Buddies was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Ratings

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate.

Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byjohnjt January 17, 2010

Just not worth it.

I'm not a fan of any of these dog "Buddies" movies. Using stereotypical personalities for each of the dogs is the ultimate in laziness and one dimensionality of character. You'd think Disney could find writers with more imagination and depth than that. In this particular movie they plant the seed of "Santa's not real, it's just Dad in a red suit" in the first scene with the puppies. COME ON! Do they really need to inject that into a movie that is undoubtedly going to be watched mostly by kids 6 and under? It's hard enough helping kids keep hold of their magical imaginations with all of the media they are exposed to already; a Disney G movie should not be making it more difficult. Are the kids going to be scarred for life? No. But I don't like the characters nor the story. Finally, the story and dog personality seems to have jumped around too much for my kids (3 and 6) to appreciate what was really going on. I think the only attraction for the kids is talking dogs no matter what is going on. If you see this on the shelf, keep walking, playa.
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written bymomma18 December 4, 2009

want to keep Santa? Beware

Not so very good. Other Buddy movies much better. So called "positive messages" include praying to Santa (offensive to most christian families.) Lots of talk about "true meaning of Christmas" but not sure what that was unless redeeming yourself by doing good things is considered the meaning of christmas. Psuedo-religious nature was offensive to those who actually practice religion. Also the very stark portrayal of fack Santa's and elves disturbing for younger kids and parents who are working to preserve the Santa Legend. Overall a dud. Sorry I wasted my money, more sorry i showed it too my kids.
Parent of a 3 and 3 year old Written byjt7ou November 21, 2010