Spooky Buddies

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Spooky Buddies Movie Poster Image
Halloween puppy movie might be too scary for youngest kids.
  • G
  • 2011
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

The dogs and their human companions are all about fighting against bad deeds using teamwork. There are also some lessons about following your conscience and not listening to those who don't respect you.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The kids and dogs help each other out. But most adults, including a teacher, parents, and authority figures, are portrayed as foolish, gullible, and inept.

Violence & Scariness

The action and violence are exaggerated and intended as scary fun. Lots of creepy, dark, and spooky sequences, all accompanied by eerie music. A large, sinister dog with green eyes and a cackling warlock are the two villains who engage in all sorts of mischief: turning animals and people into stone, rats, toads, etc.; flashing lights and shattering glass; conjuring spells to overpower the town and townspeople; making things and people disappear. In addition, there's an eerie black cat, a swooping owl, a graveyard, a haunted house, a parade of zombies, and a ghost dog. Puppies and children are threatened, chased, captured, and fall under the villains' spell.

Sexy Stuff

A "powerful" dog fart plays an important part in the story.


Part of a popular Disney franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this entry in the Buddies series is intended as a humorous Halloween scare fest for kids. Though lighthearted and far-fetched overall, there are still many scenes that might be too frightening for the youngest audiences. this is a spooky story with lots of dark, ominous music and special effects, as well as two villains who are sinister evil-doers bent on power and mischief. The beloved "buddies" and their child companions are in exaggerated danger throughout. They're chased, threatened, captured, turned to stone, and, in some cases, they vanish. There are also pratfalls, visits to a graveyard, a haunted house, black cats, rats, zombies, flying villains, explosions, and fires. Some potty humor, too.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHouse With a Cl... November 2, 2018

So good!

My 6 year old nephew watched and it was the best movie! It has great messages. Curse all those who think this is a bad movie, it's not and will NEVER be.
Parent Written byEluned December 2, 2013

Not for us

To be fair, we didn't watch this film the whole way through - my 5-yr old daughter wanted to switch it off. It's darker and scarier than I expected f... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymariolevi September 30, 2019

What kind of lovecraftian demon is that?!?!? Still good tho

Movies amazing! Great for your kid. Just be warned that there is a lovecraftian demon that absorbs souls, thus turning individuals into lifeless statues.
Teen, 14 years old Written byTheElfDruid September 30, 2019

Misleading Reviews

I saw this movie when it first came out: 2011. Perhaps it was just me, but I adored the movie at that age, at 7, at 8, at 9, and so on, and I still adore it tod... Continue reading

What's the story?

Seventy-five years have passed since the legendary Warwick Warlock (Harland Williams) and his partner-in-crime, The Halloween Hound, were foiled in their quest for ultimate power over the town of Fernfield. Now on this Halloween night, when the moon is full and the town is chock-full of holiday costumes and shenanigans, the villains return from the past. They need Warwick's special magic wand, his book of spells, and the souls of five puppies to cast their magic spell and finally accomplish their evil plan. But young Billy (Skyler Gisondo), his friends, and their adorable puppy buddies -- along with a mysterious grave-digger (Rance Howard) -- are determined to foil the Warlock and the Hound once again.

Is it any good?

Scarier than the previous "Buddy" movies, this Halloween-themed story of mayhem and black magic may prove to be fun for die-hard fans of the puppies. (It should be noted that the cute pups have smaller roles than the human children in this installment.)


But overall, this mildly entertaining, nonsensical tale with cheesy effects and amateurish, over-the-top performances by almost everyone has little sincerity and even less charm and humor. What's more, the film's inclusion of supernatural Halloween lore (ghosts, haunted houses, monsters, fierce animals, spells, etc.) may be frightening for very young or sensitive kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the differences between make-believe violence and real violence. What are some of the ways you can tell what's real and what isn't? What effects do movies use to make things scary? What real things frighten you?

  • Talk about the choices the characters make. Have you ever had to choose between obeying someone and doing what you know is right?

  • Billy and his friends didn't get any help from their teacher or parents. Is this realistic? Who will listen to you and pay attention when you have a problem?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love Halloween

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