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 15 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 13 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
Language

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

Consumerism

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.

User Reviews

Parent Written bytwinangel December 28, 2011

I wish I had watched this before letting my daughter watch with me.

This is a very dark edition of AirBuddies. We watched this at my daughter's elementary school. I was glad to be there to reassure my daughter yet I had t... Continue reading
Adult Written bypjpjm February 6, 2012

Worst buddy movie to date.

We had watched all of the buddy movies and really enjoyed them, until this one. Unfortunately, I trusted that it would be enjoyable like the others and it was... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old November 26, 2013

Worst Than I Thought

Very disappointing.I thought it would be as good as any Buddies movie.But I guess I was wrong.The villain was very dumb.I think it should have been PG for bad w... Continue reading
Kid, 5 years old October 29, 2011

Disappointed Mom and Son

My 5 year old son didn't like this movie (he's almost 6) because it was "scary." He didn't like the mean, red-eyed dog, and was really... 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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