"I believe Budderball's tummy always leads
Santa Buddies is a 2009 direct-to-DVD spin-off of the Air Bud film series. The fourth in the direct-to-DVD Disney franchise, following their adventures being born, leading a sled team and going to space, is directed by Robert Vince (Spymate) and written by Vince, along with Anna McRoberts (MXP: Most Xtreme Primate). The film follows the Buddies, food-loving Budderball (Josh Flitter), rapping B-Dawg (Skyler Gisondo), smart Buddha (Field Cate), messy Mudbud (Ty Panitz) and girl Rosebud (Liliana Mumy) as they try to help runway Puppy Paws (Zachary Gordon) and elves Eli (Danny Woodburn) and Eddy the Elf Dog (Richard Kind) get back to Santa Claus (George Wendt) and Santa Paws (Tom Bosley) in order to save Christmas magic, all while avoiding dog catcher Cruge (Christopher Lloyd).
|I got nothing.|
Ugh, when I was gearing up for this movie marathon, I had completely forgotten that these counted or were even made by Disney. And there's not just one, but three of these films. Yeah, I'll be honest, I really wanted to never actually see any of these movies. Sure, I knew about them and me and my friends would always joke about what the next ridiculous one would be (My money's on either Spy Buddies or Musical Buddies) and I always kinda knew I'd have to take a look at them eventually if I ever bring back Awfully Direct (Which I'd still like to). But, really, I never actually wanted to see one first hand. And there may have been a reason to that. Don't get me wrong. Santa Buddies is honestly better than I really expected it to be. Granted, I expected it to be a big pile of doggie droppings, so being better than that isn't a huge feat. Santa Buddies is one of those sad movies that is saved solely on the virtue that it's too bland to be good or bad. There isn't a single original or interesting thing in the movie. Even the god awful CGI or the awkward inserting of religious themes can't even scrape up some so-bad-it's-goodness. The Buddies are all the bland personality you'd expecting in a strictly for kids film. And while B-Dawg and Puppy Paws are the only ones that get the annoying card, the dogs are cute enough, I guess.
You Know, For Kids!
And... okay, stop looking at me like that. Yes, I get it. I even said it. These really are strictly for kids, so why should a teenager have any bearing on a children's Christmas film by Disney. But, you know what, kids deserve better than this. Like I said, it's not awful. But it's so bland and lifeless that it still doesn't really deserve to be seen. Sure, if my son/daughter asked to see this film, I wouldn't stop them, but I wouldn't spring it upon the either. And again, I was more into action and superheroes as a kids, but I think I would have hated this movie. I'm being nicer than kids me would have been. I at least can appreciate Christopher Lloyd, who is fun and steals the shows from the... um... doggie stars? And the rest of the production values aren't bad. And I can especially appreciate the fact that it is Christmas and is trying and succeeding to be a nice wholesome family movie. But, I think by the time a pwecious wittle puppy dog bursts into a shmaltzy song about hope on Christmas while in a pound, the little one will be begging to go do something else. And at that point, so will the parents too.
|What is that even?|
Santa Buddies might only be middle of the road fare for Disney, but even kids will know they deserve better than this. Sure, it has cute dogs, but it's also has a slow pace, a dull story, lifeless direction, an awful song and some terrible CGI. Most kids will be bored, most parents will be annoyed and I'm annoyed that I still have two more to watch. Ah well, at least there's no Christmas angel. Santa Buddies gets 3 stars out of 6.