I can’t claim to have seen any of the movies in the “Air Bud” series (Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud: Spikes Back, Snow Buddies and 50 others) but if they’re anywhere near as bad as this latest installment, I’m glad I can’t make that claim.
Here is a rundown of my viewing experience of Space Buddies. My children (target demographic) wanted to see it since they’re enthralled with dogs and space. We started to watch the movie. Within ten minutes, the boys started to get antsy. Soon thereafter they went off to watch SpongeBob, never to return. I wanted to join them — only my power to withstand incredible levels of pain kept me in my seat.
Needless to say, someone from Disney has some explaining to do.
Whereas in the previous films, the dog(s) appeared to be relegated to stupid pet tricks, in Space Buddies, they’ve taken a step forward and can now pilot space craft. That’s right, Buddha (voiced by Field Cate), Budderball (voiced by Josh Flitter), B-Dawg (voiced by Skyler Gisondo), Mudbud (voiced by Henry Hodges) and Rosebud (voiced by Liliana Mumy) are accomplished space travelers! They don’t exactly start the movie out that way but after stowing themselves away aboard a commercial space ship en route to the moon, they don’t have much choice but to use their superior intellect (and, oh yeah, some help from a ferret name Gravity (voiced by Amy Sedaris)) to get themselves back.
As in most films of this nature, there has to be some resolvable conflict too. Here there is an asinine subplot pitting meanie Dr. Finkel (Kevin Weisman) against lead scientist Pi (Bill Fagerbakke). In a power grab, Finkel brazenly attempts to sabotage the mission by incredulously steering the ship into a meteor shower. Pi does little more than look confused for the duration of the movie, like he himself, is a lost puppy.
But truly, what I found was the most annoying aspect of Space Buddies (the morphing of the dog’s mouths as they talked was a close second) was some of the stereotypical caricatures represented by the puppies (and to some extent their owners). B-Dawg talks like a white kid trying, with all his might, to be black. Budderball is a bit on the hefty side, so of course he wants to stuff his face with anything that resembles food. Wasn’t there a time when Disney stood for breaking these kinds of walls down? Where is Pixar when they need them?
I suppose it is my fault for forgetting the times in which we live — shame on me. It is all about profits and trying to get a piece of the pie, no matter how small of a piece it might be. Space Buddies is nothing more than an blatant exercise at filling the company’s coffers with undeserved revenue. Shame on Disney for this.