Air Bud (series)

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Air Bud
Films and television
Film(s) Air Bud (1997)
Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)

The Air Bud film series (also known as Air Buddies or Disney Buddies) is an American film franchise based on a sports-playing Golden Retriever named Buddy, portrayed by Air Buddy.[1] The franchise began in 1997 with the theatrical release of Air Bud, followed by the theatrical release of Air Bud: Golden Receiver in 1998.[1][2] The rest of the films in the series were released in direct-to-video form. The Air Buddies or Disney Buddies spin-off series began in 2006 with the release of Air Buddies and it focuses on the adventures of Buddy's talking Golden Retriever puppies.[2]

Disney Buddies is one of the top direct to DVD franchises, just behind Disney Fairies at $300 million, with the first 12 films grossing $220 million by March 2014.[3] As of now, there are fourteen movies in the franchise, including five in the Air Bud series, seven in the Air Buddies series,[4] and two Christmas spin-offs of the Air Buddies series.


Kevin DiCicco's golden retriever Buddy was featured on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks”. He then approached in 1991 the independent production company Keystone Entertainment to produce, Air Bud, a film based on Buddy. He also formed his production company, Air Bud Productions, that year.[1] Disney's Miramax was brought on as the distribution company.[1][5] Buddy had his leg amputated. Keystone indicated that no sequel was planned. The film did well in the home video market.[1]

By April 1998, DiCicco and Robert Vince, the film's producer at Keystone, had a falling out. As Keystone and Vince had gone forward with a sequel, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, without DiCicco. Also, DiCicco claimed he was not paid anything for the first film and that he owns the Air Bud rights (based on the name of this production company name). DiCicco bred three offsprings of Buddy and training them like Buddy was for sports. The puppies were signed to an endorsement deal by DiCicco for Milk-Bone dog biscuits for the puppies. He then intends to make his own sequel, Air Bud: The Next Generation, to start producing in fall of 1999. The concept was “cross between ‘Ferris Bueller’ and ‘Home Alone'”.[1]

In December 2011, Disney and William Morris Agency were sued over its Santa Paws movies as being unauthorized copies of their Santa Paws movies. The plaintiffs Ray Harter, Richard Kearney and Ed Corno, claimed they are based on their 1991 copyrighted script entitled, Santa Paws: The Story of Santa's Dog.[6]


The film and distribution rights to are currently owned and operated by the Air Bud Entertainment production studio. The movies residing under the Air Bud banner and that are a part of the franchise as a whole are listed hereafter, grouped into their respective film series, and numbered by their order of release.

Air Bud series[edit]

  1. Air Bud (1997) – Josh meets an abused Golden Retriever and finds out that he can play basketball.[7]
  2. Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998) – Josh's Golden Retriever learns to play American football.[8]
  3. Air Bud: World Pup (2000) – Josh discovers that Buddy's ballplaying skills apply to soccer.[9]
  4. Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (2002) – Buddy makes the baseball team and becomes a star player.[10]
  5. Air Bud: Spikes Back (2003) – Buddy tackles volleyball.[11]


Air Buddies series[edit]

The Air Buddies films are considered spin-offs of the original series, focusing on Buddy's puppies, and were all direct-to-video releases.

  1. Air Buddies (2006) – Buddy and Molly's offspring work together to help each other while attempting to rescue their parents.
  2. Snow Buddies (2008) – The offspring of Buddy and Molly go on an Alaskan adventure.[12]
  3. Space Buddies (2009) – The Buddies tag along for a field trip to the space museum and accidentally walk aboard a rocket ship.[13]
  4. Santa Buddies (2009) – The Buddies team with Santa Paws to end the melting of a magical icicle threatening Christmas Eve.[6]
  5. Spooky Buddies (2011) – The Buddies are in a new adventure when Halloween hits Fernfield.
  6. Treasure Buddies (2012) – The Buddies find themselves on an Indiana Jones style adventure.[14][15]
  7. Super Buddies (2013) – After acquiring rings that grant them superpowers, the Buddies must use them to stop a villain.

Santa Paws films[edit]

The Santa Paws are prequels to Santa Buddies.

  1. The Search for Santa Paws (2010) – When Santa is in trouble, Paws has to save Christmas with the help of some friends.[16]
  2. Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (2012) – When the Christmas spirit begins to disappear, Mrs. Claus and the Santa Pups must race to save Christmas around the world.

Other films[edit]

MVP series[edit]

  1. MVP: Most Valuable Primate (2000) was created by Air Bud Entertainment and follows the story of Jack, a sign-language-speaking chimp. Jack makes it big with his talent for ice skating, when he becomes the local hockey team’s secret weapon. Lab officials continue their attempts to return him to his confined state.[17]
  2. MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate (2001) was created by Air Bud Entertainment and follows Jack's continued adventures. The titular character's hockey skills translate directly into tearing up the half-pipe and completing all kinds of skateboard tricks. With his new buddy Ben by his side Jack takes off on a cross-country skateboard competition tour.[17]
  3. MXP: Most Xtreme Primate (2003) was created by Air Bud Entertainment and follows Jack's introduction to extreme snow sports. Jack returns, this time shredding the snowy slopes in this sport adventure. Jack meets Pete, a snowboarder, and his rocker brother Jay where they must outwit two crooks and win the snowboarding championship.[17]
  4. Spymate (2006) was owned by Air Bud Entertainment, and though it is considered by the studio to be a part of the MVP films, it has no relation to the previous installments. Instead, the film follows Minkey, a super-spy primate, and his partner Mike who have a reputation for being the two best spies in the business. The pair team up one last time to save Amelia, and the rest of the world, from the clutches of the evil Dr. Farley.[17]

Standalone films[edit]

  1. The Duke (1999) was created by Air Bud Entertainment, and released direct-to-video by Disney's Buena Vista Home Video. The plot follows the events following the death of a kindhearted duke of the manor, who leaves his estate to his Black and Tan Coonhound, Hubert, with Charlotte the Butler's niece as his guardian. However, two greedy relatives have it in for the dog, as they scheme to take over the manor.[18]
  2. Chestnut: Hero of Central Park (2004) was created by Air Bud Entertainment, and follows two young former orphans who do their best to keep their furry, four-legged friend - a loveable Great Dane named Chestnut — a secret from their adoptive parents and save him from a grim fate at the city pound, where he would certainly be euthanized.[18]
  3. Russell Madness (2015) was created by Air Bud Entertainment, and follows the story of Russell, an undersized but big-hearted terrier who dreams of having a family of his own. After running away from his pet store, Russell gets taken in by The Ferraros, a family desperate to revive their grandfather's pro wrestling arena. That's when they discover their new pet pooch has incredible wrestling skills. With help from his coach, Hunk, a savvy and hilarious monkey, Russell rockets to the top of the pro wrestling world and becomes a famous sports superstar. But when a dishonest promoter double-crosses the Ferraros, Russell will face his biggest challenge and discover that the strongest tag team is family.[19]
  4. Monkey Up (2016) was created by Air Bud Entertainment for charity towards the Starlight Children's Foundation and stars Crystal the monkey, famous for appearing in The Hangover Trilogy and the Night at the Museum trilogy "movies as well. The film follows Monty, a talking Capuchin Monkey. He's the face of the energy drink, 'Monkey Up,' but he dreams of becoming the first award-winning monkey movie star. When the greedy owner of Monkey Up has other plans for Monty, the chase is on![20][21]

Pup Star series[edit]

  1. Pup Star (2016) was created by Air Bud Entertainment, and enters a world where dogs can not only talk - they can sing! Tiny, a cute little Yorkie pup with a big voice, gets a chance to audition for the singing competition for dogs, Pup Star.[22]
  2. Pup Star: Better 2gether (2017) was created by Air Bud Entertainment, and continues the adventures of Tiny. After winning the canine competition show Pup Star and becoming an international pup sensation, the adorable Yorkie has her world turned upside down when an evil rival gets her out of the competition with a street pup named Scrappy.[22]
  3. Pup Star: World Tour (2018) was created by Air Bud Entertainment, and takes audiences around the world, and continues the adventures of Tiny. As Pup Star, the singing competition, goes global the singing Yorkie gets ready for far-away places from Africa to India and beyond. Along the way, Tiny and her fellow judges find a rich tapestry of fantastic new songs and meet exciting new canine singers from all over the world and ultimately helps them discover that music really is the universal language that brings us all together.[22]

Cast and characters[edit]

Characters Air Bud Film Series Buddies Film Series Santa Paws Film Series
Air Bud Air Bud:
Golden Receiver
Air Bud:
World Pup
Air Bud:
Seventh Inning Fetch
Air Bud:
Spikes Back
Air Buddies Snow Buddies Space Buddies Santa Buddies Spooky Buddies Treasure Buddies Super Buddies The Search for Santa Paws Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
Buddy Air Buddy Various Golden Retriever dog actors Tom Everett Scott (voice)  
Molly   Various Golden Retriever dog actors   Molly Shannon (voice)  
B-Dawg   Skyler Gisondo (voice) Cooper Roth (voice)  
Buddha   Dominic Scott Kay (voice) Jimmy Bennett (voice) Field Cate (voice) Charles Henry Wyson (voice) Tenzing Trainor (voice)  
Budderball   Josh Flitter (voice) Nico Ghisi (voice) Tucker Albrizzi (voice) Jeremy Shinder (voice)  
Mudbud   Spencer Fox (voice) Henry Hodges (voice) Ty Panitz (voice)  
Rosebud   Abigail Breslin (voice) Liliana Mumy (voice) G. Hannelius (voice)  
Josh Framm Kevin Zegers  
Jackie Framm (Sullivan) Wendy Makkena Cynthia Stevenson Chilton Crane Cynthia Stevenson  
Andrea Framm   Alyson MacLaren Caitlin Wachs Katija Pevec  
Dr. Patrick Sullivan   Gregory Harrison Dale Midkiff Richard Karn Alf Humphreys Richard Karn  
Norm Snively Michael Jeter  
Sheriff Bob   Patrick Cranshaw  
Sniffer   Don Knotts (voice)   Tim Conway (voice)  
Shasta   Dylan Sprouse  
Billy   Wallace Shawn  
Belinda   Debra Jo Rupp  
The Wolf   Michael Clarke Duncan  
  • Note: A dark gray cell indicates the character does not appear in the film.


Credited as Air Bud series Spin-offs
Air Buddies series Santa Paws series
Air Bud
Air Bud:
Golden Receiver

Air Bud:
World Pup

Air Bud:
Seventh Inning Fetch

Air Bud
Spikes Back

Air Buddies
Snow Buddies
Space Buddies
Santa Buddies:
Here Comes Santa Paws

Spooky Buddies
Treasure Buddies
Super Buddies
The Search for
Santa Paws

Santa Paws 2:
The Santa Pups

Director Charles Martin Smith Richard Martin Bill Bannerman Robert Vince Mike Southon Robert Vince
Producer(s) Robert Vince,
Michael Strange,
William Vince
Robert Vince Ian Fodie Anna McRoberts,
Robert Vince
Screenwriter(s) Paul Tamasy,
Aaron Mendelsohn
Mike Whiting,
Robert Vince,
Anne Vince
Sara Sutton,
Stephanie Isherwood,
Anne Vince,
Anna McRoberts
Anne Vince,
Anna McRoberts
Anna McRoberts,
Robert Vince,
Phil Hanley
Robert Vince,
Anna McRoberts
Robert Vince,
Anna McRoberts,
Philip Fracassi
Story by Robert Vince
Composer(s) Brahm Wenger Brahm Wenger,
Gregory Prechel
Brahm Wenger
Cinematographer Mike Southon Cyrus Block Steve Adelson Mike Southon Kamal Derkaoui Mike Southon Kamal Derkaoui Mark Irwin Kamal Derkaoui Mark Irwin
Editor(s) Alison Vince Bruce Lange,
Melinda Seabrook
Kelly Herron,
Laura Mazur
Kelly Herron,
Jason Pielak
Kelly Herron Jason Pielak Kelly Herron
Production companies Walt Disney Pictures,
Keystone Entertainment
Walt Disney Pictures,
Dimension Films,
Keystone Entertainment
Dimension Films,
Keystone Entertainment
Fetch Boy Films Ltd.,
Keystone Entertainment,
Keystone Pictures,
Keystone Entertainment,
Keystone Pictures,
Ruff Productions Inc.
Keystone Family Pictures,
KeyPix Productions
Keystone Entertainment,
KeyPix Productions
KeyPix Productions
Distribution Buena Vista Pictures Distribution Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Released August 1, 1997 (1997-08-01) August 14, 1998 (1998-08-14) December 12, 2000 (2000-12-12) June 18, 2002 (2002-06-18) June 24, 2003 (2003-06-24) December 12, 2006 (2006-12-12) February 5, 2008 (2008-02-05) February 3, 2009 (2009-02-03) November 2, 2009 (2009-11-02) September 20, 2011 (2011-09-20) January 31, 2012 (2012-01-31) August 27, 2013 (2013-08-27) November 23, 2010 (2010-11-23) November 20, 2012 (2012-11-20)
Running time 100 minutes 90 minutes 83 minutes 93 minutes 87 minutes 80 minutes 87 minutes 84 minutes 88 minutes 91 minutes 81 minutes 96 minutes 88 minutes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wolk, Josh (April 3, 1998). "Air Bud". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Finley, Adam (February 24, 2006). "Air Bud is Coming Back". AOL Moviefone. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ McClintock, Pamela (April 3, 2014). "How Tinker Bell Became Disney's Stealthy $300 Million Franchise". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 18, 2017. 
  4. ^ Strowbridge, C.S. (August 26, 2013). "DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 27th, 2013 - The Numbers". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved December 18, 2017. 
  5. ^ Goodridge, Mike (February 20, 2002). "Miramax gets in family way with Keystone". Screen Daily. Retrieved December 18, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Gardner, Eriq (December 23, 2011). "Lawsuit Claims Disney Ripped Off Films About Santa Claus' Dog". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 19, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Air Bud (1997)". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved May 11, 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Air Bud: Golden Receiver". Fandango. Fandango. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Air Bud: World Pup Plot Summary and Details". AOL Moviefone. AOL Moviefone. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch". New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ Tyner, Adam (24 June 2003). "Air Bud Spikes Back". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ Kho, Nancy (December 20, 2010). "Snow Buddies". Common Sense Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ Orange, B. Alan (February 6, 2009). "Space Buddies DVD". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  14. ^ "TREASURE BUDDIES Straight to DVD Feature". Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  15. ^ Katz, Josh (November 4, 2011). "Treasure Buddies Blu-ray". Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ Herman, Joly (November 23, 2010). "The Search for Santa Paws". Common Sense Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Movies - Air Bud Entertainment". 
  18. ^ a b "Movies - Air Bud Entertainment". 
  19. ^ "Russell Madness". May 10, 2015 – via 
  20. ^ "Homepage - Air Bud Entertainment". Air Bud Entertainment. 
  21. ^ Entertainment, Air Bud. "All-New Family Film From The Creators of AIR BUD & AIR BUDDIES". 
  22. ^ a b c "Movies - Air Bud Entertainment". 

External links[edit]