Snow Buddies

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Snow Buddies
Snow buddies poster.jpg
Sales poster
Directed by Robert Vince
Produced by Robert Vince
Anna McRoberts
Written by Robert Vince
Anna McRoberts
Based on Characters
by Paul Tamasy
Aaron Mendelsohn
Kevin DiCicco
Robert Vince
Anna McRoberts
Starring Jimmy Bennett
Mike Dopud
John Kapelos
Charles C. Stevenson
Kris Kristofferson
Music by Brahm Wenger
Cinematography Kamal Derkaoui
Edited by Kelly Herron
Production
company
Keystone Entertainment
Key Pix Productions
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Home Entertainment
Release date
  • February 5, 2008 (2008-02-05)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Snow Buddies is a 2008 direct to video film in the Air Bud series. It was released on DVD on February 5, 2008. The film was shot on location in Canada at Mount Seymour, North Vancouver, and the town of Ladner, British Columbia.

Plot[edit]

Air Bud's five Golden Retriever puppies known as the Buddies from Washington are having fun with their new owners before they go to school. The puppies meet up in the park and decide to play hide and seek. Budderball sees an ice cream truck and decides to go in, forcing the others to try and rescue him. However, the Buddies become trapped in a truck heading to Ferntiuktuk, Alaska. Upon arrival, the Buddies meet Shasta, a Siberian Husky puppy whose 11-year-old owner is determined to win the Alaskan sled dog race because of what happened to his father. The puppies decide to help Shasta pursue his dreams as well as get to the air port, located at the finish line. Unfortunately, as Shasta has no parents, this puts the puppies in a predicament as there is nobody to teach them how to become snow dogs. Shasta manages to persuade a legendary dog named Talon, who had taught Shasta's father, into teaching the puppies into becoming his new protégés.

When Shasta introduces his owner, Adam, to his new sleigh team, the child is delighted at the prospect of his dreams coming true and the team pursue vigorous training routines. Adam begins building a new sleigh with his team of hard-working puppies. Talon proudly watches as the team's efforts come to fruition and it seems as though they are cooperating as a team. The older town huskies, however, are not impressed and begin to plan their downfall. They reveal to the Buddies that Shasta's parents were killed in a dog sled race last year when the ice beneath them shattered to dishearten them. They perished on that fateful day.

Talon calls the puppies to the mountain lake one night to view the Northern Lights before he goes of telling Shasta that he knows all he needs to know and that he can become the great leader that his father was. The following morning, the puppies enter the race with Adam. But everyone else laughs at the thought of a boy and puppies entering a race. The sheriff goes over the rules and see's Adam wrote his own name in the entry list. After being reminded how treacherous the race is by the sheriff, the puppies begin their trek while Jean George, last year's champion, cheats by sabotaging the other racer's sled or pushing them of their sled. Soon only young Adam and Jean George are left but news of a terrible blizzard arrives and it's to late to call of the race as the racers have already gotten past the midway checkpoint.

Meanwhile, the puppies' parents, Buddy and Molly follow the puppies to Alaska, after being tipped by Mrs. Mittens, where the Saint Bernard dog Bernie informs them of their participation in the race. Sheriff Ryan gets a message sent by Fernfield's Deputy Dan asking for any information on the Buddies. The Sheriff phones Deputy Dan to inform him that the Buddies are in Alaska. A dangerous blizzard forces Adam and the team take shelter in an igloo provided by an Inuit until the storm subsides. They come head to head with their opponent, Jean George, and Adam gets injured.

Adam then recovers while Jean George's dogs get into trouble when the ice beneath them shatters. Jean George continues and abandons his dogs while Adam and the puppies begin a rescue operation despite Shasta's fears of his parent's death. The puppies pull the dogs out of the icy waters and Jean George continues the race without any gratitude and abandons their rescuers. Jean George's dogs realise they owe nothing to their owner and everything to Shasta and the Buddies, and so, slow down and "go on strike" causing Jean George to lose the race.

Adam is victorious and the Buddies reunite with Buddy and Molly. Jean George gives out to his dogs and they respond in kind by chasing him around the Arctic. The Buddies sadly say goodbye to their new best friend, Shasta, as well as Adam. All seven Buddies return home via air plane and are greeted by their owners, Sam, Bartleby, Billy, Alice, Pete, Henry and Noah who were waiting for them. Budderball and his owner Bartleby are watching the news the next day and Bartleby is surprised when he watches the part about the Buddies, Adam and Shasta winning the race. Buddy and Molly discuss their pups accomplishments, while wondering if there'll ever outgrow exploring. The film ends with Shasta and Adam racing in Alaska with a new pack of huskies and Talon reminding the audience "to always have faith".

Cast[edit]

Controversy[edit]

Disney imported 20 under-aged golden retriever puppies from New York State, into Vancouver, Canada for the filming of the movie. A second group of 8 puppies, of eight weeks of age were brought to set one week later from Washington State. Many of the puppies contracted the highly contagious parvovirus, against which puppies are usually vaccinated at 8 weeks of age. At least 15 puppies showed signs of the illness, including parasitic infections of giardia and coccidia, and all were removed from the set. Three were euthanized for intussusception before the parvo outbreak, one for suspected parvo (but not confirmed by necropsy) and one puppy who was returned to the breeder without being used reportedly died of parvo. The American Humane Association enforced the removal of the first two sets of puppies, and after a four-week delay, during which time all puppies were quarantined until they were healthy, Disney hired 8 older puppies to continue filming. These puppies were joined by puppies from the second group who did not get ill from parvovirus and filming was completed. In total, at least five puppies died during the making of the film.[1]

Home media[edit]

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray in January 2012. The disc comes with bonus features which include a narration by the director on the visual effects and an audio commentary by the Buddies and Shasta. Other features include a music video, bloopers and behind the scenes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ AmericanHumane. "Snow Buddies". 

External links[edit]