Super Buddies: Parent Review

Super Buddies | G | 1 hour 21 minutes | Family | August 27, 2013 (straight to DVD)

The Air Buddies are at it again in this mischievous laden take on a super hero movie. When the events of a comic book turn out to be real, the Air Buddies discover that being super isn’t all about their new found powers.

Super Buddies – Who are the Air Buddies?

The Air Buddies are pretty much terrible stereotypes brought to life. It is actually somewhat amazing, given the backlash at several older Disney films from 40 plus years ago, a movie franchise that started in the early 2000’s would contain these god awful dogs and their companion people.

Perhaps it is because they flew under the radar. After all, all the Air Buddies movies were released straight to DVD. Super Buddies is (thankfully) the last installment of the franchise, coming after Spooky Buddies, Santa Buddies, Space Buddies, Treasure Buddies, Snow Buddies, Air Buddies, and five other Air Bud movies (the Buddies’ dad).

In no particular order, these are the Air Buddies:

  • Budda – If you look up Asian cultural stereo type, you might find Budda Bud’s picture. Every word out of the dog’s mouth is some quip about zen, clearing the mind, or some other stereotypical wise Asian guru nonsense.
  • Rose Bud – Rose Bud attempts to evoke “girl power” literally by saying “girl power this” and “girl power that.” It’s not exactly subtle. And nor does it do anything to inspire my young daughter who listens to Rose Bud talk in text short hand “T – T – Y – L” is an actual quote from Rose Bud in this movie. Because, you know, “girl power” is totally about fashion, social trends, and being, you know, like shallow.
  • Mud Bud – Mud Bud is the stereotypical California surfer, who, if we are being honest, likely smokes a lot of weed. I mean a lot. I’m pretty sure you can get a contact high just watching any of the Air Buddy movies and listening to the dog talk. That or lose a brain cell or two.
  • Budderball – Is it wrong to fat shame a dog? This is literally the fat Bud. Budderball is supposed to be a jock of some sort, at least they always have the black lines under his eyes like stereotypical depictions of football players often have. But in most of the Buddy movies, they use him to make fart jokes and jabs at his eating habits because, you know, eating disorders and morbid obesity are funny.
  • B-Dawg – As always, when I write about the Air Buddies, I saved the best for last. B-Dawg is the whitest interpretation of hip-hop, R & B, and gangsta style that I have ever seen. It is comically terrible. Of course, this could be because a white guy, who is decidedly not Eminem, voices him. But I must say, B-Dawg had my favorite line in Super Buddies when he said something to the effect of “Practice is for posers” I believe with some random “yo’s” thrown into it. I’m pretty sure I actually laughed at this non-sense, which might have been the writer’s intent?

Super Buddies: What parents need to know

Super Buddies may actually qualify for the “So Bad It’s Actually Good” category of films. If you don’t take it too seriously, are intoxicated, or have a terribly sarcastic mind like mine, you might also enjoy sitting through Super Buddies with your child.

But there are somethings you may want to be aware of. These can include:

  • The Buddies are pretty much terrible stereotypes (see above)
  • “Girl power” is spoken but not seen – sort of an odd reversal of “seen but not heard.” You’ll hear Rose Bud say “girl power” in every other line she has, but she doesn’t actually do much to show “girl” or any other type of actual power. Instead, she presents as a girl interested in stereotypical things such as fashion, socializing, and being trendy.
  • If you like Hamm from the Toy Story franchise, you are in luck. The actor who voices Hamm along with several other Disney movie characters, John Ratzenberger, plays the grandfather to Budderball’s owner.
  • Zendaya voices one of the ponies in Super Buddies. She is proof that the Air Buddies franchise is not solely a place where actors and actresses are put out to pasture before being put down. She has gone on to do far better things, such as staring in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home.

Super Buddies Awards

Believe it or not, Super Buddies actually won an award, well, sort of. According to IMDb, one of the young actors, Darien Provost, won the “Young Artist Award” for his work in Super Buddies.

Darien plays the role of Sam, who is the owner of B-Dawg.

Yeah, I thought it was a joke too. But apparently it is a real award. And yes, Mr. Provost actually won it. I literally have no idea how he won it.

I had to look him up and the role he played to even remember seeing him in the movie. Let’s be honest, the kids could be replaced by any number of the elf extras from The Santa Clause franchise and no one would know the difference.

Maybe it was a slow straight to DVD movie year? Or maybe it is similar to a participation trophy?

Anyway, way to go Darien Provost. You did it. You’re pretty fly, for a white guy…

Sam and B-Dawg in Super Buddies
Darrien Provost as Sam from Super Buddies posing with B-Dawg

Where can you watch Super Buddies?

If you are super lucky, you can still use your DVD copy of Super Buddies from when it was first released to DVD. That is, if you still have a working DVD player. Or you could also purchase a DVD copy through Amazon if you really want to. I don’t necessarily recommend that, but you could. Here is the link for added convenience.

If not, your luck won’t be much better. You can watch Super Buddies on Disney Plus. If you don’t have Disney Plus, you can sign up on their website here. You can also learn all kinds of stuff about the Buddies if you visit Disney’s site. This includes short clips and trailers that are sure to confirm your decision that you made the right decision years ago not to purchase Super Buddies.

Super Buddies was on Netflix for a while, but with the introduction of Disney+, you can no longer watch it there.

How many Buddies movies are there?

There are fourteen (14) Buddies movies in the entire franchise. There are almost as many movies in the Buddies movies as their are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Let that sink in.

In case you care, the titles include:

  • Air Bud (1997)
  • Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)
  • Air Bud: World Pup (2000)
  • Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (2002) (I’m not making this crap up)
  • Air Bud: Spikes Back (2003) (Ironic Star Wars reference considering Disney now owns the franchise)
  • Air Buddies (2006) (first of the Buddies movies… I can’t believe I know all this crap.)
  • Snow Buddies (2008) (so it begins… a long list of non-sports related buddies movies)
  • Space Buddies (2009)
  • Santa Buddies (2009)
  • Spooky Buddies (2011)
  • Treasure Buddies (2012)
  • Super Buddies (2013)

What you do with this information is up to you. You could have a puppies marathon, curl up on the couch and just sit back and enjoy the nonsense of it all. Sounds like a fun day ahead.

Super Buddies: Parent Review
Captain Megasis - the alien with a freakishly large head and ears

Movie title: Super Buddies

Movie description: The Air Buddies are at it again in this mischievous laden take on a super hero movie. When the events of a comic book turn out to be real, he Super Buddies discover that being super isn't all about their new found powers.

Date published: 2013-08-27

Country: United States of America

Duration: 1 hour 21 minutes

Director(s): Robert Vince

Actor(s): Trey Loney - Bartleby Livingstone, John Ratzenberger - Marvin 'Gramps' Livingstone, Michael Teigen - Sheriff Dan, Sam Adler - Billy, Jonathan Morgan Heit - Pete, Darien Provost - Sam, Harley Graham - Alice, Jeremy Shinder - Budderball (voice), Cooper Roth - B-Dawg (voice), Genevieve Hannelius - Rosebud (voice) (as G. Hannelius), Ty Panitz - Mudbud (voice), Maulik Pancholy - Curly (voice), Chris Coppola - Mr. Bull (voice), Amy Sedaris - Betty (voice), Tenzing Norgay Trainor - Buddha (voice) (as Tenzing Trainor), Debra Jo Rupp - Cow (voice), Alyson Stoner - Strawberry (voice), Zendaya - Lollipop (voice), Brian T. Finney - Dog (voice), Colin Hanks - Megasis / Captain Canine (voice), Jake Brennan - Young Jack, Kimberley Sustad - Joanne (as Kimberly Sustad), Jason Earles - Jack Schaeffer, Atticus Shaffer - Monk-E (voice), John Michael Higgins - Drex (voice), Ellie Harvie - Mrs. Wilson, Stuart Malinowski - Hot Dog Vendor, Tyler Vince - Skateboard Thug, Tatiana Gudegast - Cat (voice), Ken Lawson - Simple Tom, Denise Jones - Harrietta, Jay Brazeau - Mr. Swanson, Veronica Diaz Carranza - Sofia Ramirez (as Veronica Diaz-Carranza), Toby Hargrave - Jimmy, Tim Conway - Deputy Sniffer (voice), Sean Mathieson - Todd, Ava Telek - Tessa, Mark Brandon - Tom Martin, Fiona Gubelmann - Princess Jorala (voice)

Genre: Family, Adventure,

Overall
1.3
  • Plot
    (1)
  • Characters
    (0.5)
  • Watchability
    (2.5)

Dad's Take

First of all, you can’t start watching Super Buddies with high expectations like you might have when viewing Frozen II for the first time. Super Buddies is not that kind of movie. 

Instead, picture a good movie. You have one in mind? Now, take away from that movie all semblance of a cohesive plot and engaging character development and mix in superhero cliches and a dash of stereotypes. That is Super Buddies.

The basic gist is this: Some time ago (20ish years ago maybe, the movie doesn’t explain), some alien with a freakishly large head and prominent ears escaped from the clutches of a lime green alien with a freakishly large head and no ears. In the process of escaping, the freakishly large headed alien lost the rings of Inspiron, which, of course, the other lime green alien wanted because they give unspecified power for the alien to rule the galaxy or some nonsense. 

When the alien with the freakishly large head and ears crashes on earth, he takes the form of a dog as a disguise and goes to live with a boy while he “searches” for the rings of Inspiron. But from what I can tell, all they really do while “searching” is write down the tales of the alien with the freakishly large head, which they get published as comic books and gain fame.

Flash forward 20ish years, and who do you think finds the rings of Inspiron? That’s right, the Air Buddies come across the rings in gramp’s barn. And once they find the rings, they each get a different super power that matches their highly stereotyped personality.

Then the alien with the freakishly large head and ears, still disguised as a dog, finds them because they have some ring tracker thing that only works if they are activated. The dog alien then teaches the Buddies about their powers and how to control them.

In the meantime, the green meanie finds out the rings have landed on planet Earth. Along with the cleverly named monkey, Monk-E (he’s a monkey, that’s what makes it clever), the green alien finds gramp’s farm. When he does, he eventually body snatches the ridiculously inept Sheriff’s body and somehow transfer’s his being into a pig.

The buddies train with the dog alien for a little bit, each taking time to sort of learn their power before they face off against the green alien disguised as the sheriff. Despite their lame best attempts to beat the green alien, they eventually realize that the way to beat him is to trick him into taking the plastic versions of the rings given away in cereal boxes that the Buddies’ one owner has collected.

When they trick the green alien, he flies away. And wouldn’t you know it? He crashes right into an asteroid that he had set in motion to hit their town. What bad luck for the green alien.

Along the way, there are some truly cringe worthy moments. In some scenes, I swear the actor or actress had given up on life. A couple of scenes come to mind:

  • In the beginning, the owner of Budderball exclaims he found the last Ring of Inspiron in his cereal. And his gramps responds with an overly enthusiastic “way to go!” He should have said, “Way to go! You’re mediocre and did NOTHING special to accomplish this feat, but hey, good on you!”
  • Five seconds later, the same kid starts to draw a picture because, for some reason, he wants to be a comic book writer in this movie. I swear this one was a rich kid in Santa Buddies with a big house, servant, and a cook. But hey, it makes sense he is visiting his farmer grandfather and now trying to write a comic book. Anyway, regardless of all that, he randomly stops and exclaims, “I’m just not good enough.” Again, Gramps said something supportive about being extraordinary with hard work or some nonsense. What he should have said is, “You’re damn right kid. The drawings are terrible. You have no artistic skills and you write like you should write for Movie Time Dad or some other lame online website. Just give up.”
  • When Monk-E tells the evil green alien he got a signal from the rings, he dismisses the monkey lamenting that he can’t be around others because he is still so upset about losing the rings of Inspiron. So… you have just floated around in space doing nothing for like 20 years? And was this the first time anyone on your ship came to talk to you? Where the hell is your army you had in the beginning? Lots of plot holes here.
  • B-Dawg literally tells the Buddies that practice is for posers. I don’t think I need to further comment on the stupidity of this line.

The entirety of the movie makes me wonder why would anyone pay someone to write this garbage? I mean, I write garbage all the time, and no one pays me. 

But these writers actually got PAID to write this mess of a cliched superhero story. Complete with lines from the comic book writer guy like “do you think I can make this all up?” Well someone did. And yeah, it sucks.

It’s almost like the whole thing was conceived because of the burgeoning success of the MCU. Disney probably wanted to capitalize on its success with Marvel in the straight to DVD, “family-friendly” superhero genre. And gave us Super Buddies.

Seriously, if you want your child to watch a child friendly superhero movie, try The Incredibles or really any of the MCU movies. My daughter’s seen pretty much all of them, including End Game, and there is nothing wrong with her. You know, after 6 or 7 weeks after she saw End Game, she came around, started talking again. But she got over it. Kids are resilient that way.

But if you don’t want to risk a month and a half of your 5 year old rocking silently in the corner because they saw some MCU movies, The Incredibles are a safe bet for your special snowflake. But if you want a good laugh for all the wrong reasons, Super Buddies is a pretty safe bet. And I imagine your kids will probably enjoy it too.

Pros

It’s the last Buddies movie until Disney decides that it would be a stellar idea to reboot the Buddies franchise with equally terrible dogs and owners

It’s funny even when it doesn’t mean to be

 

Cons

Stereotyped characters

Cliche ridden superhero movie

Terrible plot

Bad acting, except for Darien Provost, who won his acting participation trophy for his depiction of B-Dawg’s owner

 

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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