I’ve watched lots of crap, but this movie might take first prize. In this Treasure Buddies parent review, I review the comedically bad racism inherent in this “family friendly” movie.
What's in this review
What is Treasure Buddies?
Now easy to find on Disney+, Treasure Buddies is the 2012 addition to the worn out franchise that should have stopped with Air Bud back in the 1990s. Treasure Buddies follows the next adventure of the Air Buddies or Buddies who now travel from Fernfield with another random relative of one of their owners to Egypt to investigate an ancient artifact.
Unknown to the humans, the evil cat working with Richard Gilmore (a.k.a. the late Edward Herrmann) revealed her evil plot to the Buddies who end up teaming up with some stereotyped Egyptians to stop her evil plans to have cats rule or something stupid crap like that.
Will there be any more Buddies movies?
Sadly even though it should have stopped a long time ago, Treasure Buddies was not even the last of the Air Buddies movies. After its release came Super Buddies (read the review here) in 2013. Apparently, they are planning another project called Jungle Buddies for a 2025 release date, which I look forward to tearing apart when it happens.
Other earlier entries included:
- Air Buddies (2006)
- Snow Buddies (2008)
- Space Buddies (2009)
- Santa Buddies (2009)
- Spooky Buddies (2011)
Who are the Air Buddies?
The Buddies, also known as the Air Buddies, are a group of 5 golden retriever puppies that all live in a small town called Fernfield (“Where anything is possible” according to their town’s slogan, which apparently includes having a group of pups that stay puppies for about 7 years and talk to each other and other animals).
They are the children of Air Bud, a golden retriever who played a bunch of sports and stuff in his own movie franchise in the later 90s.
The Buddies each belong to a 10ish year old child (who also do not age but do change appearances between some films from one generic child to another generic child in a definition of “white-washed” movie).
Each child corresponds to the stereotyped personalities of each of the Buddies. Here’s how they break down (pulled from Super Buddies: Parent Review):
- 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 doesn’t really do much for “girl power.” She’s supposed to be intelligent, suave, and superior to everyone. She really just comes across as smug and basic bitch.
- Budda – Every freaking word out of the dog’s mouth is some quip about Zen, clearing the mind, or some other stereotypical wise guru nonsense.
- B-Dawg – B-Dawg is the whitest interpretation of hip-hop, R & B, and gangsta style that I have ever seen. It is comically terrible. It doesn’t help that a white guy who is not Eminem voices him.
- Mud Bud – Mud Bud is the stereotypical California surfer or stoner who likes to get muddy. I’m pretty sure you can get a contact high just watching any of the Air Buddy movies and listening to this puppy talk. Oddly, he is the least offensive of the Buddies.
- Budderball – Until I saw Budderball, I didn’t think it was actually possible to fat shame a dog, but here we are. Budderball is supposed to be a jock of some sort, at least they almost always have the black lines under his eyes, like stereotypical depictions of football players often have. But in most of the Air Buddy movies, they use him to make fart jokes or take jabs at his eating habits or weight because, you know, eating disorders and obesity are funny.
What parents need to know
Reputable parent review sites, like Common Sense Media, will warn you about things like:
- intrigue – OK I’m going to stop that right there. What? Are your kids turned off by “intrigue” or will that cause them to stay up half the night? Well, you are oddly in luck with this then because the intrigue level – the horror – is enough to justify not watching this crap. You’re welcome.
- mild peril and occasional danger – Mind you, this might “scare” your kindergarten child who you’ve managed to wrap in bubble wrap up until now. The only Air Buddies movie that was remotely scary was Spooky Buddies, which featured a large glowing eyed Halloween Hound that actually did scare my daughter for a while when she first saw it.
- “a villainous cat (and her owner) wreak havoc…for their own selfish gain” – I’m sorry… what? Careful with this one, your kid may get exposed to an obvious villain trying to achieve an obvious villainous goal. If they can’t handle that level of villainy, then its time to go back to watching Pete from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
- “few evil felines and even a couple of men fall and are buried or injured” – OH THE PERIL! I mean, I guess I can’t really comment here. We’ve exposed all our children to different MCU movies since a very young age that feature worse than that and they only go to therapy for it once a week or so.
But don’t worry, the Buddies prevail at the end. This makes all the villainy of a cat and deaths of felines or bad guys worth it in the end.
What you should really concern yourself with regarding Treasure Buddies include:
- The risks of exposing yourself or family to this trash
- How many brain cells may die as you watch the movie
- Why did Edward Herrmann feel he needed to do this movie?
- Should your children see painfully stereotypical depictions of Middle Eastern people or listen to a white kid speak in “hip-hop”?
Treasure Buddies Parent Review
Treasure Buddies: Parent Review
Movie title: Treasure Buddies
Movie description: The Air Buddies travel to Egypt to stop the nefarious plot of an evil cat and its owner.
Date published: September 22, 2023
Country: United States of America
Duration: 1 hour 33 minutes
Director(s): Robert Vince
Actor(s): Tucker Albrizzi - Budderball (voice), Adam Alexi-Malle - Amir, Tim Conway - Deputy Sniffer (voice), Mason Cook - Pete, Arthur Corber - Auctioneer, Nikki Emamialagha - Egyptian Dancer, Einaz Farahmand - Egyptian Dancer, Mo Gallini - Tarik, Aidan Gemme - Babu (voice), Skyler Gisondo - B-Dawg (voice), Genevieve Hannelius - Rosebud (voice) (as G. Hannelius), Ellie Harvie - Jean, Elaine Hendrix - Ubasti (voice), Edward Herrmann - Philip Wellington, Ranya Jaber - Farah, Kaitlyn Maher - Cammy (voice), Christopher Maleki - Seti, Mina E. Mina - Food Merchant (as Mina Erian Mina), Lochlyn Munro - Henry, Tara Nazemi - Bedouin / Egyptian Dancer, Maulik Pancholy - Babi (voice), Ty Panitz - Mudbud (voice), Anna Primiani - Cleopatra, Richard Riehle - Professor Thomas Howard, Tygh Runyan - Young Thomas, Negar Saberi - Bedouin / Egyptian Dancer, Armaghan Sahebjam - Bedouin / Egyptian Dancer, Azita Sahebjam - Bedouin / Egyptian Dancer / Merchant, Bonnie Somerville - Mala (voice), Ryan Stiles - Slither (voice), Charles Henry Wyson - Buddha (voice)
Genre: Family, Adventure, Fantasy
User Review( vote)
Treasure Buddies starts racistly enough. Babu, a fez wearing monkey, tells Babu’s nephew, Babi, about Babu’s adventures with the Air Buddies. Babu constantly refers to Babu as Babu, speaking as a white American viewer may picture a Middle Eastern person may speak, confirming negative stereotypes of the culture.
It does not improve any from there. I mention in every “review” I do of the Air Buddies just how messed up B-Dawg is. The whitest of white dogs, voiced by a preppy looking white kid, speaking in a white interpretation of how an R&B or rap artist speak. On top of which, he’s a poser, yo, frontin’ about being brave but really being a coward with subtle hints that those who are “tough” hip hop artists are really just a bunch of cowards at heart.
Needless to say, he’s nauseating to watch and I’ve watched some pretty sick crap.
It doesn’t help that each of his brothers and token sister each represent a stereotypical persona ranging from girl-power Valley girl to Buddhist monk.
Maybe I could take the whole thing as parody if there was any other substance to the movie whatsoever. You can anticipate your mind will numb as you watch the dogs standing around in a semi-circle for most of the movie and only moving when an off camera trainer clearly signals them to come.
In the meantime, you can enjoy watching the poorly done CGI lip movements as they utter their terrible nonsense any chance they get. I’m not really sure it qualifies as dialogue and question if the writers’ kids actually wrote the movie.
The end result is an adventure of lackluster proportions where anyone over the age of 5 or so will roll their eyes at.
In other words, even if you can look past the inherent racist, bigoted under and overtones of the movie, piss poor dialogue, and bad CGI, you won’t find any relief in the plot itself. The Air Buddies travel to Egypt because another random relative never seen before or since in the series is a former archeologist. A bad guy and his cat propel the plot into motion and you soon learn of the evil plot of the cat and such.
I’d fill it out with more details but there really isn’t much to tell. The story sucks. It will drain your life energy. And you will likely beg for mercy if you are forced to sit through this dribble with your kids.
I’m sure whoever wrote and directed this crap has a soul somewhere.
Richard Gilmore makes an appearance if you are a Gilmore Girls fan.
Features racist and bigoted imagery and dialogue.
Considering Disney warns viewers about smoking and bad depictions in older works like Dumbo, I really wonder why this trash gets a pass.
The plot is tired and uninspired, even for a kids movie.