A young boy and a talented stray dog with an amazing basketball playing ability become instant friends. Rebounding from his father's accidental death, 12-year-old Josh Framm moves with his ...
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A young boy and a talented stray dog with an amazing basketball playing ability become instant friends. Rebounding from his father's accidental death, 12-year-old Josh Framm moves with his family to the small town of Fernfield, Washington. The new kid in town, Josh has no friends and is too shy to try out for the school basketball team. Instead he prefers to practice alone on an abandoned court, he befriends a runaway golden retriever named Buddy. Josh is amazed when he realizes that Buddy loves basketball...that is playing basketball...and he is GOOD! Josh eventually makes the school team and Buddy is named the Team Mascot. Josh and Buddy become the stars of halftime. Buddy's half-time talent draws media attention. Unfortunately, when Buddy's mean former owner, Norm Snively, comes along with a scheme to cash in on the pup's celebrity, it looks like they are going to be separated. Written by
O Holy Night
Music by Adolphe Adam (uncredited)
Lyricist: English lyrics by John Sullivan Dwight (uncredited)
Performed by St. John's Episcopal Choir
Donald Pearson, Conductor
Courtesy of Delos International
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I wasn't expecting Air Bud to be all that good, after the disappointment of the other kiddie film, Soccer Dog, but I found this film weirdly impressive, to be quite honest.
Josh (Kevin Zegers) is an introverted 12-year-old whose test pilot dad has been killed, necessitating a family move to the leafy Washington suburb of Fernfield. Here, he meets Buddy, a stray retriever, who can score baskets with his nose and is adopted into the family home. Buddy's ball skills soon cheer Josh up and ingratiate him with his peers, and they both make the Timberwolves school team. Conflict arrives in the form of Buddy's previous cruel owner Snively (Michael Jeter), a children's entertainer of the Fred West school.
The direction is sloppy, the actors overact and the result is cheese on a stick, but Air Bud still manages to entertain adults and children throughout the perfectly short running time. The story of a basketball-playing dog is magnificent, and Buddy is an irresistible golden retriever, he makes the film as watchable as it ever will be.
You'll cry, you'll laugh and you'll be weirdly uplifted, but don't expect to be absolutely spellbound with Air Bud. But I do still recommend it, that's for sure.
I rate Air Bud 7 out of 10.
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