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Air Bud (1997)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  1 August 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 12,205 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 35 critic

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 ... See full summary »


(character "Air Bud"), , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicola Cavendish ...
Norman Browning ...
Chris Turner ...
Christine Kennedy ...
Marion Dodd ...
Reporter (as Marian Dodd)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The dog is in the house. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Family | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

1 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Disney's Air Bud  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,878,632 (USA) (1 August 1997)


$24,629,916 (USA) (12 December 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Finished filming in less than a month. See more »


Before the final game, Josh is sitting on the bench in the locker room, and the coach is addressing the team. A towel is on Josh's lap, then around his neck, then on his lap in alternating shots of the same scene. See more »


[first lines]
Norm Snively: [after seeing a tear in his shirt] Oh, darn it!
[dresses Buddy; of a newspaper]
Norm Snively: Okay, mutt, show time! Okay, come here. Hold it. Hold it. Do not make me use this, Okay?
[rings doorbell; it opens]
Norm Snively: Hi, Clown and the Hound!
Norm Snively: Ow!
Norm Snively: Okay, kids, it's "Happy Slappy Time!" All right now, we'll start off with a little plate-spinnin', okay?
See more »


Followed by Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (2002) See more »


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
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Who can, loving animals, not melt over Buddy?
6 January 2013 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

The first of the 'Air Bud' series is as much wonderful as it is horribly underrated, truly a 90's classic. It has a dignified place in the list of the greatest animal movies as well. In many ways it is a depressing movie but it's also heart-warming, touching, feel-good and tons of fun. There's more to it to like, though. Cinematography is really beautiful and pure. The soundtrack is just perfect for this film. The boy and his devoted four-legged friend make a marvelous team and have a perfect chemistry.

Even though the film's title obviously refers to the dog, his name is actually Buddy - that is, once he ends up in the hands of Josh Framm. Even as the movie starts, the little we see is enough to realize how horribly the clown treats his dog (constantly yelling at him, threatening him and hitting him hard with the newspaper). It is heartbreaking to see that. Fortunately, this horrible man accidentally loses him and he finds Josh Framm (a, I assume, 12-year-old who is loving and caring but very shy and silent and currently under depressive mood). They quickly become best friends, as Josh gives him the treatment he deserves. Buddy is a very special dog alone, but he has a special secret that makes him even more special: he can play basketball (even more amazing, better than humans can!).

Even though the clown is a horrible person, he doesn't have that much of a role. He is not someone I sympathize with and he certainly isn't funny, although it is hilarious when his truck falls apart and he can't stop it and accidentally drives it into a river.

Larry Willingham's father is a jerk. Even though Larry unfairly picks on Josh, at least he isn't too bratty and is funny at times. But Larry's father, that guy is such a jerk, although not overly annoying. Coach Joe isn't especially sympathetic because he is very impatient and temperamental, but he goes too far when he throws basketballs at Josh's peculiar friend Tom with aggressiveness.

The movie is focused more on Josh and Buddy, who are the most likable characters of the movie. Kevin Zegers is flawless as Josh Framm. Buddy the Dog is amazing as Buddy (may this wonderful dog rest in peace, wherever he is now). Brendan Fletcher does a good job as Larry. So does Shayn Solberg as Josh's good friend Tom. The late Eric Christmas is hilarious as Judge Cranfield.

Title in Portugal: 'Air Bud'.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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