Air Bud: World Pup

| June 26, 2010

I have to think the timing of the release of Air Bud: World Pup wasn’t accidental. The sports-loving dog is moving on from basketball and football to soccer, and it just happens to be when everyone is talking about the World Cup. Of course, this movie was originally released ten years ago, but there’s nothing wrong with a well-timed re-release, especially since they just re-released Air Bud: Golden Receiver earlier this year.
I do think Kevin Zegers must get tired of his mom, Jackie, changing in every movie. Zegers plays Josh Framm, who started the series as a young boy and is now a teenager, and in each movie his mom is played by a different actress, this time by Chilton Crane. In Golden Receiver Jackie started dating the veterinarian, Patrick Sullivan, and he’s changed in this movie as well. Eye candy Gregory Harrison is gone and replaced by Dale Midkiff.
Patrick and Jackie are now married, and Josh’s buddy Tom (still played by Shayn Solberg) tries out for the soccer team. They still need more players, so Josh decides to try it, and once challenged by the goalie, Buddy does as well, as they both make the team. Of course, it’s not all about hanging out with Tom and Buddy this time, since Josh is now a teenager. He falls for another player on the team, Emma (Brittany Paige Bouck), who has just moved to the U.S. from England.
By pure Disney coincidence, Emma also has a golden retriever, Molly, and Buddy doesn’t waste any time there. Molly and Buddy get together and have puppies, which of course sets up the later Air Buddies movies about the spawn of Buddy and Molly and their unique personalities. But just as there always seemed to be someone who wanted to kidnap Buddy, his puppies are kidnapped in World Pup, and we know Buddy isn’t going to stand for that.
Like its predecessors and successors, Air Bud: World Pup is a fun film for any dog lover. Sure, it’s slightly unbelievable that this would all play out like that. Even if a dog could play these sports, no one would let them become part of a team. However, you have to put that sensibility aside and just enjoy the dogs. And with this one, there’s the added bonus of the little of puppies who are too cute to ignore.
Air Bud: World Pup is out on DVD

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