# Studio: WALT DISNEY VIDEO
# DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
# Run Time: 84 minutes
A campy, direct-to-dvd movie, Space Buddies is fun entertainment for young kids. The story is built on the late twentieth century success of Air Bud. That story of a dog who plays basketball has morphed into an entire franchise of children’s films, of which Space Buddies is the latest iteration.
The story is about 5 golden retriever puppies, a litter, who tag-along on a school field trip. The trip is to a private space shuttle facility, and these lucky kids (sans anyone else) get to watch the shuttle lift off, unmanned, for the maiden voyage. But the puppies, being the inquisitive lot that they are, manage to get themselves on board the ship. From that point on they fly through space, running into a Russian madman (played by Deidrich Bader) on a space station that has been loosed from Earth’s orbit, a landing on the moon, a near fatal collision with a meteor, and a difficult landing, all aided by a Russian dog-a-naut.
Kids will love the cuteness of the puppies, their simple archetypal characters, and the sense of danger without real fear that this story gives. The animals (including a ferret voiced by Amy Sedaris) a directed well, and though the sad face of the golden retrievers seems permanently etched on all of them, the voice acting makes up for the lack of evident emotion in the faces of the stars.
The CGI is rather basic, and is pretty much just the moving of the mouth of the animals. The poor CGI makes one wish for the days when CGI would have made that impossible, such as in the older versions of The Incredible Journey. In other words, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
Again, this is a movie for kids. Young kids won’t notice bad CGI, or the fact that various plot devices are inconsistent, nor will they see the tropes that fill the story. The pun filled scripts, and very basic archetypal characters only assist in making this entertaining for young kids.
Parents, when you watch it with your kids, will groan and roll your eyes at some of what is contained in it. You might enjoy some of the nods to various famous pace movies of the past, and the occasional foray into real science. But your young child will love it. The story is completely impossible, totally predictable, and dull to the adult mind.
From a young child though, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear squeals of delight as they watch. They will love the cute little puppies and they will love the danger that is presented without any trace of scariness. They will laugh at the tired jokes of the script, and they will want to watch it more times than your adult mind can handle.
Should you buy Space Buddies for your kids? Absolutely. They will enjoy it, it is something you can let your kids watch without fear of indoctrination, and it is visually appealing to the young mind.
Movie Review: Space Buddies
# Studio: WALT DISNEY VIDEO