Santa Buddies offers Cheesy, Wholesome Family Fun
Reel Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: G
Released on DVD / Blu-ray: Nov. 24, 2009
Genre: Family, Musical
Runtime: 88 minutes
Directed by: Robert Vince
Cast: Tom Bosley, Field Cate, Tim Conway, Chris Coppola, Josh Flitter, Zachary Gordon, Christopher Lloyd, Quinn Lord, Kaitlyn Maher, George Wendt
SYNOPSIS: The world is losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas, and the one pup at the North Pole who can spread the word just wants to be a normal dog. So he visits the Buddies to get a new perspective.
Sex/Nudity: Not an issue.
Violence/Gore. Some peril when a puppy is caught by a dog catcher and sees lots of other dogs at the pound.
Profanity: None, unless you count "doo-doo."
Which Kids Will Like It? Kids aged 3 to 10 who like the other "Buddy" movies or movies with cute talking animals.
Will Parents Like It? Yes, it’s not the greatest movie ever made, but there’s very little objectionable content here and the message is good.
REVIEW: They’re really milking everything they can out of these Buddies movies, aren’t they? But you know what? That’s ok. There’s a big audience for them, and even if they’re not the greatest movies in the world, they’re cute as all get out and kids love ‘em.
This one follows a familiar theme: People are losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas, and up at the North Pole, Santa and his trusty dog Santa Paws are worried that the Christmas icicle — the source of Christmas magic — is melting. You can kind of see where this is headed. Stick with me.
Meanwhile, Santa Paws’ young pup Puppy Paws can spread the word about the importance of Christmas to the younger generation, but he just wants to be a normal dog.
So he hitches a ride to Fernfield, Washington, and catches up with Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Mudbud and Buddha to see what it’s like to be a normal dog. Puppy Paws is shocked that no one believes in Santa anymore. He also gets a rude awakening when Stan Cruge, the local dogcatcher, nabs him and locks him behind bars in the local pound. All the Buddies have to work together with a special dog named Tiny and an elf-dog from the North Pole to save Puppy Paws and re-ignite the town’s Christmas spirit.
Voice talent includes George Wendt as Santa (really, he’s still Norm from "Cheers" in a Santa suit), as well as Christopher Lloyd, Josh Flitter, Zachary Gordon and Kaitlyn Maher.
My kids are 12 and 15 (I still have trouble writing those numbers), so they sort of just laughed at the goofy storyline. But we loved it every time the dogs spoke and their little mouths moved (which is pretty much the entire movie). This is probably a good bet for kids aged 3 to 10 who love the other Buddies movies, and the message is good: Christmas is about giving, not getting. And even one person (or dog) can make a difference.
Bonus features include three classic Christmas sing-along songs and Steve Rushton’s music video "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel - Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels - Coulda been a contender
Three Reels - Something to talk about.
Four Reels - You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels - Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Jane Louise Boursaw is a freelance journalist specializing in the movie and television industries.