Air Bud (series)

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Air Bud
Films and television
Film(s)Air Bud (1997)
Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)

The Air Bud film series (also known as Air Buddies or Disney Buddies) is an American film franchise based on a sports-playing Golden Retriever named Buddy, portrayed by Air Buddy.[1] The franchise began in 1997 with the theatrical release of Air Bud, followed by the theatrical release of Air Bud: Golden Receiver in 1998.[1][2] Following the box office failure of Golden Receiver, the rest of the films in the series were released in direct-to-video form. The Air Buddies or Disney Buddies spin-off series began in 2006 with the release of Air Buddies and it focuses on the adventures of Buddy's talking Golden Retriever puppies.[2]

Disney Buddies is one of the top direct-to-DVD franchises, just behind Disney Fairies at $300 million, with the first 12 films grossing $220 million by March 2014.[3] As of now, there are fourteen movies in the franchise, including five in the Air Bud series, seven in the Air Buddies series,[4] and two Christmas spin-offs of the Air Buddies series.


Kevin DiCicco's golden retriever Buddy was featured on "America's Funniest Home Videos" and David Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks". He then (in 1991), approached the independent production company Keystone Entertainment to produce Air Bud, a film based on Buddy. He also formed his production company, Air Bud Productions, that year.[1] Disney's Miramax was brought on as the distribution company.[1][5] Buddy had his leg amputated. Keystone indicated that no sequel was planned. The film did well in the home video market.[1]

By April 1998, DiCicco and Robert Vince, the film's producer at Keystone, had a falling out. As Keystone and Vince had gone forward with a sequel, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, without DiCicco. Also, DiCicco claimed he was not paid anything for the first film and that he owns the Air Bud rights (based on the name of this production company name). DiCicco bred three offspring of Buddy and trained them for sports like Buddy. The puppies were signed to an endorsement deal by DiCicco for Milk-Bone dog biscuits for puppies. He intended to make his own sequel, Air Bud: The Next Generation, which was scheduled to start production in the fall of 1999. The concept was a "cross between Ferris Bueller and Home Alone".[1]

In December 2011, Disney and William Morris Agency were sued over its Santa Paws movies as being unauthorized copies of their Santa Paws movies. The plaintiffs Ray Harter, Richard Kearney and Ed Corno, claimed they are based on their 1991 copyrighted script entitled, Santa Paws: The Story of Santa's Dog.[6]


Air Bud series[edit]

  1. Air Bud (1997) – Josh meets an abused Golden Retriever and finds out that he can play basketball.[7]
  2. Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998) – Josh's Golden Retriever learns to play American football.[8]
  3. Air Bud: World Pup (2000) – Josh discovers that Buddy's ballplaying skills apply to soccer.[9]
  4. Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (2002) – Buddy makes the baseball team and becomes a star player.[10]
  5. Air Bud: Spikes Back (2003) – Buddy tackles volleyball.[11]


Air Buddies series[edit]

The Air Buddies films are considered spin-offs of the original series, focusing on Buddy's puppies, and were all direct-to-video releases.

  1. Air Buddies (2006) – Buddy and Molly's offspring work together to help each other while attempting to rescue their parents.
  2. Snow Buddies (2008) – The offspring of Buddy and Molly go on an Alaskan adventure.[12]
  3. Space Buddies (2009) – The Buddies tag along for a field trip to the space museum and accidentally walk aboard a rocket ship.[13]
  4. Santa Buddies (2009) – The Buddies team up with Puppy Paws, the son of Santa Paws, to end the melting of a magical icicle threatening Christmas Eve.[6]
  5. Spooky Buddies (2011) – The Buddies are in a new adventure when Halloween hits Fernfield.
  6. Treasure Buddies (2012) – The Buddies find themselves on an Indiana Jones style adventure.[14][15]
  7. Super Buddies (2013) – After acquiring rings that grant them superpowers, the Buddies must use them to stop a villain.

Santa Paws films[edit]

The Santa Paws are prequels to Santa Buddies.

  1. The Search for Santa Paws (2010) – When Santa is in trouble, Paws has to save Christmas with the help of some friends.[16]
  2. Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (2012) – When the Christmas spirit begins to disappear, Mrs. Claus and the Santa Pups must race to save Christmas around the world.

Cast and characters[edit]

Characters Air Bud Film Series Buddies Film Series Santa Paws Film Series
Air Bud Air Bud:
Golden Receiver
Air Bud:
World Pup
Air Bud:
Seventh Inning Fetch
Air Bud Spikes Back Air Buddies Snow Buddies Space Buddies Santa Buddies Spooky Buddies Treasure Buddies Super Buddies The Search for Santa Paws Santa Paws 2:
The Santa Pups
Buddy Air Buddy Various Golden Retriever dog actors Tom Everett Scott (voice)  
Jackie Framm (Sullivan) Wendy Makkena Cynthia Stevenson Chilton Crane Cynthia Stevenson  
Josh Framm Kevin Zegers  
Carlton Frank C. Turner  
Norm Snively Michael Jeter  
Dr. Patrick Sullivan   Gregory Harrison Dale Midkiff Richard Karn Alf Humphreys Richard Karn  
Andrea Framm   Alyson MacLaren Caitlin Wachs Katija Pevec  
Molly   Various Golden Retriever dog actors   Molly Shannon (voice)  
Sheriff Bob   Patrick Cranshaw  
B-Dawg   Skyler Gisondo (voice) Cooper Roth (voice)  
Buddha   Dominic Scott Kay (voice) Jimmy Bennett (voice) Field Cate (voice) Charles Henry Wyson (voice) Tenzing Trainor (voice)  
Budderball   Josh Flitter (voice) Nico Ghisi (voice) Tucker Albrizzi (voice) Jeremy Shinder (voice)  
Mudbud   Spencer Fox (voice) Henry Hodges (voice) Ty Panitz (voice)  
Rosebud   Abigail Breslin (voice) Liliana Mumy (voice) G. Hannelius (voice)  
Sniffer   Don Knotts (voice)   Tim Conway (voice)  
Billy   Wallace Shawn  
Belinda   Debra Jo Rupp  
The Wolf   Michael Clarke Duncan  
Shasta   Dylan Sprouse  
Eli   Danny Woodburn   Danny Woodburn
Santa Claus   George Wendt   Richard Riehle Pat Finn
Mrs. Claus   Patrika Darbo Cheryl Ladd
  • Note: A dark gray cell indicates the character does not appear in the film.


Credited as Air Bud series Spin-offs
Air Buddies series Santa Paws series
Air Bud
Air Bud:
Golden Receiver

Air Bud:
World Pup

Air Bud:
Seventh Inning Fetch

Air Bud
Spikes Back

Air Buddies
Snow Buddies
Space Buddies
Santa Buddies:
Here Comes Santa Paws

Spooky Buddies
Treasure Buddies
Super Buddies
The Search for
Santa Paws

Santa Paws 2:
The Santa Pups

Director Robert Vince
Producer(s) Robert Vince,
Michael Strange,
William Vince
Robert Vince Ian Fodie Anna McRoberts,
Robert Vince
Screenwriter(s) Paul Tamasy,
Aaron Mendelsohn
Mike Whiting,
Robert Vince,
Anne Vince
Sara Sutton,
Stephanie Isherwood,
Anne Vince,
Anna McRoberts
Anne Vince,
Anna McRoberts
Anna McRoberts,
Robert Vince,
Phil Hanley
Robert Vince,
Anna McRoberts
Robert Vince,
Anna McRoberts,
Philip Fracassi
Story by Robert Vince
Composer(s) Brahm Wenger Brahm Wenger,
Gregory Prechel
Brahm Wenger
Cinematographer Mike Southon Cyrus Block Steve Adelson Mike Southon Kamal Derkaoui Mike Southon Kamal Derkaoui Mark Irwin Kamal Derkaoui Mark Irwin
Editor(s) Alison Vince Bruce Lange,
Melinda Seabrook
Kelly Herron,
Laura Mazur
Kelly Herron,
Jason Pielak
Kelly Herron Jason Pielak Kelly Herron
Production companies Walt Disney Pictures,
Keystone Entertainment
Walt Disney Pictures,
Dimension Films,
Keystone Entertainment
Dimension Films,
Keystone Entertainment
Fetch Boy Films Ltd.,
Keystone Entertainment,
Keystone Pictures,
Keystone Entertainment,
Keystone Pictures,
Ruff Productions Inc.
Keystone Family Pictures,
KeyPix Productions
Keystone Entertainment,
KeyPix Productions
KeyPix Productions
Distribution Buena Vista Pictures Distribution Walt Disney Home Entertainment

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wolk, Josh (April 3, 1998). "Air Bud". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Finley, Adam (February 24, 2006). "Air Bud is Coming Back". AOL Moviefone. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  3. ^ McClintock, Pamela (April 3, 2014). "How Tinker Bell Became Disney's Stealthy $300 Million Franchise". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Strowbridge, C.S. (August 26, 2013). "DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 27th, 2013 - The Numbers". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Goodridge, Mike (February 20, 2002). "Miramax gets in family way with Keystone". Screen Daily. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Gardner, Eriq (December 23, 2011). "Lawsuit Claims Disney Ripped Off Films About Santa Claus' Dog". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "Air Bud (1997)". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  8. ^ "Air Bud: Golden Receiver". Fandango. Fandango. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  9. ^ "Air Bud: World Pup Plot Summary and Details". AOL Moviefone. AOL Moviefone. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  10. ^ "Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch". New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Tyner, Adam (June 24, 2003). "Air Bud Spikes Back". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  12. ^ Kho, Nancy (December 20, 2010). "Snow Buddies". Common Sense Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Orange, B. Alan (February 6, 2009). "Space Buddies DVD". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  14. ^ "TREASURE BUDDIES Straight to DVD Feature". Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  15. ^ Katz, Josh (November 4, 2011). "Treasure Buddies Blu-ray". Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  16. ^ Herman, Joly (November 23, 2010). "The Search for Santa Paws". Common Sense Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011.

External links[edit]