Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
Space Buddies, as if you did not already now, is a space movie for kids, about dogs. The cover pretty well explains the film, and so you can’t really fault it for being so trite. Again, this is a children’s movie, so you have to cut it some slack in that department
The menus were static, but seeing as how this is a children’s film, and a straight to DVD one at that, the menus were not horrible.
- Buddy Bloopers – As you might imagine, this is a short piece featuring the dogs with various mistakes while filming. My son thought this was kind of funny, but overall it was just a throw-away. Cute, but mainly just miscues and prop issues.
- Dancing In The Moonlight Music Video –The song is performed by Alyson Stoner, and I am not sure who she is really. I imagine that she is a Disney Channel star of some sort. the video features her with some dancers, and of course the Buddies themselves. I am not a fan of these music videos included with the Disney movies, but I guess the kids may be, as they seem to be included on many of the Disney releases.
- Disneypedia The Buddies Guide To Space Travel – This 13 minute making of is presented as if the dogs themselves are talking about the movie making ordeal. The premise is not bad, and kind of cute. The dogs talk about things like space travel and food and fashion. Not great, but better than the rest of the extras.
- Buddy Facts – Buddy facts is a kind of pop-up video style of facts presented as the movie progresses. It mainly gives information about the actors and the Buddies movies. For those with very small children who can’t read, this really doesn’t add much.
- BD Live – Access to Disney’s BD Live portal which lets you do all kinds of things including chat with friends. Disney have one of the best BD Live portals around so it’s always fun to explore it on a new disc.
The Movie: 4/10
Space Buddies is a continuation of the Air Bud series of movies brought to us by Disney. For those who do not remember, Bud was a retriever who played basketball in the 1997 Disney movie Air Bud. Apparently it was a big enough hit to spawn a franchise, which leads us to the current collection of retriever puppies, the Buddies.
The Buddies each live at separate houses, with different kids as their owners. Each bud has a personality that is similar to their owner. There is Rosebud, who is a female dog, and thinks about how she looks and fashion. Budderball loves to eat food. Buddha likes to meditate and has a small Buddha hanging form his collar. B-dog is a hip-hop dog, and Mud-bud likes, well, mud.
While this may sound cute, it gets old quickly. The dialogue turns directly on these stereotypes of the dog’s personalities, and it gets to be redundant and unfunny.
Anyway, the dogs end up following their kids on a field trip to Vision Enterprises, where the kids are their to watch an unmanned spacecraft launch into space. The Buddies end up boarding the rocket, which has been sabotaged by the evil Vision Enterprises’ Dr. Finkle. The dogs are discovered on the shuttle by the crew of Vision Enterprises, including Pi (Bill Fagerbakke) who is the mild mannered flight coordinator, who just happens to carry around a ferret with him named Gravity. When all looks lost, the ferret ends up talking the dogs through steps that will guide the lost dogs back home safely.
Overall, it just was a silly movie that was short on laughs and very tiring to sit through. If it tells you anything, my three year old who watched the entire movie has not asked to see the movie again, which in my world means he did not love it, because with most movies, one watch does not cut it for him.
Audio & Video: 8/10
The video for Space Buddies was actually very good. The picture was presented in 1.78:1 wide screen, and it looked really crisp, especially considering that this was a straight to DVD release. I thought the computer generated bits were decent, and the sets and the overall look of the movie was actually pretty good.
Of course the 5.1 Surround Sound was very good, like most of the Disney releases. It was very well mixed and actually used the rear speakers more than I would have thought. The Blu-Ray version looks great with pristine 1080P video and uncompressed DTS-HD audio, like other Disney releases this is a top tier release on Blu-Ray and really shows the commitment they have over this new format.
Space Buddies is a direct to DVD/Blu-Ray release. While it looks really great, the entire DVD just seems a bit light on content, and light on humor. I can think of several other Disney DVDs that are a more entertaining hour and a half, so I have a hard time recommending Space Buddies to anyone.
Overall Score 4/10