The buddies are back and this time they are trying to stop a warlock and a hellhound in the 2011 film, “Spooky Buddies.” This if the fifth installment of the “Air Buddies” franchise. In the film, back in 1937, Warwick the Warlock has kidnapped five of the same breed of puppies in an effort to free evil spirits. But, when he’s thwarted, he jumps into a mirror where he remains stuck for 75 years. But, he’s eventually freed by a couple of school bullies and tries to finish his mission and free the evil spirits, this time kidnapping the buddies to complete the spell.
Disney made several of these movies in the 2000s and early 2010s as a way to continue the immensely popular “Air Bud” franchise. The buddies franchise expanded from one fully grown dog to five puppies. It’s clear they had an audience due to how many of them were made, but I clearly was never the target demographic. This movie is clean. It’s wholesome. I can see why some people would see it as a cute. It did nothing for me. I just found it cheesy and unnecessary. But, I’m a grown adult watching a movie for kids. I hope the kids who watched this when it was released thoroughly enjoyed it more than I did.
The voice cast was the best part for me. I didn’t care about many of the live-action actors, with the exception of Harland Williams playing Warwick the Warlock because I recognized his voice from “Meet the Robinsons” and “Puppy Dog Pals.” But, I did enjoy hearing Diedrich Bader and Ryan Stiles together again. I was a big fan of “The Drew Carey Show” in the late 90s and early 2000s, so it was nice to hear the voices of Oswald and Lewis together again even if it wasn’t a great movie. It also featured Tim Conway and Debra Joe Rupp; two distinct voices who have been hallmarks of my life. The voices of the animals; mostly dogs but Stiles voiced an owl; appealed to me more than the actors did.
I can’t say much good for this movie from my viewpoint. I never would’ve watched this if it wasn’t for this review. I was well beyond the age for the buddies franchise by the time Disney started making it. Still, I can see why some kids might enjoy watching this. I hope they have fun.