After seeing their owners off to school, the BUDDIES - BDAWG, BUDDERBALL, MUDBUD, BUDDHA and ROSEBUD - rendezvous at the park. Spotting an ice cream truck, Budderball takes off. The other Buddies race after him as he jumps into the truck and before they know it, are accidentally locked inside. The truck arrives at the airport and the container, along with the sleeping Buddies, is loaded into a cargo plane headed for the town of Ferntiuktuk, Alaska. The container, filled with supplies for the small town, is parachute dropped out of the plane. The Buddies emerge in a big pile of snow, unhurt, but lost.
They meet SHASTA (voice of Dylan Sprouse), a husky pup, who lives with his owner ADAM (Dominic Scott Kay), a small boy with big dreams of becoming a Champion musher like his father before him. The Buddies long for home, but after learning that it's Adam's Christmas wish to mush in the annual dog sled race, they decide to help him form a team.with an added bonus; the town at the end of the race is where the airport is - their ticket home. But there is one problem; Adam's dad, JOE (Mike Dopud), has forbidden Adam to race. A famous musher himself, Joe lost his team when thin ice cracked while crossing a lake. Adam's mom, MEG (Lise Simms), placing her son's safety above his dreams, stands behind her husband's decision to keep Adam away from the sport he loves. But that doesn't deter Adam's resolve.
Meanwhile, the pups know they need a coach. Shasta leads the Buddies, with trepidation, to a secluded cave on the tundra, where they approach the famous old Husky sled dog TALON (voice of Kris Kristofferson). He has taught many lead dogs in his life, including Shasta's father. He eventually agrees to train them. The villainous French Canadian musher JEAN-GEORGE (John Kapelos), Joe's old archrival, and his Huskies FRANCOIS (voice of Lothaire Bluteau) and PHILLIPE (voice of Paul Rae), are not at all threatened by the new small competition, until Talon trains the pups and they slowly begin to improve. When the Buddies and Shasta surprise Adam with their Christmas gift, six puppies ready to mush, together they form a team to be reckoned with.
Race day arrives. Adam and the pups are laughed at when they pull up to the starting line, but when the race starts they quickly prove it's not the size of the dog in the race, but the heart of the team that counts. Finding out that Adam is in the race, Joe rushes to the finish line, and learns of a massive blizzard headed in their direction. The Buddies, Shasta and Adam survive the storm by taking shelter in an igloo, and head for the finish line the next morning.
Suddenly Jean-George cuts them off, taking the lead, and races out over the frozen lake. However, he is forced to stop when the weight of his sled cracks the ice - The Buddies and Shasta come to the rescue, pulling his dogs out of the water to safety! Without missing a beat Jean-George forces his dogs to continue racing, but Francois and Phillipe now know who their real friends are. At the last moment they stop and allow the Buddies, Shasta and Adam to cross the finish line first! Joe tells Adam how proud he is, and the Buddies, Shasta and Adam rejoice, having overcome the odds. The Buddies say goodbye to their new friends and head back to Fernfield.
Snow Buddies Cast List
Skyler Gisondo (voice)
Josh Flitter (voice)
Jimmy Bennett (voice)
Henry Hodges (voice)
Liliana Mumy (voice)
Dylan Sprouse (voice)
James Belushi (voice)
Kris Kristofferson (voice)
Whoopi Goldberg (voice)
Tom Everett Scott (voice)
Dominic Scott Kay
... Miss Mittens
... Adam Bilson
... Joe Bilson
... Jean George
... Patrick Framm
... Meg Bilson
Snow Buddies is a direct-to-video sequel to Air Buddies, which itself was a spin-off of Air Bud, which at more than ten years old that film was released before Snow Buddies' target audience was even born. Basically, this latest film has Buddy settled down and serving only as a supporting character to his five offspring. The film spends a few minutes setting up that each Buddy puppy has a family of his or her own, but those humans are hardly seen again as the puppies find themselves shipped off to Alaska. For a rather thorough breakdown of the plot, see the summary above.
As the film's setting moved to Alaska and the plot involved a sled dog race, we couldn't help but think of Disney's Snow Dogs from a few years ago. Also, the pup Shasta bore an amazing resemblance to Snow Dogs' Demon. That's where the similarities end. This film is for kids, young kids. The puppies and dogs all talk and the humor is geared toward young kids. Although, we could have done without a few flatulence jokes that the filmmakers felt were necessary to include. Since much of the film is carried by the puppies, there's little to say about the acting aside from a couple of stilted scenes (where did they find the two actors who played the law enforcement in both Alaska and Washington?) since the human characters were all written as very two-dimension. Aside from the talking, which imbued each puppy with its own personality, the puppies' physical actions were realistically portrayed while the film's snowy backdrops were well done.
Snow Buddies is far from a Disney classic, but the film is cute and will leave young kids entertained, As far as the extras that are included on the DVD, they are also geared toward kids. The "bloopers" are basically footage of the puppies with more voice-over work so they "talk" about blowing the scenes. The dogumentary again has the puppies talking, although there are a few real insights. The visual effects featurette is narrated by the film's director and does a nice job of explaining some of the visual effects used in basic terms that kids would be able to follow. Lastly, Buddy Bites is a feature length audio "commentary" in the guise of the puppies again, which means it's again mostly just more entertainment with a handful of behind-the-scenes nuggets, mostly about the locations used during shooting.
Snow Buddies DVD Extras:
- Bloopers [3:00]
- Music & More: "Lean on Me" Music Video with Mitchel Musso [2:50]
- Backstage Disney: Dogumentary [2:50]
- Backstage Disney: Snow Buddies: The Magic of Visual Effects [5:10]
- Backstage Disney: Buddy Bites - Feature length audio "commentary" by the Buddies
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