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SPACE BUDDIES (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 19, 2009 by  



“The talking puppies are back!  For those who have enjoyed the ‘Air Bud’ and previous canine ‘Buddie’ films will definitely enjoy this charming and enjoyable family film!  This time the  five puppies are stowaways in an experimental spacecraft heading to outerspace.”

Images courtesy of © WDSHE. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: SPACE BUDDIES

DURATION: 84 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English SDH subtitles.

COMPANY:  KEYSTONE ENTERTAINMENT, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: G

Release Date: February 3, 2009

Directed by Robert Vince

Written by Robert Vince and Anna McRoberts

Based on the character “Air Bud” by Kevin DiCicco

Produced by Anna Mcroberts and Robert Vince

Director of Photography: Kamal Derkaoui, CSC

Music by Brahm Wenger

Edited by Kelly Herron

Starring:

Jason Earles as Spudnick (voice)

Diedrich Bader as Yuri

Amy Sedaris as Gravity (Voice)

Lochlyn Munro as Slats

Field Cate as Bud-dha (voice)

Skyler Gisondo as B-Dawg (voice)

Henry Hodges as Mudbud (voice)

Josh Flitter as Budderball (voice)

Liliana Mumy as Rosebud (voice)

Ali Hillis as Astro

Bill Fagerbakke as Pi

Kevin Weisman as Dr. Finkel

Chris Gauthier as Bubba

Disney’s irresistible talking puppies are back in an all-new movie that takes them were no buddy has gone before – the moon!  Now on Blu-ray Hi-Def, this out-of-this-world adventure is even greater with a pristine picture and theater-quality sound.

Moving at warp speed, dodging asteroids and more, the Buddies and their two new friends, Spudnick and Gravity, must summon their courage and ingenuity to launch plans for a moon landing and a rocketing trip back home.  Will they have the right stuff?

Overflowing with intergalactic action and heart, Space Buddies is an amazing tale of teamwork and loyalty that celebrates the journey of life and the friendships made along the way.

These “Buddie” films are just so cute and enjoyable, family fun films with cute puppies that you can’t get enough of.

Since the 1997 debut of the film “Air Bud”, from that film of a talking canine has launched several “Buddie” films featuring the golden retriever puppies in “Air Buddies” and “Snow Buddies” and this time with “Space Buddies”.

The film centers around five golden retriever puppies:

Budderball: The athletic puppy

Rosebud: The female puppy of the group

Bud-dha: The puppy who likes to eat everything

B-Dawg: The hip hop loving, street talking puppy

Mudbud: The puppy who just can’t get enough of getting himself dirty and muddy

The puppies are shown in the beginning with their owners and showing their different personalities.  Well-loved by their owners and some who get themselves into a bit of mischief (such as Mudbud).

But each of the five puppies are getting together for the big day!  Knowing that their young owners are going on a school field trip to watch the launch of an experimental spacecraft to the moon, the puppies are just as excited to join them.

The puppies sneak into their school bus, sneak into the facility, find a way to sport the latest space suits and somehow manage to sneak into the experimental spacecraft.

Meanwhile, at the command room, the leader of the mission Pi (Bill Fagerbakke) with his pet ferret Gravity (voice by Amy Sedaris) and his two crew members which include Slats (Locklyn Munro) who monitors the spacecraft and the person who manually pilots the aircraft, Astro (Ali Hillis) are excited about the liftoff and prepare to land the aircraft in the moon.   What Pi doesn’t know is that a jealous co-worker named Dr. Finkel (played by Kevin Weisman) will do what he can to sabotage the mission in order to replace Pi.

Dr. Finkel sabotages the aircraft by limiting its fuel supply, so with the aircraft now in space the first major obstacle takes place when the aircraft begins to lose fuel.  Fortunately, the crew maybe able to get some help from a long, lost Russian space station where a lone Cosmonaut named Yuri (Diedrich Bader) along with his bull terrier Spudnick have been living for years. Hoping that perhaps Yuri can aid them by refueling their spacecraft.

Meanwhile, the bull terrier, Spudnick had been taken care of by Yuri but he was supposed to be in the space station only for a few months but has been stuck in the space station for years.  He misses his young owner and dreams of seeing him again and wishes to accompany the puppies to go back to Earth.  Actually, it’s Spudnick’s only chance of getting back to the Earth.

How will Yuri respond to the puppies in the American spacecraft and what will happen when the Russian space station starts to have major technical problems?  Will the puppies, Yuri and Spudnick survive?

Find out in the latest “Buddies” film starring your favorite golden retriever pups!

VIDEO & AUDIO:

The film is presented in 1080p high definition (1:78:1).  The film looks great on Blu-ray and the majority of the film is done using green screen and CGI and wirework.  The CG work was done quite well for this family film..  From the space station to the aircraft and its digital screens, the film looks pretty good.  Also, there is quite a bit of wirework done to emulate the puppies floating due to gravity and you don’t see the wires, again, it looks pretty good.

Audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and I did notice the rear channels being used quite a bit for several action-based sequences and sound effects rather effectively.   I was very impressed to hear the all channels being utilized during the film because for a children’s film, I really wasn’t expecting it.  So, needless to say I was pleased by it.  Although “SPACE BUDDIES” is primarily a dialogue-based film, the film does take advantage of your system’s surround sound, so that was definitely cool!

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are a few special features on this Blu-ray edition of “Space Buddies”.  The video quality ranges from 1080p, 1080i and 480i and are featured in Dolby Digital 2.0.  The special features are:

  • Buddy Facts:  You can watch the film with pop up tidbits about the making of “Space Buddies” and about space.
  • Buddy Bloopers: Outtakes and blunders (granted these were purposely done)
  • “Dancing in the Moonlight” Music Video with Disney Channel’s Alyson Stoner
  • Disneypedia: The Buddies Guide to Space Travel: This was a 10+ minute featurette about the behind-the-scenes making of the film.  Also, a insight on comparisons of how real astronauts train for space and what the pippies had to do to look like they were in space.  A fun featurette that the kids will definitely enjoy!
  • Buddy Finder: Exclusive to Blu-ray is a scavenger hunt game using your remote control and while watching the film, you need to find 100 items.
  • Disney BD-Live Network: A US only feature which people with BD-Live equipped players can access special features from Disney’s BD-Live Network.

I watched this film with the family and each of us enjoyed the film.  I suppose it’s really hard not to dislike a film about puppies and fortunately the technology of how they make the puppies talk on film definitely works well when they mouth the words and overall, the talking portion doesn’t look cheesy at all.

This is a safe family film.  For my 6-year-old, there was only one sequence in which he was a little scared but that was the Cosmonaut Yuri (because he has lived in the space station and is a bit unkept, so his hair is a bit wacky) but all in all, from his perspective, he had a lot of fun and of course, when you have a puppy who likes to eat a lot and when his paw is pulled, he lets out gas.  So, I guess you can say that the “fart jokes” really goes well with the kids.

As for the puppies safety, I know that there are a few dog lovers who cringe when they see animals in a film because they worry about their well-being and if they are going to be put into any dangerous situations .  The puppies were more or less kept indoors most of the time and in small and what looks like safe areas in the films, so I believe that the puppies were quite safe during filming.

As for adults who are watching this film, may you be a dog lover or a parent, the film of course is a bit farfetched especially how the puppies were always so successful into sneaking into a building or vehicle with human’s nearby but with these type of films, you can’t get too serious, after all it’s a film made for children.  But these are the types of film that are wonderful to watch with the whole family especially if your child enjoys reading about the planets, the moon and outer space, the film and the special features will definitely be entertaining.  Heck, even if you are captivated by the charm of these puppies, you’ll definitely find this film fun and entertaining.

The Blu-ray version of “Space Buddies” looks very good in high-definition and the audio is pretty good as well!  This is the best looking “Buddies” release yet!

Overall a solid, family film for the children and worthy of purchasing on Blu-ray.






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