I’m sure that there are some of you out there who aren’t entirely familiar with the Air Bud series. For those who aren’t please allow me to fill you in on the back story. Air Bud was a film released in 1997 that tells us the story of Josh Framm and his best friend, Buddy. Josh has been going through a rough time with the recent death of his father and his move from parts unknown to Fernfield, Washington. He soon meets Buddy, a golden retriever who is owned and mistreated by a birthday clown but yearns to play middle school basketball. All of the conflicts are solved exactly the way you would think in kids movies. Some examples are: ‘There is nothing in the rule book that says dogs can’t play basketball’ and a judge even decides to rule on the custody of Buddy by putting him between Josh and the clown and see which person Buddy goes to. As silly as it was it did have some redeeming qualities. Josh was a rather sympathetic character who needed a friend and Buddy was in a pretty bad spot as well. Most importantly it is Josh who in fact makes the winning shot and is celebrated as the hero, something quickly dropped as Buddy becomes the best multiple sports star since Bo Jackson. Subsequent sequels saw Buddy play football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball. As the Air Bud train was starting to lose its steam someone, somewhere decided it was time to pass the torch……to Buddy’s progeny. The sixth film in the series, Air Buddies, centered around the puppies who each excelled at one particular sport. The puppies have since won a dog sled race, gone to outer space, saved Christmas, and have defeated an evil warlock who was trying to enlist the help of the Halloween Hound. Treasure Buddies is scheduled for a 2012 release although it was filmed last year. It’s always a good sign when a movie is shelved for two years, isn’t it? But I ask why stop at space? Christmas? Even Ernest has saved that. The kind folks at Disney need some ideas to make the series young and fresh again. So here are the Top 8 Next Air Bud and Buddies Sequels.
Plot: Two of Buddy’s adventurous puppies Mudbud and B-Dawg are going through a mid-life crisis at age 5. While they reminisce on their glory days of thwarting dognappers and meeting Santa Claus they feel the need to take on one last great adventure before they settle down to have some pups of their own. A heartwarming tale of family, friendship, and struggling with their own mortality Mudbud and B-Dawg once again learn to grab life by the milk bones and live like there is no tomorrow.
Pros: Some great skydiving stock footage can be used. Producers, directors, and cameramen can get free skydiving lessons.
Cons: It is pretty tough to teach a dog to count to 10 and pull a rip cord while in free fall.
Plot: Everything is being remade. Horror movies, TV shows, even the Sam Peckingpah classic Straw Dogs has been remade. I say stop remaking classics and start making good versions of movies that sucked. Do we really need Star Wars in 3-D? No, we need a version of Howard the Duck that doesn’t make me want to pour bleach in my eyes. Hackers is the perfect example of an awesomely bad movie in need of updating. Buddha and Rosebud play Zero Cool and Acid Burn, computer hackers who are out to make information free for everyone. They take on the RIAA, the MPAA, the CIA, and Purina. They will not stop until they HACK THE PLANET!
Pros: A lot of opportunity for product placement money. Zero Cool is a PC guy, Acid Burn prefers Macs. Smartphones, Mountain Dew, 5 hour energy, ironic hipster t-shirts. The money prints itself.
Cons: Fischer Stevens has too much dignity to reprise the role of Eugene Belford.
Plot: Dinobuddies is a re-imagining of the hit sitcom Dinosaurs (1991-1994). Dinosaurs focused on the Sinclair family and took us through the day-to-day life of what it was like to be a dinosaur. This show had it all: awesome animatronics, safe family friendly dialogue, and a cute kid that could spit out catchphrases faster than MC Snow. Dinobuddies can tackle all sorts of issues such as illegitimate children (seeing as how Buddy and Moll never married), the occult (see Spooky Buddies for more) and wilderness survival (Snow Buddies). Edutainment for the whole family.
Pros: Disney already owns all of the properties involved. Cross promotion is a snap: Budderball on ESPN’s NFL Live, B-Dawg and Rosebud on Brothers & Sisters, Molly on The View, and Buddy can do a guest spot on Modern Family.
Cons: Dinosaurs ended on a bit of a down note with the beginning of the ice age and dinosaur extinction. In order to top that the whole cast will need to die of heartworm in the series finale.
5: Bud-Up 3-D
Plot: B-Dawg shows his sensitive side in this moving underdog (no pun intended) story. B-Dawg is the leader of a misfit group of dancers who band together to save their dog park from being turned into a Waffle House. Crazy choreography, breathtaking stunts, and an all-star soundtrack featuring Caninus will be sure to deliver the most fun you’ve had in the theater all year!
Pros: Breakdancing movies cost nothing to make. Producers learned with Breakin’ that back-up dancers can be paid in cheese and glow sticks, while scraping the bottom of the barrel for any washed-up actor with some name recognition who needs a paycheck after being rejected from the new season of Celebrity Apprentice.
Cons: B-Dawg is not the most versatile actor of the litter so the studio will need to the foot the bill for some acting lessons. On second thought you can just make him watch Step-Up and tell him to do the opposite of whatever Channing Tatum did. Oscar gold is a lock.
4: Air Bud: SVU
Plot: Buddy is Detective Braden Walker and Molly is Detective Bertha Faye, former lovers who have been forced to team up by their lovable yet irritable police chief to solve the most gruesome crimes in the city. This one is not for the kiddies, folks. The detectives are given a new case each week and must find the sexual deviant within the hour! Black lights, harsh interrogations, and semen replace baseball, cupcakes, and tea parties in this gritty crime drama. The question in the back of everyone’s mind: Will Braden and Bertha reconcile their relationship? Only time will tell.
Pros: Getting the Air Bud veterans back together will pop big ratings with the nostalgia crowd. Crime dramas are still popular and the fans will want to see the leads together again. Think Mulder and Scully if you were able to film a sexy scene of them giving each other flea baths.
Cons: ABC is having too much success with their sitcoms to take the risk of any more dramas at this time. Air Bud: SVU cannot be aired on ESPN as it will break the monotony of 14 hours of Sportscenter. After 2 years of shopping the show around it will find a home on Animal Planet. However due to the mature themes it will only air on Animal Planet After Dark between Rhinos Doing It and Mischievous Bats.
Plot: After the box office bomb that was Quantum of Solace, MGM will want to go back to basics which means rehashing Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. This film will have a very similar structure and feel to Thunderball but some changes will need to be made to keep the movie from seeming dated. Such changes will include: Mudbud in his first appearance as James Bond, Bond chasing Al Qaeda agents instead of SPECTRE, Wichita, Kansas will be the target for destruction instead of Miami Beach, and the final battle will take place on the moon instead of under water. Mudbud’s extensive space travel will help this greatly, plus he doesn’t like to be wet or clean.
Pros: Mudbud is easily the most charismatic of all of the Bud family making him the runaway candidate for the role. Fans of the original will turn out in droves in order to go home and bitch about it on the internet, while kids will come out and see it because film god Michael Bay will be directing this summer blockbuster. Think of how cool all of those explosions on the moon will look. What do you mean, the moon doesn’t have an atmosphere? Fuck it then, we’ll send him to Cuba.
Cons: The sexual innuendo between James Bond and Miss Moneypenny will be misconstrued by the MPAA and the film will receive an NC-17 rating. They will cite 14 instances of bestiality or references to bestiality as the reason for the strict rating. This will cause the scripts to go through several rewrites and will add several weeks to the shooting time. Michael Bay will go on an interview tour blasting the movie because he was only allowed to keep 319 of his 5,468 dick jokes in the theatrical cut.
Plot: From the release of Air Buddies (2006) to Spooky Buddies (2011) the Buddies never look to have aged a day. According to dog year calculations this means they haven’t aged in 35 years! As the puppies start to notice this they receive a surprise visit from Sean Connery (reprising his iconic role of Scottish-Spanish-Egyptian Ramirez) who lets them in on a little secret: they are immortal! The Buddies are instructed in all of the rules of immortal combat: beheading is the only way to die, no fighting on holy ground, that there can only one winner, and that the prize is an all expense paid one-way trip to the planet Zeist. As the Buddies go through their training they are met by other immortals including Beethoven the St. Bernard and Benji. Filmed on location in beautiful Fernfield, WA, Fernfielder delivers great action, beautiful scenery, and thought-provoking philosophy. (Like ‘what the hell does Zeist have to do with any of this?)
Pros: A sword fighting movie with puppies. And Sean Connery. What else needs to be said?
Cons: Contrary to what the audience witnessed in Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, a dog actually will have some trouble holding a long object such as a sword in their mouth. Swinging the swords will also prove bothersome and fight choreography will prove an unmitigated disaster as Buddha will lose an ear during filming. Producers will panic and hire Ray Park as a quick fix. The fight scenes are beautiful but the studio is bankrupted by Ray Park’s request: to purchase the publishing rights the The Phantom Menace and remove his name from the credits.
1: Jai Alai Buddies
Plot: Budderball and B-Dawg, the jocks of the Bud clan take the audience through a no holds barred tour of underground jai alai clubs. After losing their life savings betting on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl (can they ever NOT disappoint me?) the brothers have to make their money back the only way they can: through the competition of sport. After attempting to land contracts with many professional sports franchises they Buddies realize that they aren’t very good at conventional sports. Sure, they could beat some middle school kids at soccer but who can’t? Internet research leads them to the conclusion that jai alai is the only sport left for them. Since they know nothing of this mystery sport the pups hire irascible old man Rip Torn (who else?) to coach them to the championship. The jai alai buddies reach the finals where they are forced to take on 6 time world champions White Fang and Shasta (making his first return to the screen since Snow Buddies).
Pros: Everything about this is fucking awesome! Budderball and B-Dawg are able to perform all of their own stunts, the studio landed some name recognition with Rip Torn and since no one knows anything about jai alai the writers can make up rules on the fly. This film will also bring the franchise full circle as the puppies will be back in the ring of athletic competition. There is also a second possibility of awesomeness that needs to be discussed. If this film led to a jai alai boom the economy would be recovered in less than one month, guaranteed. I can see it now: Nike brand jai alai shoes, Don King promoting jai alai pay-per-view events, fantasy jai alai leagues on Yahoo and ESPN, jai alai breakfast cereal. The possibilities are truly endless. Until I hear a presidential candidate mention the formation of a nationwide jai alai league I will be voting for no one.
Cons: None. Absolutely none.