This is the latest in a series of Air Buddies films that includes Air Buddies (2006), Snow Buddies (2008), and Space Buddies (2009) as well as Santa Buddies. The five "buddies" visit the North Pole where Puppy Paws (son of Santa Paws) has become bored and restless. The major crisis involves a magical icicle that is melting as the world seems to be losing the Christmas spirit. Without any assistance from Al Gore, Puppy Paws and his friends rise to the challenge.
My rating is based on a compromise of two perspectives: My own as an adult who has seen all of Disney's films and judges each new one according to the high standards set by classics such as Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi (Three Stars), and, the perspective of children no older than six (Four Stars). Add another Star for the "bonus materials" and the production values (image and sound) and divide by two. (The two-disco "Combo Pack" really is quite a bargain, offering both DVD and Blu-ray HD plus 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.) Younger viewers will have favorite scenes they enjoy seeing again and again and again. (I can't think of one I am eager to see again.) The combination of adorable puppies, the North Pole, Santa Claus, and the spirit of Christmas creates an exceptionally pleasant experience for them but, at least in my opinion, much less so for adults.
One final point. Unsupervised younger children have easy access to what Robert Burns characterizes as "man's inhumanity to man" in his poem, From Man was made to Mourn: A Dirge, (1785). Although I do not consider Santa Buddies to be comparable with a number of Disney classics, it does have a quality of innocence that I find refreshing and consider commendable. I hope that leaders in the film industry will continue to have the courage as well as the talents to produce films that affirm traditional values rather than glorify and (at least by implication) condone violence in one form or another.
My kids just love the Buddies movies, and who could resist the cute dogs? Each has their own distinct personality and style and in this movie they come together yet again for a great Christmas special! If your family loves the Buddies movies, they'll love this!
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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