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Adorable golden retriever puppies Rosebud, Buddha, Budderball, B-Dawg, and Mudbud return in an epic adventure that takes them farther than they ever dreamed. In a delightful new escapade, the inquisitive pooches travel to the moon in search of a dream, only to realize that what they want is back on earth. Moving at warp speed, dodging asteroids and more, the Buddies and their two new friends, Spudnick, a sweet bull terrier and Gravity, a resourceful ferret, 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 inspiring tale of teamwork, and loyalty that celebrates the journey of life and the friendships made along the way. It’s Buddy-loving fun the whole family will enjoy again and again.
For more about Space Buddies and the Space Buddies Blu-ray release, see the Space Buddies Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on February 3, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Diedrich Bader, C. Ernst Harth, Field Cate, Josh Flitter, Amy Sedaris, Bill Fagerbakke
Director: Robert Vince
» See full cast & crew
Space Buddies Blu-ray Review
Entertainment for the kids; Blu-ray style.
Reviewed by Ben Williams, February 3, 2009
Take a deep breath, Blu-ray fanatics; the most anticipated title of 2009, for the five to ten- year-old demographic, has finally found its way onto everyone's favorite video format. Space Buddies is the very definition of a critic-proof movie. Nothing I can say about this puppies-in-outer-space children's movie could possibly detract from the sheer enjoyment that the film will provide for its intended audience. In an attempt at seeing the movie through the eyes of a viewer who is a member of the film's target audience, I've enlisted the assistance of my five-year-old cousin, Steven. Steven's extensive film background includes such highlights as: falling asleep during Star Wars, Sleeping Beauty and Mission to Mars, the latter of which had the same effect on me; enjoying The Incredibles, Madagascar and Shrek as well as having been to Disney World. Steven has also screened the previous "Buddies" movies on several occasions and has described those experiences as both "cool" and "fun." This review will be somewhat like a live hockey broadcast; I'll be providing the play-by- play while Steven handles the color commentary. Onward!
Everyone's favorite puppies return in Space Buddies, an adventure that takes these five talking and mischievous critters into outer space and to the moon. Rosebud (Liliana Mumy), Buddha (Field Cate), Budderball (Josh Fitter), B-Dawg (Skyler Gisondo) and Mudbud (Henry Hodges) accompany their masters on a field trip to a mission-control-like space agency. The buddies are, as usual, magnets for trouble and end up scurrying around the space center while clueless humans look befuddled. Before long, all five puppies manage to stray into an empty spacecraft that is just about to launch and, surprise, the five troublemakers end up on the moon. Panic ensues back on Earth - - it's a race against time as Space Scientist Pi (Bill Fagerbakke) engages in a battle of wits with a disgruntled employee, Dr. Finkel (Kevin Weisman), to try to return the buddies safely back to Earth.
I can confirm that Space Buddies didn't offer much in the way of entertainment for me. Steven, on the other hand, was experiencing the movie as though it was the second coming of Citizen Kane. Steven describes the experience thusly: "I loved it. There was the part with the doggie in the hat (Note: I believe he is talking about a space helmet) and he trips 'cause it's heavy." Indeed, Steven, that was comedy gold. Steven adds: "The ship was fast! I liked the squirrel (Note: this was a ferret, in actuality) and he hid in his pocket."
When asked about the "Buddies" themselves, Steven clearly is a fan of Buddha. "He's cute and he talks," said Steven. However, I must vehemently disagree with Steven on this point. The CGI trick of making household pets talk has become intensely revolting to me over the years. I almost automatically experience nausea and tune out whenever a dog, cat or "squirrel" (ferret) starts chatting away. It's my own personal Pavlovian reaction that is somehow fitting given this is a review about a dog-oriented movie. Anyway, it was at this point in our conversation that Steven informed me that I was being "mean" to Buddha, so I decided to change the subject for fear of getting into an argument with a five-year-old.
In the end, Space Buddies isn't a film for me, but is very much the kind of thing that will thrill the socks off of a precocious five-year-old. For adults, Space Buddies rates a dismal two and a half stars out of five. It's just not the kind of entertainment that offers much to anyone over the age of, say, eight, who happen to be in the room while children are watching. However, purely for the kids, it's a thrill a minute. Steven agrees, adding: "you need to get it!" How can you argue with that?
Space Buddies Blu-ray, Video Quality
Steven was immediately impressed with the video quality of Space Buddies. In fact, there were several occasions where I had to ask him to not touch the projector screen. Space Buddies is presented in 1.78:1, full 1080p and has been encoded with the AVC Mpeg-4 codec. This is certainly not the sharpest video encode I've ever seen. In fact, the entire movie has a slightly soft look to it. Perhaps this is a side effect of a lower effects budget or just a stylistic choice. Either way, it didn't bother Steven, who wanted, time and again, to pet Buddha whenever the dog was on screen. I managed to distract him for a while by trying to task him in helping me find edge enhancement, macroblocking or any other picture anomalies. Neither of us found any and Steven was quick to point out that our quest was "dumb." That's the spirit, Steven! Regardless, this is an above average, colorful and ultimately pleasing transfer.
Space Buddies Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Space Buddies is an action themed kids flick, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that it features a pretty rockin' soundtrack. Steven was also impressed, though he often felt that the movie was turned up too loud. "Ouch!" was the typical exclamation, followed by a comical cupping of his hands over his ears. Once volume levels were to his satisfaction, Steven seemed to really enjoy the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround track. He would frequently flip his head around as he followed sound around the room and, oftentimes, he grinned from ear to ear. For me, the audio was definitely above average with nicely reproduced dialogue and active surround usage. All-in-all, this is well presented track that both Steven and I enjoyed. Recommended!
Space Buddies Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
- Buddy Facts
- Buddy Bloopers
- "Dancing in the Moonlight" Music Video Featuring Disney's Alyson Stoner
- Disneypedia: The Buddies'Guide to Space Travel
- Buddy Finder
Perhaps Steven is a bit too young for supplements; many of the features included on Space Buddies made him a little restless. First up, the Buddy Facts track displays trivia throughout the duration of the film. Buddy Bloopers is just that: a series of gags and flubbed takes. Buddy Finder is an interactive scavenger hunt that takes place during the movie. The Buddies Guide to Space Travel offers a short documentary and a history lesson on the space program. Finally, the set includes a music video for Disney Channel star Alyson Stoner's take on "Dancing in the Moonlight." I have no idea who Alyson Stoner is, but Steven seemed to recognize her. So, Steven would have rather watched the film than the supplements, but Disney has done an admirable job in putting together as much of a comprehensive set as could be expected for a straight to video feature.
Space Buddies Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Steven said it best when proclaiming that Space Buddies was full of "pretty dogs." Yes, the dogs are cute and the entire scenario of the film is a pet-friendly kid's dream. While not particularly interesting to adults, Space Buddies triumphs in entertaining kids for its full 84 minute run time. It's also a good-natured movie with a cheerful premise. Steven is hooked. His final request to me on the day we reviewed the film was "can I have it?" Unfortunately, Steven went home empty handed that day, but as soon as his Mom and Dad pony up for a Blu-ray player, i'll consider loaning it to him. Space Buddies is good, clean fun that is sure to delight children. For them, it is highly recommended!
Movie: 2.5 Stars
Video: 4 Stars
Audio: 4 Stars
Supplements: 2 Stars
Overall: 3.5 Stars
5 stars across the board.
Space Buddies Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - February 3rd - February 3, 2009
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• Disney Announces More Classics Coming to Blu-ray - January 7, 2009
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• Disney Gives Peek at 2009 Slate - October 17, 2008
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has revealed that they will bring 'Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition' to Blu-ray on March 10th, day-and-date with the DVD release. This second Platinum Edition Blu-ray from Disney will feature two recently discovered ...
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