Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
An ordinary day at Fernfield Farms turns extraordinary when Budderball, Mudbud, B-Dawg, Buddha and Rosebud discover mysterious rings that grant them each a unique super power. Before you can say, “Buddies, assemble,” the pups unleash their amazing abilities and race to the rescue when a shape-shifting bully from outer space threatens the planet. But can they succeed in kicking major tail without revealing their new secret identities?
For more about Super Buddies and the Super Buddies Blu-ray release, see Super Buddies Blu-ray Review published by Brian Orndorf on November 21, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: John Ratzenberger, Michael Teigen, Jason Earles, Tim Conway, Atticus Shaffer, Alyson Stoner
» See full cast & crew
Super Buddies Blu-ray Review
The Bark Knight Rises
Reviewed by Brian Orndorf, November 21, 2013
It's hard to believe this all started with "Air Bud." The 1997 picture has spawned a series of sequels and spin-offs that have transformed a simple tale of a basketball-shooting pooch into cash cow for Disney, who issue a DTV production every year, using the power of puppies to latch on to whatever trend is happening in Hollywood. The dogs have met Santa, searched for buried treasure, and enjoyed Halloween, but now it's time to suit up in spandex and save the world. "Super Buddies" is the latest in the "Air Buddies" franchise, working with visual effects to turn everyone's favorite canine pack into caped crusaders, protecting lovable humans from an intergalactic threat. As these things tend to go, kids won't mind the light action and mild jesting, with the whole production played in an exhaustively cartoon mode to avoid the burden of actual screenwriting. Older viewers may not be as patient, though "Super Buddies" could be of use to die-hard comic book cinema fans unable to wait for the next Marvel or DC endeavor.
At the pastoral Fernfield Farms, young Bartleby (Trey Loney) is eager to celebrate his 12th birthday with Gramps Livingstone (John Ratzenberger). Gifted a "Kid Courageous and Captain Canine" comic book for his birthday, Bartleby is stunned to realize that the seemingly sci-fi tale of heroism is actually reality, with his dog, Budderball (voiced by Jeremy Shinder), and pals B-Dawg (Cooper Roth), Rosebud (G. Hannelius), Mudbud (Ty Panitz), and Buddha (Tenzing Trainor) discovering the Rings of Inspiron: magical collars that gift the wearer super powers tied to their personality. On the hunt for these treasures is Drex (John Michael Higgins), an alien villain with shape-shifting abilities who's arrived on Earth, transforming into a pig to blend in with the locals. As the Buddies get used to their awesome powers, help and leadership arrives in the form of Captain Canine (Colin Hanks), who's actually alien hero Megasis in disguise, hoping to locate the Rings and save the universe from Drex's destructive ways.
To be fair to the producers of "Super Buddies," there's a considerable effort to keep the movie away from simplicity. Expecting a slim tale of dogs in masks off to aid humans in their time of need, the feature is actually complicated in a weird way, with co-writer/director Robert Vince (the mastermind behind the "Buddies" series) weaving together a bizarre story that blends the world of publishing and "reality," where Captain Canine is a genuine alien, with his pal, Jack (Jason Earles), a writer using this strange, lifelong partnership to fuel his popular comic book endeavors. It's ambitious plotting, attempting to jazz up the movie with twists and turns, but it's wasted on a script that doesn't have much need for airtight punchlines. The humor in "Super Buddies" is limited to puns and physical incidents, finding most of the first act devoted to farmland mischief, watching the Buddies interact with talking pigs, bulls, and chickens, which gives off a heavy "Babe" vibe. To Vince, there's nothing funnier than a dog rolling around a pile of mud. Even for a family film, this seems awfully pedestrian.
Once the power of the Rings is unleashed, "Super Buddies" follows the "Superman" format, observing the gang figure out how to use newfound abilities such as speed, flight, and strength. The team rescues a cat from a tree and, in the effort's most bizarre scene, defends a candy store from a pair of German thieves, tying them up with licorice and dumping caramel on them. The screenplay is actually structured awkwardly, positioning the rescue sequences before Captain Canine arrives to train the dogs, getting them used to their skills. Tradition dictates that the characters must understand their powers before perfecting their acts of heroism. In "Super Buddies," the opposite occurs, slashing the picture's sense of momentum before it gets lost in a chaotic third act that features Drex stealing the body of town boob, Sheriff Dan (Michael Teigen), while Gramps tries to rescue threatened animals and kids in his own superhero getup.
Did I mention Drex's assistant, a talking monkey named, well, Monk-E? The farm pigs that speak Pig Latin? The ridiculous plugs for Purina pet food? "Super Buddies" has its share of craziness, though little of it is inspired, making weird choices for silliness. A voice cast that includes Tim Conway, Amy Sedaris, and Debra Jo Rupp doesn't elevate the viewing experience as expected, with Vince only using the stars sparingly. After all, allowing funny people a chance to work their magic would take time away from lines such as, "that's super-duper-pooper-scooper cool!"
Also disconcerting is the use of real animals with CGI mouths, which labors to paste excited lines on emotionless faces, generating a creepy vibe as puppies are marched into duty, with no clue as to what's going on around them. Adding to the oddness, the alien characters are actually little people performers with CGI heads, leaving their bodies floppy and human, while facial features are smoothly animated, resembling an advanced "Mac & Me" sequel. I suppose rendering an entire body would be too expensive, but the compromised version viewed here leads to a few unintentional laughs.
Super Buddies Blu-ray, Video Quality
The AVC encoded image (1.78:1 aspect ratio) presentation looks like your average HD-shot Disney DTV production, with a tremendously clean image, offering a hint of softness. There's some brightness boosting, leaving blacks unconvincing and prone to crush. Otherwise, overcranked colors are outstanding, with bold primaries making the viewing experience quite pleasant, while engaging hues emerge from superhero costumes and lush farm life. Skintones are natural, with alien green making its intended impression. Fine detail is satisfactory for this type of cinematography, with fabric and set particulars easily surveyed, while animal fur provides a sense of texture to an otherwise CG-slathered enterprise.
Super Buddies Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA sound mix is surprisingly active for a family film. Activity from the Super Buddies is greeted with a mild but engaging sense of directional movement, keeping heroic antics alert in the surrounds, which also carry compelling scoring cues and atmospherics. Dialogue exchanges sound crisp and clear, capturing performances with professional skill, while the group dynamic is comfortably separated, never clogging into a mess of conversation. Low-end reveals itself with action sequences, while asteroid threats register heavily. The track doesn't strain itself, supporting the visuals with a healthy blend of voices, scoring, and sound effects.
Super Buddies Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
There is no supplementary material on this disc.
Super Buddies Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A production like "Super Buddies" is essentially critic-proof, with these pictures made explicitly for children who haven't developed taste in cinema yet. It's a babysitting tool, and while it's not exactly lazy with all the nonsense that needs to be sorted through to find a plot, it's lackluster, trying to cash-in on a trend without aid of sharp writing and exciting direction. However, as uninteresting as "Super Buddies" is, I'm curious to lean where this franchise will go next. Possibly time travel? "War Buddies," with the dogs battling Nazis seems like a logical continuation, and I can't imagine a family around who wouldn't pay for the privilege to watch that.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Super Buddies. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Super Buddies in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Super Buddies Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Disney's Super Buddies Blu-ray - March 5, 2013
Walt Disney Home Entertainment brings the next installment in the Buddies movie franchise, Super Buddies, to Blu-ray this Summer. The family friendly send-up of The Avengers and other superhero films stars kid-favorite pups Rosebud, B-Dawg, Budderball, Buddha and ...
Super Buddies Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Super Buddies Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Super Buddies Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.