Santa Buddies (2009)

santa buddies poster 2009 movie
2.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 1/10

Not much

Forced holiday cheer and horrible visuals

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Santa Buddies

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s):  Seasonal/Family

Release Date(s):  November 2, 2009 (UK)/November 24, 2009 (US)

MPAA Rating:  G


I’ll lead us out of this crappy movie, Paws!

When Puppy Paws decides he wants to be an ordinary dog, he seeks out the Buddies for help.  Without Puppy Paws however, the already fading Christmas spirit is threatened.  When Puppy Paws is captured by the evil Christmas-hating dog-catcher Stan Cruge (Christopher Lloyd), it is up to the Buddies to free him.  The Christmas spirit is losing its power, and Puppy Paws and the Buddies might be the last hope of Santa Claus (George Wendt) to keep Christmas alive.

Directed by Robert Vince, Santa Buddies (or its full title of Santa Buddies:  The Legend of Santa Paws) is the four movie in the “Buddies” movie and follows Space Buddies from 2008.  It is the ninth film in the Air Bud series which segued into the Air Buddies series after the fifth film Air Bud:  Spikes Back in 2003.  Santa Buddies was released straight-to-DVD.


Now, I wish the dogs began eating the dog catcher!

Air Bud was a mini-phenomenon.  The idea that a movie about a golden retriever that could shoot baskets could succeed as a franchise is pretty amazing.  While Air Bud had “talent”, the Buddies struggle to do anything other than look cute.

The basic story of Santa Buddies is pretty basic Christmas fodder.  You have the mean Scrooge character in Christopher Lloyd, the sick child who just wants a dog, and tons of non-believers who need a bit of a boost.  You add to that a bunch of dogs who have a goal to first try to teach Puppy Paws and then try to free Puppy Paws.  The dogs (of course) end up having to deliver gifts and save Christmas…you will be surprised by nothing in this movie (and I don’t even think a kid will be).


Thank Baby Jesus for the Santa Buddies

The cast is rather sad.  George Wendt mails it in as Santa Claus so I hope he got a decent check for it.  The vocal talents are very average though some decent stars are involved.  Tom Bosley voices Santa Paws and Diary of a Wimpy Kid star Zachary Gordon provides the voice of his son Puppy Paws.  Other stars include Tim Conway and Richard Kind who provide voices for the dogs.

Even if Santa Buddy’s story was fantastic, it would matter because the visuals for the film are awful.  The dogs just sit around (rather lazily) and bad computer animated mouths provide the talking.  In addition to the bad talking animal visuals, the sets of show are bad computer generated locations as well.  Plus, there are some really forced musical numbers (like Santa’s get to work song).


Come back…and we’ll kill you!!!

Santa Buddies is a miserable experience, but it is close to being so bad it is good.  I have to wonder how movies like this get approval.  I realize they are make money, but there has got to be better stories to tell.  Santa Buddies was followed by Spooky Buddies in 2011 but a prequel to this film called The Search for Santa Paws was released in 2010.

Related Links:

The Search for Santa Paws (2010)

Santa Paws 2:  The Santa Pups (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response