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Space Buddies - Blu-ray DVD / children's and family DVD / comedy DVD review
SPACE BUDDIES (BD LIVE) Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Bill Fagerbakke, Kevin Weisman, Lochlyn Munro, Ali Hillis, Pat Finn, Nolan Gould
Director: Robert Vince Distributor: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 03 February 2009 Runtime: 84 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound) - English, Spanish, French), Subtitles (French, Spanish), Buddy Bloopers, "Dancing in the Moonlight" music video, DisneyPedia: The Buddies Guide To Space Travel, Buddy Facts, Buddy Finder - Buddy Finder scavenger hunt, Disney BD-Live Network

Disney's direct-to-video Space Buddies combines cute talking puppies with an adventure in space to produce an interesting if not entirely compelling adventure for the kids. The puppies are the Air Buddies, perhaps known to children from their previous features. They are Buddha (voiced by Field Cate), who wears Buddhist prayers beads; Budderball (voiced by Josh Flitter), who wears a football jersey and gorges himself on junk food; B-Dawg (voiced by Skyler Gisondo), who wears flashy jewelry and breakdances; Mudbud (voiced by Henry Hodges), who enjoys being as filthy as possible; and Rosebud (Liliana Mumy), a fashion-conscious girl-about-town. The children who cherish these pups have personalities that match their pups, so it's easy to remember who belongs to whom.

One day the Buds follow their kids onto a school bus headed to an independent space organization to see an unmanned moon launch. Naturally, the curious pups get suited up and gambol onto the sleek shuttle and get shot into space. The scamps make a new canine friend when they meet Spudnick (voiced by Jason Earles) aboard a secret Russian space station. Spudnick is the only companion to Yuri (Diedrich Bader), a crazy Russian, perhaps somehow left over from the Cold War days (he says "comrade" a lot). The pups are soon on to the moon with their new friend.

It's on the moon that they are first noticed by the ground crew. From there, the challenge is to get the ship and the lovable retrievers back to Earth safely. The humans, of course, are oblivious to the amazing work of the clever pups. They also overlook Gravity (voiced by Amy Sedaris), a ferret who communicates to the pups from Mission Control to help them get home. Gravity's owner, Pi (Bill Fagerbakke), the guy in charge of the launch, knows there's something going on between them, though he's not sure as to the extent of it.

If you have a child who loves puppies no matter what they're doing, they may well love Space Buddies. There are, however, some bits of exposition in which the pups are not present, and this may invite distraction. Space Buddies is not one of those magical children's movies that can easily be tolerated by adults through multiple viewings. Adults may prefer to put on their iPods and enjoy the beautiful hi-def views of space shown in this one. Really, amazing the production value that went into this direct-to-video release. The special effects are pretty good for being done on the cheap, and the kids will enjoy the blooper reel available in the special features.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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