On-Air Bud, or how do I get the voices to stop barking?

Guys, I’ve got a lot on my mind right now and it all has to do with Air Bud. Seriously, I can’t get this ridiculous franchise out of my head. I’ve never even seen an Air Bud film, but somehow it’s gripped my sanity with a tenacious fervour and refuses to release it. I can’t stop thinking about it. Hilarious as I think it is, I’m not joking here. Did you know there are 14 Air Bud films? 14! It takes 13 to get to a coven of witches. I can only imagine the horror that 14 Air Bud films could enact. The Incredibles, a well respected and widely appreciated Pixar film about a family of super heroes never got a sequel. I was always offended to live in a world where Cars got a sequel and The Incredibles didn’t. Having seen neither Cars nor Air Bud, I’m not sure which is worse. All I know is that while The Incredibles never received a follow-up, Air Bud got 13 of them. One of which even involves Air Bud’s offspring inheriting magical rings that give them super powers. There’s a fucking dog with mind control, but we’ve never seen Jack-Jack in kindergarten. I repeat, a canine achieves mental dominion over other beings because of a magical ring it inherits, but I have yet to enjoy more super powered family dinner table hi-jinks. Do I really want to live in this world any more?

This all came about in the most innocent way too. Someone at work sent me an email consisting of “thanks bud” and immediately my mind went to America’s favourite golden retriever driven movie franchise. Once that kernel of an idea took root, I could do naught but stay out of the way of its rampant growth. I read a bit and the more I read the more I reached a stage somewhere between trance and raw disbelief. To put things in perspective, there were 7 Police Academy films. The Land Before Time had 13. The adventures of a sporty pooch and his adventurous offspring trump both of those.

Things began so innocently. A silly film about a dog with a talent for basketball. Fine, I’ll give you that. Your first taste is free. Next up American football, then British football, followed by baseball and of course, volleyball. You know what happens to dogs though? Like humans they both age and die. Unlike humans it happens much faster. I’m sure Air Bud spent most of his fortune on the usual accoutrements: Hookers and blow, amirite? Don’t worry, he’ll always live on in my heart. The Air Bud franchise began in 1997. 9 years later, they’d moved away from sports and onto Air Bud‘s offspring. Possibly because they needed to cast a new Air Bud and thought they might as well pick up the rest of the litter while they were at it. Once the kids were involved, things got batshit crazy.

I’m gonna outline a few scenarios and you can guess which ones actually happened…

a) The puppies visit Alaska.
b) They visit outer space.
c) They’re involved in an ancient warlock ritual involving blood magic.
d) They save Christmas…
e)… three times.



The answer is all of the above. No shit. I mean, Air Bud seems like an intelligent dog. He knows the complex rules of games I have yet to understand (how does one football?). I’m willing to suspend disbelief enough to be fine with the concept of him passing his astronaut exams and getting into space. Thing is, he doesn’t. It’s his fucking kids. I’ve worked with kids guys, they’re kinda dumb (it’s not their fault or anything. Just a lack of wisdom learned over time through experiences). I severely doubt they’d be able to plot their trajectory back into Earth’s atmosphere. Also, no opposable thumbs for the multitude of intricate equipment. Volleyball is one thing, an aptitude for interstellar exploration is quite another.

I joked with a friend that I should start a podcast about this. My mind is pretty vacant at the moment and I can’t tell if that was really a joke. I sincerely hope not. This needs to happen more than the world needed any sequels to Air Bud.


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