I have been hammered with a flu for over a week now. I can't seem to shake it and it's starting to piss me off. To give you an idea of just how scattered this damn virus has made me, last night at 1:30AM I raided the kids section of my movie collection and decided to watch Air Bud. Ah-huh... Air Bud. I am a huge fan of family films but this brand of movie is generally NOT my thing. It is an absolute testament to my illness that I (sigh) enjoyed it. I had to double-take when I read that the director was none other than Charles Martin Smith. This is the same guy who starred in the amazing Never Cry Wolf as well as The Untouchables and American Graffiti. He also directed the cult horror flick Trick Or Treat. What the hell is he doing behind the camera of Air Bud?
20 minutes into the movie and my meds had obviously kicked in (hard) because I was enjoying it. A gorgeous golden retriever dog wearing basketball shoes and shooting hoops. Adorable! Wait, did I just say that? I was engaging with this movie way too much and at the one hour mark I was desperate for some kind of vindication. I needed to know that I wasn't tripping and so I hit google. To my relief I found a video of Siskel & Ebert reviewing Air Bud and they also enjoyed it. Okay so there might be something to this. I normally need kids around me to actually enjoy this brand of movie... but to be thoroughly entertained, alone in the middle of the night, was perplexing.
Super Buddies - Coming Soon
So then I thought "fuck it" and just watched the damn thing. Yay for me! What an ingenious little franchise, huh? To date Air Bud has churned out a highly lucrative franchise. Extending beyond Aid-Bud is a spin-off series of SEVEN Air Buddies movies featuring Bud's puppies (they talk) as well as a prequel series called Santa Paws. We might ridicule such a legacy but what I wouldn't give to be one those raking in the cha-ching. These movies now flow direct-to-dvd and VOD and dominate the children's market. They are guaranteed to perform in the 5-10 year demographic with each instalment almost immediately demanding another one.
We can laugh about the Air Bud series but lets face it, we're just jealous that we didn't think of it. Of course if my head wasn't so doped up on medication, this article would be completely different.