GenreAdventure, Family Film seriesAir Buddies CountryUnited States
Release dateFebruary 5, 2008 (2008-02-05) Based onCharacters
by Paul Tamasy
Anna McRoberts WriterRobert Vince, Anna McRoberts, Kevin DiCicco (character "Air Bud"), Phil Hanley (additional comedy material), Paul Tamasy (characters), Aaron Mendelsohn (characters) CastCynthia Stevenson, Richard Karn, James Belushi (Bernie (voice)), Molly Shannon (Molly (voice)), Whoopi Goldberg (Miss Mittens (voice)) Similar moviesAir Buddies movies, Related Robert Vince movies
Adorable talking puppies band together to compete in a dog-sled race across Alaska.
Snow Buddies is a 2008 direct to video in the Air Bud series. It was released on DVD on February 5, 2008. The movie was shot on location in Canada at Mount Seymour, North Vancouver, and the town of Ladner, British Columbia.
Dylan Sprouse, Jim Belushi and Kris Kristofferson lend their voices to this family-friendly tale about a feisty pack of golden retriever puppies that embarks on an Alaskan adventure. When they find themselves stranded in the northern wilderness, the canine offspring of famed sports star Air Bud team up with an experienced sled dog and a husky pup, who teach them the importance of working together.
The movie follows the story of puppies from Washington who become trapped in a truck heading to Ferntiuktuk, Alaska. Upon arrival, the Buddies meet Shasta, a young husky whose 11-year-old owner is determined to win the Alaskan sled dog race. The puppies decide to help Shasta pursue his dreams. Unfortunately, as Shasta has no parents, this puts the puppies in a predicament as there is nobody to teach them how to become snow dogs. Shasta manages to persuade a dog named Talon into teaching the puppies into becoming his new proteges.
When Shasta introduces his owner, Adam, to his new sleigh team, the child is delighted at the prospect of his dreams coming true and the team pursue vigorous training routines. Adam begins building a new sleigh with his team of hard-working puppies. Talon proudly watches as the teams efforts come to fruition and it seems as though they are cooperating as a team. The older town huskies, however, are not impressed and begin to plan their downfall. They reveal to the Buddies that Shastas parents died when the ice beneath them shattered to dishearten them.
Talon calls the puppies to the mountain lake one night to view the Northern Lights before he departs telling Shasta that he knows all he needs to know and that he can become the great leader that his father was. The following morning, the puppies enter the race with Adam. After being reminded how treacherous the race is by the sheriff, the puppies begin their trek.
Meanwhile, the puppies parents follow the puppies to Alaska where the rescue dog Bernie informs them of their participation in the race. A dangerous snowstorm forces Adam and the team take shelter in an igloo provided by an Inuit until the storm subsides. They come head to head with their opponent, Jean George, and Adam gets injured.
Adam then recovers. Jean Georges dogs get into trouble when the ice beneath them shatters. Jean George continues and abandons his dogs while Adam and the puppies begin a rescue operation despite Shastas fears of his parents deaths. The puppies pull the dogs out of the icy waters and Jean George continues the race without any gratitude and abandons their rescuers. Jean Georges dogs realize they owe nothing to their owner and everything to Shasta and the Buddies, and so, slow down and "go on strike" causing Jean George to lose the race.
Adam is victorious and the Buddies reunite with Buddy and Molly. Jean George gives out to his dogs and they respond in kind by chasing him around the Arctic. All seven Buddies return home via airplane.
Skyler Gisondo as B-Dawg
Jimmy Bennett as Buddha
Josh Flitter as Budderball
Henry Hodges as Mudbud
Liliana Mumy as Rosebud, the oldest female puppy
Mary Birdsong-Covey as Peatty, a Siberian Husky
Wendi McLendon-Covey as Truffles, a Shetland Sheepdog
Tom Everett Scott as Buddy
Karley Scott Collins as Lily, Rosebuds younger sister and the youngest of all the puppies
Molly Shannon as Molly
Kris Kristofferson as Talon, an Alaskan Malamute
James Belushi as Bernie, a St. Bernard dog
Paul Rae as Phillipe
Lothaire Bluteau as Francois
Whoopi Goldberg as Miss Mittens, a Himalayan cat
Christian Pikes as Henry
John Kapelos as Jean George
Dylan Sprouse as Shasta, a Siberian Husky
Tom Woodruff, Jr. as Slim Wolf (uncredited)
Disney imported 20 under-aged golden retriever puppies from New York State, into Vancouver, Canada for the filming of the movie. A second group of 8 puppies, of eight weeks of age were brought to set one week later from Washington State. Many of the puppies contracted the highly contagious parvovirus, against which puppies are usually vaccinated at 8 weeks of age. At least 15 puppies showed signs of the illness, including parasitic infections of giardia and coccidia, and all were removed from the set. Three were euthanized for intussusception before the parvo outbreak, one for suspected parvo (but not confirmed by necropsy) and one puppy who was returned to the breeder without being used reportedly died of parvo. The American Humane Association enforced the removal of the first two sets of puppies, and after a four-week delay, during which time all puppies were quarantined until they were healthy, Disney hired 8 older puppies to continue filming. These puppies were joined by puppies from the second group who did not get ill from parvovirus and filming was completed. In total, five puppies died during the making of the film.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray in January 2012.