Disney // 2000 // 83 Minutes // Rated G
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 23rd, 2010
A new breed of soccer dad.
According to the back of the disc case, Air Bud: World Pup is a "timeless film." Words don't have meaning anymore, do they?
Buddy (a.k.a. Air Bud) is living the sweet life. His owner just remarried and now he's finally got a stable home life, which allows him to turn his attention towards hot sex! One day, while running around saving the world or something, Buddy notices a fetching retriever named Molly, the pet of a British family that just moved into town. Ironically, the daughter of said British family has caught the eye of Buddy's teenage pal Josh, so there's some parallel courting going on.
To get closer to her, Josh joins the school's loser soccer team, where he's immediately shown up by Buddy's ability to score goals at will. This leads to the soccer coach drafting the dog onto the team. Which leads to an improbable championship run. Which leads to a last-second miracle shot in slow-motion. Which leads to Air Bud tending goal for the U.S. women's Olympic team?!
Disney live-action films typically exist in an alternate universe; magical, whimsical places where superior sports teams are consistently bested by plucky bands of underachievers, and grown-ups are hit with pies. World Pup exists in such a world, just with a slight twist: it is populated by morons.
Here's a list:
The human protagonist in love with the cute new girl with the awesome accent. But, like a dolt, he a) joins the soccer team, when he obviously sucks and continuously embarrasses himself in competitive situations in front of her, and b) opts to ask her out while in the middle of the game, which might actually be a smart move as it would distract from his feeble play.
The Soccer Coach
Why not have a dog on the team? I guess soccer is so loathed in this high school that no human being wants to try out for it, so might as well put a canine in the lineup, regardless of what kind of insurance liability that could cause. The guy doesn't even take five seconds to think about it; he sees Buddy knock in one goal and immediately falls over himself offering Buddy kibble to join up.
Josh's Stupid Best Friend
This kid is a tool.
The Evil Dog Catchers
Yep. Dog catchers. Who are evil. And their brilliant plan is to dognap the pets of a rich and powerful British family.
The Editor of the Town Newspaper
Front-page news? The high school soccer team wins its first game!
The big news of this movie is the birth of the Buddies, which prompts a whole new series of excruciating films. The Buddies, as we learn in successive adventures, can speak. Wow. Their father was a tri-sport superstar athlete. They can talk in complete sentences. I figure their offspring can poop gold.
This double-dip brings exactly one brand new bonus feature: a five-minute bit where the Buddies talk about Air Bud's athletic career, and yes it is as godforsaken as it sounds. To sweeten the deal, Disney's included a tiny Air Bud sports cinch bag that was obviously not made for human hands.
World Pup! I get it! That playful pun almost makes this formulaic hooey tolerable!
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
* English (SDF)
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Rated G
* Cinch Bag