With a nod to the holiday, today’s Movie Monday feature is Spooky Buddies.

You might have been hoping for something a bit scarier this Halloween. If that’s the case, I highly recommend stopping by KellyVision where gal pal Kelly routinely talks about scary films and thrillers, particularly at this time of year. As for me, I have a seven-year old son who is still young enough to be a member of Disney’s straight-to-video target market and this is as scary as it gets. My apologies.

For better or worse, I have seen all the movies in the Air Bud franchise. Of course, my son was just a twinkle in my eye when the original came out in 1997, but my youngest brother was a fan of both sports and big dogs (our family only ever had dogs of the 15 pounds or less variety). We’ve long since moved on to Air Bud’s offspring. My son was a little young for Air Buddies in 2006, but was easily hooked on Snow Buddies in 2008. Santa Buddies and Space Buddies followed in quick succession. This latest outing has the pups celebrating Halloween.

We’ve also left behind any semblance of realism. Sure, you have to disregard the puppies talking in earlier films, but it seems possible that they could get dognapped or accidentally end up in a frozen shipment of ice cream to Alaska. There are no magical elements. That grip on reality starts to loosen in Santa Buddies and is summarily tossed out the window completely in Spooky Buddies as we start the film in 1937 Fernfield with a dark magic warlock and a puppy ghost named Pip.

Okay.

But I honestly have to say the film does get better when it comes back to present day. The child acting is… not good. But the puppies are cute (as puppies tend to be) and dressing them up in matching costumes with their owners manages to be adorable without being completely over the top. The plot is really just an excuse to put the kids and puppies into funny, unusual situations and it works. My son and I were chuckling along with the film in all the expected moments. There’s the requisite happy ending. And it’s always awesome to watch a Halloween movie where everyone in the town is so into the holiday with lavish costumes, huge parties and highly decorated homes. I would love to live in a town that put so much effort into Halloween!

Favorite moment(s): A creative Frankendude costume was the highlight for me, while my son exploded with laughter when Budderball fought evil with a fart. 

Bottom line: If you’re watching along with a younger child, it’s worth a $1-rental from redbox. 

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