Air Bud

Last Updated on: January 20th, 2024

Air Bud (1997 Movie)

“Air Bud” is a family sports comedy film released in 1997. It is the first installment in the “Air Bud” film series and was produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The movie is directed by Charles Martin Smith.

The story follows a young boy named Josh Framm, played by Kevin Zegers, who moves to a new town with his mother and sister. One day, Josh discovers a stray golden retriever who has a natural talent for playing basketball. Josh decides to adopt the dog and names him Buddy.

As the days pass, Josh realizes that Buddy can not only play basketball but is exceptionally skilled at it. He decides to keep Buddy as his secret teammate and introduces him to his school basketball team. With Buddy’s extraordinary abilities, the team starts winning games and gains national attention.

However, challenges arise as Josh struggles to keep Buddy’s talents a secret and prevent others from finding out about their secret weapon. Throughout the movie, Josh and Buddy form a strong bond, and their friendship becomes the heart of the story.

“Air Bud” is a heartwarming film that combines sports, friendship, and family themes. It explores the power of loyalty, the importance of teamwork, and the unconditional love between a boy and his dog.

The film received positive reviews from audiences and critics alike, praising its wholesome and uplifting story. The performance of Buddy the golden retriever, who was portrayed by a dog named Buddy in real life, was especially praised for its charm and talent.

The success of “Air Bud” led to several sequels, including “Air Bud: Golden Receiver,” “Air Bud: World Pup,” “Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch,” and “Air Bud: Spikes Back.” The franchise also expanded to include spin-off films such as “Air Buddies” and “Santa Buddies.”

“Air Bud” became a popular and enduring family film, beloved for its feel-good nature and positive messages. The movie remains a favorite among children and families who enjoy heartwarming stories about the unbreakable bond between humans and their pets.

Overall, “Air Bud” is a delightful and uplifting film that continues to entertain and inspire audiences of all ages with its touching story and the remarkable talents of Buddy the golden retriever.

Fun Facts

  • “Air Bud” is a 1997 Disney family sports comedy film about a golden retriever named Buddy who becomes a basketball-playing sensation.
  • The film is based on the true story of a dog named Buddy who could shoot basketballs into a hoop. In the movie, Buddy’s character is played by a talented dog actor named Buddy, who was actually named Air Buddy.
  • One interesting statistic is that Buddy, the dog actor, had a 98% success rate in making basketball shots during filming, making him quite the canine basketball star.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released: 1997
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $27.77 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Kevin Zegers: Josh Framm
  • Air Buddy: Himself
  • Michael Jeter: Norm Snively
  • Wendy Makkena: Jackie Framm
  • Bill Cobbs: Coach Arthur Chaney
  • Eric Christmas: Judge Cranfield
  • Nicola Cavendish: Principal Pepper
  • Brendan Fletcher: Larry Willingham
  • Norman Browning: Buck Willingham
  • Stephen E. Miller: Coach Joe Barker
  • Alan Lavian: Tom Stewart
  • Jessibelle Mather and Kati Mather: Andrea Framm


  • Director: Charles Martin Smith
  • Producers: Robert Vance, William Vance and Harvey Weinstein
  • Music: Braham Wenger

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and