DVD Review – Treasure Buddies
By Georgina Scambler
Let me start this review by acknowledging that I was previously unfamiliar with the “Buddies”, the mischievous, talking, golden retriever pups who star in this Disney adventure. As the mother of an almost-four year old and a 17 month old, I suppose I wasn’t particularly aware of children’s DVDs when the franchise began in 2006. So if I’ve missed any important background information, I apologise.
Treasure Buddies, the sixth film in the Air Buddies franchise, sees the five lovable pups (B-Dawg, Buddha, Mudbud, Budderball and Rosebud, cute huh?) make their way to Egypt, where with the help of some new friends they go in search of a long-hidden treasure, “the lost collar of Cleocatra” (yeah, it’s a bit corny). Meanwhile, they’re also looking out for their best human, Pete (Mason Cook) and his archaeologist grandfather Thomas Howard (Richard Riehle). Standing in the way of Pete, Grandpa and the Buddies is the nasty Sphynx cat Ubasti and her human, the devious Philip Wellington (Edward Herrmann, who many mums will remember as Rory’s grandfather on Gilmore Girls).
As the Buddies explorer the mysterious markets, deserts and tombs of Egypt, racial stereotypes abound, and the plot and stylistic features borrow more than a little from Indiana Jones (my husband was horrified at the blatant rip-off of Indy’s iconic musical score). But looking beyond those faults, it’s a sweet movie for primary schoolers. The puppies are cute, there’s enough intrigue to make it interesting, and perhaps a bit scary at parts, without anyone (or anyone “nice” at least) being in real danger. A monkey named Babi adds a touch of comedy, and also serves as narrator. The acting is OK, and the production values not too bad either, all things considered. From my feminist perspective, it would be nice to see a bit more female contribution to the action. There’s a token female Buddy (Rosebud) who doesn’t really do a lot, and a token female character, Farah, who makes a very kid-friendly love interest for Pete.
I imagine fans of the previous Buddies films will be just as happy with this one. As well as providing some family-friendly fun Treasure Buddies might also spark an interest in Egypt, which would make a great point of conversation and further exploration for curious kids. Based on my daughter’s reaction to the film (she got bored around the 30 minute point), the film may not appeal to pre-schoolers, but I’d say it’s perfect four to eight year olds.
Georgina Scambler is a journalism student and mother of two who has spent the last four years juggling off campus study with full time parenting. You can follow her on Twitter @heytheregeorgy.