Air Buddies is the first direct-to-video film in the Buddies spin-off series to the Air Bud series. Unlike the rest of the sequels to follow, this does not have a special theme. Also, unlike the previous series, the animals can talk to each other. Although it follows several years after Air Bud: Spikes Back, being a fresh series, it also establishes itself as a semi-reboot.
With Buddy and Molly have fallen in love, she gives birth to their litter of puppies: Budderball, Buddha, B-Dawg, Mudbud, and Rosebud. Budderball is obsessed with eating and will chew on anything, including shoes; Budderball enjoys football; Buddha is calm and peaceful and enjoys practicing Buddhism, meditation, yoga, and baseball; B-Dawg has the love of hip-hop and loves to play basketball; Mudbud is the dirty one who enjoys mud and volleyball, but hates taking baths; Rosebud is the sole girl of the litter who loves fashion and soccer, and can stand her own ground among her brothers.
One day, Buddy and Molly's owner's Noah Sullivan and Henry were on their way to take their dogs to the latest Timberwolves' basketball game. The Buddies would have to stay home under the care of Mrs. Niggles, who has baked a blueberry pie as a celebration treat for Noah and Henry. After Noah, Henry, and their dogs and families leave, the Buddies are excited about eating the pie. They try to knock it down for themselves until Mrs. Niggles catches them to give them a bath and nap even when the Buddies don't want one. Then she rests after knitting some yarn. The Buddies think that the balls of yarn are actual balls to play with, that they all dash downstairs to play with them. Meanwhile Budderball breaks the pie pan and eats it on the floor. When Buddy and the Framms return home, they are shocked to encounter the mess that the Buddies have made. Mrs. Niggles was tied up from the yarn. Noah's father, Patrick tries to free her, but the two slip from the spilled blueberry pie. Buddy and Molly confront to their puppies on what they had done and had announced that they will transferred to different families.
Meanwhile in a building of a company known as Wine Country, the main antagonist, Serlik Tander, tries to please Bartelby Livingstone by giving him a tiger for his birthday. Bartelby is not pleased and would rather have a dog that could play football, basketball, and soccer. Serlik decides that he would give Bartelby Buddy. Serlik hires his two henchmen Denning and Grim to kidnap Buddy.
Back in Fernfield, Noah and Henry are given profile information from students at their school so that each student's parents would call the Framms on whether they want to take care of the puppies or not. The Framms get interest from five families, meaning one puppy for one family. The first family tryout goes to Buddha, who encounters Sam. Sam is seen to enjoy baseball, but acts whiny when he got frustrated in a game. Buddha finds Sam obnoxious and aggressive. The second tryout goes to Budderball, who would've been owned by a veggie man and his four-year-old daughter, who enjoy having picnics, and don't eat meat, which disgusts Budderball. The third tryout goes to Rosebud as she watches her future owner, Alice, who is a confident soccer player as well as the only girl in her team. Rosebud thinks of her as a show off. The fourth view goes to Mudbud, who takes a view on Pete, who is seen to enjoy video-games and hates getting dirty and having fun outside. Mudbud thinks he'll be a problem to Pete. The last tryout goes to B-Dawg who takes a view on Billy, who plays basketball, but is not confident and is made fun by the other boys, which bores of B-Dawg. After those five tryouts, Noah's parents and Henry's decide to transfer the puppies to the families on the next day with Mudbud overhearing the news. Mudbud warns his siblings that they would be separated tomorrow. The Buddies make plans to run as far away from Fernfield before it's too late. Meanwhile, Denning and Grim arrive at Fernfield on time for the day before they kidnap Buddy. Later that night, Noah's mother, Jackie convinces Noah that he will have to accept that the puppies will have to move on with new lives and families, just like Noah's siblings Josh and Andrea moved on to college. Buddy and Molly depart after putting their children to bed with Denning and Grim on watch.
The next morning the Buddies wake up and prepare to leave the Framms' house as well as Fernfield. Buddy wakes up and warns Molly that the puppies are missing. Denning and Grim are confused which grown dog is Air Bud, so they decide to kidnap them both. As the Buddies are running away, Budderball is distracted by a donut shop, until Grim catches him with a net, his siblings try to chase him but are also trapped as well. Buddy and Molly arrive in time to free them, but Denning and Grim catch the grown dogs and leave the Buddies behind. Instead of running away, the Buddies decide to get Deputy Sniffer to help rescue their parents.
Meanwhile, Henry wakes up to tell Noah that Molly is missing. Noah also finds out that Buddy and the Buddies are missing as well. In Fernfield police department, the Buddies warn Deputy Sniffer that their parents were dognapped and are being sent to Wine Country, Sniffer is unable to help because his sense of smell is no longer working as it used to, so the Buddies plan to save their parents by themselves. In Wine Country, Denning and Grim bring Buddy and Molly to Serlik. Serlik is pleased and he commands his henchman to lock them up in an underground chamber until Bartelby comes to pick them up. However Serlik is unsatisfied after hearing that Buddy had puppies and demands Denning and Grim to kidnap them as well.
Back in Fernfield, Henry, Noah, and their parents work together to find the dogs. Far from Fernfield the Buddies begin their journey to find Wine Country and get their parents back. Back in town, Grim and Denning take watch at Noah and Henry's houses in hopes they can find the puppies. They decide to travel out of Fernfield thinking they've already ran away. Out of Fernfield, the Buddies find a drive-in movie theater with 101 Dalmatians shown on screen after hitting a strong scent of popcorn. Denning and Grim are also watching the film as Grim overreacts with hyper stupidity, which annoys Denning. The Buddies break in through the projector room (which creates huge shadows to block the film) and the concession stand. Denning realizes that the giant shadows are the puppies that they need to kidnap. Meanwhile in the concession stand, Rosebud rides in a cotton candy machine, B-Dawg snacks on some licorice, Mudbud eats some veggie dogs, Buddha feasts on some tortilla chips, and Budderball digs in the popcorn machine but then gets caught in a popcorn bag. A saleswoman gives one of the theater guests her popcorn, until Budderball pops out of the bag which adores the saleswoman but disgusts the guest. Denning and Grim also break in, but clumsily slip on the floor while trying to get the Buddies. Budderball notices and warns his siblings to escape. The Buddies pass on some motorcyclists who already adore them. Denning and Grim dash in the motorcyclists but accidentally knocks down their motorcycles. The road hogs grow in rage, tie up the villains with a rope, and hang them in front of the whole screen for the audience to throw their snacks at, which helps the Buddies escape.
Meanwhile back at Fernfield, Noah calls Henry on a walkie-talkie that he fears that he and Henry are crazy since they kept calling on the Buddy, Molly, and the Buddies, while Noah's mom kisses him goodnight. Outside of Fernfield, after the movie incident, the Buddies sleep under a tree, while in Wine Country, Buddy and Molly continue to dig their way out. On the dawn of another day, Buddha is seen meditation and absorbing positive energy, which wakes up his siblings. Grim unties himself and Denning after what happened during the movie incident. Back in Fernfield, Noah and Henry help bring back Deputy Sniffer's sense of smell, which seems to start working again. Denning calls Serlik that catching the Buddies is going to be harder than they thought, but they're still looking as hard as possible. After the call ends, Grim notices the Buddies, which excites Denning to chase them once more. The Buddies run as fast as they could while Denning and Grim's Jeep runs out of gas, but that doesn't stop them. Instead Denning and Grim chase the Buddies on foot. Meanwhile in Fernfield, Noah, Henry, and Sheriff Bob follow Deputy Sniffer, but his sense of smell is destroyed by a skunk.
Meanwhile, the Buddies find a barn where they can hide from their enemies. They also meet a few barn animals that accompany them; Billy, a goat who can speak to dogs, horses, chickens, roosters, pigs, and mice and fights against Grim and Denning for trespassing and Belinda; a pig who can speak Pig Latin and convinces the Buddies to act like pigs so that they can confuse the villains. Billy takes the Buddies into the barn hayloft where they can hide. He then guides the Buddies to a pen with a hole where the Buddies can escape. Billy even locks Denning and Grim in the pen. Back at Fernfield, Noah and Henry's mothers bathe their sons with tomato sauce. The same goes to Sheriff Bob and Deputy Sniffer as Sniffer tries to restore his sense of smell.
Elsewhere, the Buddies find a river bank where they can bathe themselves from the mud. Later the Buddies find a dark forest, realizing that's the only way to find Wine Country and their parents. A wolf takes watch while the Buddies start arguing about why they only depend on themselves. Buddha warns his siblings to be quiet because he hears the wolf. The wolf approaches and all the Buddies run away as the wolf chases them. The wolf blocks the Buddies' path until Rosebud bravely defends her brothers from the wolf. The wolf appreciates Roesbud's courage. The wolf decides to guide the puppies across the woods.
Back in Wine Country, Buddy and Molly continue to dig their way out of the cell until Serlik tries to unlock the door to feed the dogs. Buddy pushes a crate and barrel to hide the escape entrance. Serlik enters without noticing and gives the dogs their food. The dogs were lucky to not have their tunnel found. Meanwhile in the woods, the Buddies continue to follow the wolf in a cave where they can rest. Rosebud explains how they were going to be seperated to five families and wanted to run away, but after their parents were kidnapped, the puppies had gone a long adventure to rescue them. The wolf influences them that dogs were meant to be beloved companions for people especially since the first evolution of dogs. The Buddies regret on running away from their troubles, however the wolf heard howling from Buddy and Molly and could track them for the puppies, but he insisted that they all sleep for tonight.
The next morning, Sheriff Bob was cooking bacon and eggs for himself and Deputy Sniffer, which makes a better restoration for Sniffer's nose. Excited, Sniffer gets up in joy which leads Sheriff Bob into confusion. In the woods, the wolf and the Buddies wake up to continue their journey to Wine Country. Deputy Sniffer runs in happiness after his sense of smell returned. He thanks the skunk from the previous for restoring his senses. He also meets with Noah and Henry on how he's able to find the Buddies and their parents. The boys ride on their bikes and follow Sniffer. Going back and forth, the Buddies continue to follow the wolf as Noah and Henry follow Sniffer into the exact locations that the Buddies traveled through. Eventually the canines reach a gate to Wine Country. Rosebud hoped that the wolf could live with the dogs so that he won't live by himself, but the wolf mentions that his species belongs to the wild, but lets them know that their howling means that dogs and wolves will never be alone. The Buddies thank the wolf as they enter the gate and pass through the grape fields. Meanwhile, Henry, Noah, and Sniffer stop at the barn and meet Billy the goat. They find Denning and Grim locked in the pen. The trio refuse to help them and warn Sheriff Bob about them. They pass through the forest and find Wine Country.
In Wine Country, Buddy and Molly finally make it out of the storage room. They plan to find their children before it's too late. Meanwhile, Bartleby and his father stop by the wine mills to retrieve the dogs while the Buddies take watch. They dash through the country until they find the hole that their parents dug through. In the wine mills, Bartleby is excited to see the dogs until he, his father, and Serlik realize that the storage room was empty until the puppies take entrance. Despite that they were not Buddy or Molly, Bartleby is adored by the puppies and wants to teach them how to play football, basketball, and soccer. Meanwhile, Henry and Noah would take care of finding the dogs themselves while Deputy Sniffer would watch on guard until Buddy and Molly finally escapes. Sniffer warns them that Noah, Henry, and the Buddies are looking for them. Shocked, Buddy and Molly quickly return to Wine Country to rescue their owners and children with Deputy in tow.
Meanwhile, Bartleby and his father return to the limousine to keep the puppies inside. Serlik calls Denning and Grim to thank them because the puppies were already taken and that they weren't going to be fired for good. Sheriff later arrives at the barn to arrest Denning and Grim. Back in Wine Country, Noah and Henry find the puppies and help them escape the limo, but Bartleby finds out and warns his father and Serlik as they chase them back. The two groups enter the wine mills, while Budderball chases for wine, when he thinks it's grape juice. The boys and the Buddies rescue a drunk Budderball out of the wine mill. Serlik takes watch while the boys and Buddies try to find Budderball again. Buddy and Molly also enter the wine mills and reunite with their owners and puppies. Meanwhile Budderball is still drunk and unable to control himself while Batleby catches him and takes him back to the limo. Deputy Sniffer catches Barleby and Budderball is saved.
Back in the wine cellar, the boys and the dogs make a plan to defeat Mr. Livingstone and Serlik. B-Dawg grabs Mr. Livingstone and Serlik's attention as he is the bait. The two men chase the puppy while Noah, Henry, and the Buddies prepare to push down the barrels to chase their enemies. The barrels lead them to a wine mill that breaks apart and spews wine all over the men that it pushes them outside of the barn. Sheriff Bob finally arrives at Wine Country and arrests Serlik for good, along with Denning and Grim. The Buddies and their owners and parents were finally back in one piece, but Bartleby reveals that he's lonely and wishes for someone to play with. Budderball has a change of heart and decides to bond with Bartleby. The other four realize that it's time for them to be transferred to their new families since they're growing up. They also apologize for running away from them.
The Buddies enjoy life with their new owners. Budderball enjoys playing with his new owner such as playing football and sharing meals together. Rosebud befriends Alice, who already thinks of her like a new sister. Mudbud influences his owner, Pete to stop playing video games and to play outside more often, even when there's mud around. At a baseball game, Buddha influences Sam to calm down as the pitcher and will soon influence him to practice Buddhism and meditation. B-Dawg also enjoys his company with his owner Billy as they have fun with basketball and hip hop. Despite that the Buddies were living in separate homes and families, they make one more howl knowing that they will always be together, like the wolf foretold.
- Buddies (first appearance)
- Noah Sullivan
- Jackie Framm
- Patrick Sullivan
- Deputy Sniffer (first appearance)
- Sheriff Bob (final appearance)
- Mrs. Niggles (single appearance)
- Henry (first appearance)
- Wilma (single appearance)
- Bob (single appearance)
- Bartleby Livingstone (first appearance)
- Selkirk Tander (single appearance)
- Miles Livingstone (single appearance)
- Denning (single appearance)
- Grim (single appearance)
- Andrea Framm Template:Mentioned
- Grim's mother Template:Only mention
- Veggie man (single appearance)
- Pete (first appearance)
- Sam (first appearance)
- Billy (first appearance)
- Alice Finch (first appearance)
- Mrs. Finch (single appearance)
- Josh Framm Template:Photo
- Projectionist (single appearance)
- Bikers (single appearance)
- Skunk (single appearance)
- Billy the goat (single appearance)
- Belinda (single appearance)
- Owl (single appearance)(no lines)
- Wolf (single appearance)
- Denning's Hummer
- Sheriff Bob's police car
|Skyler Gisondo||Voice of B-Dawg|
|Josh Flitter||Voice of Budderball|
|Spencer Fox||Voice of Mudbud|
|Dominic Scott Kay||Voice of Buddha|
|Abigail Breslin||Voice of Rosebud|
|Don Knotts||Voice of Deputy Sniffer|
|Tom Everett Scott||Voice of Buddy|
|Molly Shannon||Voice of Molly|
|Slade Pearce||Noah Sullivan|
|Cynthia Stevenson||Jackie Framm|
|Richard Karn||Patrick Sullivan|
|Patrick Cranshaw||Sheriff Bob|
|Jane Carr||Mrs. Niggles|
|Holmes Osborne||Selkirk Tander|
|Steve Makaj||Miles Livingstone|
|Tyler Guerrero||Bartleby Livingstone|
|Kelly Chapek||Alice Finch|
|Wallace Shawn||Voice of Billy, the goat|
|Debra Jo Rupp||Voice Belinda, the pig|
|Michael Clarke Duncan||Voice of the wolf|
|Ingrid Tesch||Mrs. Finch|
|Stuart Malinowski||Veggie man|
- The beginning of the film has scenes from the previous films.
- Noah has a photo of Josh and Buddy from Air Bud: Golden Receiver.
- This is considered a "first film" for multiple reasons
- The first film that features the Buddies and their owners.
- The first film where the animals can talk, including Buddy and Molly.
- The first film where Air Bud isn't the main protagonist.
- The first film where the main antagonist is human. The next ones would be Snow Buddies, Space Buddies, Treasure Buddies, but Super Buddies]] is not included.
- The first and only film where the Buddies do not have a major sidekick(s).
- This film is dedicated to Patrick Cranshaw and Don Knotts, who died after filming.
- Even though there are only three years between Air Bud: Spikes Back and Air Buddies, Andrea has already finished junior high and high school and is now in college (or at least that's her last known whereabouts, as is Josh's).
- The names of Henry's mom and dad were also the names of Tom Stewart's parents (Bob and Wilma Stewart) in Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch.
- For the next film, all of the voices of the Buddies returned except for Dominic Scott Kay, Spencer Fox, and Abigail Breslin; Kay appeared on-screen, however, as Adam Bilson. All the kid actors who played the Buddies' owners returned as well; Tyler Guerrero was credited as Tyler Foden, instead.
- This is the only time Slade Pearce plays Noah, as he was replaced by Dylan Minnette.
- Aside from the drive-in movie theater playing Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmatians, it also had posters of two other Disney films The Incredible Journey and Old Yeller. While Air Buddies doesn't have a special theme (such as snow-themed, space-themed, etc.), it does have elements of dognapping from Hundred and One Dalmatians and a cross-country type of reunion from The Incredible Journey.
- In 2013, Disney Press published books inspired by the film, beginning with Meet the Buddies!
- The beginning of this series serves as a soft reboot.
- The puppies born in Air Bud: World Pup, which grew to full size in Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, are ignored.
- Molly's original owner, Emma Putter is ignored and replaced with a family with a boy Noah's age.
- The fact that Patrick is not a Framm, as he is Jackie's second husband, but this seems to have been ignored, perhaps in order to simplify it for this new series. But this already began in Spikes Back, with Andrea calling Patrick, "Dad", even though she was old enough to know he was her second father, and she never called him that in Air Bud: World Pup or Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch.
- Grim doesn't end the call properly after calling his mother, he just flips it back down.
- Budderball splashes in a wine mill thinking it's grape juice, and swims his way out despite his weight.
- USA: Air Buddies DVD released on December 12, 2006.
- AUS: Air Buddies Blu-ray Disc released on March 4, 2009.