Air Bud

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Air Bud is a 1997 American Slapstick Car Chase Family Comedy film. The film's title is a wordplay on "Air Jordan", a nickname of Basketball Superstar Michael Jordan.

The Ensemble cast (even the ones who made cameos) were given top billings.

The Film was financially and critically successful with rave reviews. It won many Awards including an Academy Award for Best Comedy Film.


The Plot revolves around a 12-year-old Boy, Josh Framm. After the rumored death of his Father, Andy Framm, whom they though him to be dead in the crash of a Test Flight due to a fuel shortage and an explosion on his Plane, along with Max Bialystok and Leo Bloom. Josh moves with his Family to Washington State and although he is too shy to try out for his Middle School's Basketball Team and to make any Friends and is very clumsy at times, he's never too shy to draw Cartoons, watch his Classic Comedy Videos (including The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers and many others), watch Shows from Broadway, listen to Songs from Broadway Musicals (including 42nd Street, Anything Goes, The Guilsons, Lady Be Good, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, On the Town, On the Twentieth Century, Silent Snow, Hello, Dolly, Grand Hotel, The Boys from Syracuse, I'd Rather Be Right, Of Thee I Sing and Fiddler on the Roof) and write his Broadway Musicals and Plays with his Typewriters. He meets Buddy, a Golden Retriever who had escaped from his abusive Owners, two Bank Robbers named Norman and Borman Snively. Buddy ran away from them during a bad Bank Robbery when the Snively Brothers were nearly caught by the Police. Josh soon learns that Buddy has the uncanny ability to play Basketball. Josh's mom, Jackie initially only agrees to let him keep the Dog until Christmas and Moe, his big Cousin, plans to send him to the SPCA if the true owner isn't found. However, Josh's Uncle, Stanley sees how much Josh loves Buddy and vice versa. When Josh wakes up on Christmas Day and Buddy is not in his room, he goes downstairs and sees Buddy with a bow on his head. They give Buddy to Josh as a Christmas Present.

Josh wants to join the Basketball team but chickens out at the last minute and becomes a Water Boy, Journalist, Essayist and Sketch Artist. After two slots are opened up and learning of Buddy's talent, Josh tries out (despite Basketball Coaches Joe Barker and Alfred Plommer's reluctance) and makes the team. At his first game, Buddy shows up, disrupts the Game and causes mayhem, but the audience loves him, because he scored a point. After the Game, Buddy and Stanley finds Coach Barker and Coach Plommer abusing Tom, one of Josh's teammates and friend who gave him a luck orange peel he got at a Seattle SuperSonics game, by trying to make him catch by pelting him with basketballs. Joe Barker and Alfred Plommer were fired and replaced by the school's engineer, Arthur Chaney, who Josh discovers was a former New York Knicks player (although Barker and Plommer still support the team). Buddy becomes the mascot of Josh's school basketball team and begins appearing in their halftime shows. Initialy, Moe and Stanley became additional coaches at the Championship Game, even when Buddy shows up. When it was discovered that there's no rule that a Dog cannot play Basketball, Buddy (encouraged by Moe and Stanley) joins the roster to lead the team to a come-from-behind Championship Victory.

After the Championship Game, the Snively Brothers, after seeing Buddy on the Newspaper, steal Buddy the following night. Stanley sees the commotion from his window and plans to bring Buddy back from the Snivelys. They begin a frantic search for Buddy, Josh included. Josh then sneaks into a backyard where Buddy is chained up. Norman and Borman sees them, behind a small crack on a wooden wall. They see Josh getting the Chains off Buddy and both escape. Borman suggest they go after them, but Norman has other ideas. He plans to bring Buddy back a different way. They go to the Ale and Quail Club where they made a deal to get Buddy back alive, ironically the president of the Ale and Quail Club, Robert Sturges is thinking the same thing, after they saw Buddy on TV. A few minutes after they escaped, Josh then sits with Buddy and talks about his passion for Broadway Musicals and Plays, Classic Comedies, the Roaring Twenties and his all-time favorite It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Sure enough, Josh began lip syncing to Rose's Turn from Gypsy with Ethel Merman's voice, but throughout he's really singing and dancing to the song using his voice. Suddenly, they hear a boom and see a Low-riding, Home-built, souped-up Ford Roadster driven by Arthur Jefferson, a 12-year-old, Wise-cracking Whippet Tanker. They become fast friends together and soon Josh and Buddy hitches a ride on Arthur's Roadster and they set off.

Meanwhile, a woken up Stanley picks up a Newspaper after finishing his Breakfast. He and Moe read an article about a new Farce called "Ants are on the Loose", making its Broadway Debut at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City. There, they see a picture of Andy on the photoline. Moe and Stanley realize that Andy is still alive and excitedly, they woke everybody up and told them about Andy. While Stanley is telling everybody about the Farce, somebody knocks on the door. Daniel Framm, Jackie's Brother-in-Law answers the door to reveal two Theatrical Directors, Roger De Bris and Howard Goldberg. They're attending the premiere of "Ants are on the Loose" and they are on a huge Studio Support Bus full of people who are connected to the Play.

The following night, the Snively Brothers and the Ale and Quail Club decide on what to do to steal Buddy from the Kids. Meanwhile, Josh, Arthur and Buddy stopped to rest for the night. They both talked about their lives and the same situations they've been going through.

The Next day, Josh and Arthur are having a ride on a lonely road, with Buddy in the back of the Car. Unknown to them, the Snively Brothers were following them in their Truck with Sturges and the two members Carl and George on his side. Also unknown to them, the Bus, driven by Rowan Hammonrye, was following them, with Roger, Carmen Ghia, Jackie and Melville sitting beside him. Inside the Bus, Stanley and Homer are cooking Breakfast for them and everyone else. When Josh and Arthur spots the Snively Brothers and the Ale and Qual Club behind them, Arthur puts on the gas and they speed off.  Soon, the Snively Brothers and the Ale and Qual Club began to chase them and so were the others in the Bus. So begins a long and frantic chase from the Washington State to New York City.

During the long and frantic chase, joining them are the Keystone Kops, a group of Clowns, Burglars, a mad family, Motorcycle Cops, Bumbling Bandits, Posses and lots of quirky strangers. When they all reached Brooklyn in New York City, the chase ended at New York Harbour where all except one of the cars crash in the sea, while Josh and Arthur landed on a Transportation Ferry.

The Snively Brothers and the Ale and Qual Club sues the Framm Family and the Jeffersons for custody of Buddy. Fortunately, at the suggestion of Andy Framm, Bialystok, Bloom, Stanley, Moe, Liebkind and coach Chaney, who Judge Cranfield was a fan of, it is decided that Buddy will choose who will be his rightful owner. During the calling, the Snively Brothers take out their rolls of newspaper, which they often used as a punishment to hit Buddy and Sturges whistles at him loudly. Buddy charges at them, knocks them into the air and land on the backs, tearing up the weapons of abuse and runs towards Josh and Arthur. Feeling very pleased with his nephew, Stanley shakes his hand with Judge Cranfield who grants custody of the dog to Josh and Arthur while he and everyone else rejoice and gather around Buddy to welcome him back.

It was short-lived however, when the Snively Brothers and the Ale and Qual Club started to charge at Josh, Arthur, Buddy and the kids in a frantic effort to get Buddy back. The kids and Buddy runs off and the Snively Brothers and the Ale and Qual Club began chasing after them. When Judge Cranfield shouted, "Will somebody follow those Bank Robbers!?!", Jackie, Stanley, Moe, Andy, Bialystok, Bloom, Liebkind, Chaney, Judge Cranfield and everybody starts to follow the Bank Robbers. So begins another chase, this time, around New York City.

At the end of a frantic chase in New York City, stranded high up the decaying fire escape ladders of an abandoned hotel, are the Snively Brothers, the Ale and Qual Club, the Framms, the Jeffersons, Arthur and Andy Chaney, Bialystok, Bloom, Liebkind, Ghia, De Bris, the Keystone Kops, Judge Cranfield, Hackett and many others, each in a seperate group, despite the warnings from Union Officials that the ladders are unsafe. During the struggle, Moe and Bialystok spot Josh and the kids driving off. As the ladders break away from the building, a fire engine arrives to rescue the people, who then simultaneously attempt down the extended fire truck ladder. Their combined weight breaks the ladder's hydraulic system, causing it to gyrate and drive uncontrollably, flinging or dropping them in various directions.

The dejected people, now immobile in a New York hospital in bandages and casts, blame one another for their chasing after Josh, Arthur and Buddy to New York City and especially the Snively Brothers and the Ale and Qual Club for trying to seize Buddy. Stanley throws his banana peel toward a wastebasket, but it misses and lands on the floor, moments before a stiff man enters. He slips on the banana peel, falls flat on his back, but gets up and walks to the operation room to get his appendix removed. While he was slipping, he accidentally knocks over the brakes of the beds that the Snively Brothers and the Ale and Qual Club were sleeping on, causing it to roll out of control through the hallway and splashing in the manholes while all the other injured and uninjured people laugh hysterically.

Following the end of the movie, the entire cast (even those who made cameos) take their bows during a Theatrical style Curtain Call at Radio City Music Hall. At the end of the Curtain Call, Michael Jeter, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Ernie Sabella and Robin Williams wished to thank the Charitable Organizations that help support this Movie. Then, everybody excitedly gets ready to "Give their Regards to Broadway".

Throughout the credits, the players start singing and dancing to Broadway Songs, also in Radio City Music Hall. At the end of the credits, the entire cast and crew started singing to Kander and Ebb's "Theme from New York, New York" at Times Square. After the song, everybody applauses and thanks the audience for watching this movie.


Paul Tamasy and Aaron Mendelsohn wrote the first Draft of Air Bud on January 3rd, 1995. The first Draft was completely different than the Final Film. It had Comedy, but not much of it. When Michael Jeter got involved with the Movie, he didn't like the first draft. He thought it was boring and unfunny. So he suggested that they should do the rewriting of the Script. Michael changed the Chase from the nameless villains to chase Josh and Buddy to a parking lot near a lake, to a Climatic Eleborate Keystone Kops Slapstick Car Chase and soon added another Slapstick Chase. He also changed the ending and made it even funnier with the Fire Escape and Ladder Sequence added. Ludwig Bemelmans and Mel Brooks wrote the Screenplay together, with Jeter creating new characters and improving the originals, including the Villains, reworking the Scenes and changing the ending. Fortunately, Jeter gave Tamasy and Mendelsohn credits as two of the many writers of the Story Ideas. Thomas Meehan, Preston Sturges, Tim Conway, Don Knotts, John Hughes, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen, John Swartzwelder, Sid Caesar and Neil Simon helped out with Jeter, Bemelmans and Brooks on the subplots.

The Scene where Josh and his classmates and friends are singing and dancing to the songs by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerry Herman, Harry Warren, Johnny Mercer, Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur FreedBenny Goodman, Harry Warren, Johnny Mercer and George M. Cohan at the Championship Victory, where Josh is singing Rose's turn, where Stanley, Homer and the others are making Breakfast while singing and dancing to That's What Bilbo Baggins Hates and where Andy Framm, Max Bialystok, Leo Bloom and the others enter the Courtroom dancing and singing "Fascinating Rhythm" were written by Michael Jeter himself, because he worked and appeared on Broadway and won Tony Awards for his work including winning a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for playing Otto Kringelein in the Musical Grand Hotel, he revised Josh as a huge fan of the Broadway Stage. These Scenes were directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, Jerome Robbins, D.B. Sweeney, Tommy Tune, Savion Glover, Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, Michael Kidd and Kathleen Marshall, who were associate producers for the Movie.

Animated Opening Credits

The Animated Opening Credits was storyboarded by Michael Jeter and Al Hirschfeld, animated by United Productions of America and Klasky Csupo and directed by David Silverman, Rich Moore, Jim Reardon, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Michael Jeter and Wes Archer.


The Main Theme Song of the Movie was composed by Charles Strouse with Lyrics by Martin Charnin. The main score was composed by Marvin Hamlisch, Ernest Gold, William Ross and Jerry Herman and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.


An ensemble cast is one of the main traditions of a Michael Jeter Comedy film, with the credits of Ludwig Bemelmans and Mel Brooks.

Main Characters

Secondary Characters

Cameo Appearances


When it was released on August 1, 1997, it was an instant success both with critics and at the Box Office.


Michael Jeter created three Trailers for Air Bud.

Home Video Release

Air Bud was released to VHS on December 23, 1997.


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