The Air Bud film series, which is the precursor to the “Air Buddies” films, centered on an unusual golden retriever called Buddy who is able to play—and excel at—various human sports. The Air Bud films are arguably one of the most popular sports related dog films in the past several decades and has inspired sequels, a new franchise, and of course, plenty of knock-offs. But there are many surprising facts about Air Bud, Buddy and the entire franchise—did you know the following interesting trivia?
The real Buddy also played Comet the Dog
In the original Air Bud film, the character of ‘Buddy’ was played by a dog also named Buddy. Buddy also appeared for several seasons in the hit sitcom, Full House, as the beloved pet Comet.
The first film was filmed in less than a month
Filming a movie can take a lot of time, but the production for the first Air Bud was notoriously short. Despite the use of dog stunts, which can lengthen a shoot, the entire movie was filmed in less than a month!
Only the first two films were released in theaters
Although the franchise continued for several films after the original, only the first two—Air Bud and Air Bud: Golden Receiver—was released in theaters. The rest of the films were released straight to home media.
The film was a box office success
Air Bud, the first film in the series, was a financial success at the box office. The film had a budget of 3 million dollars and recouped over 23 million at the box office. The film’s production budget was recouped in the first weekend alone! The second film, by contrast, only made 11 million in the box office.
‘Air Bud’ played five different sports
Each film in the original Air Bud series featured Buddy learning different sports. Throughout the series, he played: basketball, football, soccer, baseball and volleyball. The original Buddy actually played four out of these five sports—he did not play volleyball, but he was taught to play hockey by his owner.
The real Buddy was as stray dog
In true rags to riches story, the real Buddy was a stray who was found by his owner during a hike. Kevin di Cicco, who found the dog, took him home and eventually began training him to play various sports, including basketball.