To make a perfect family-friendly adventure film is a difficult task to achieve. You have to make it both entertaining and kid-friendly while including a positive, preferably inspirational message. Pup Star, the latest installment in the Air Bud series, succeeds in this goal with assistance of wonderful music and fantastic acting.
The adventurous feel of the movie appeals to the audience. This film has more than that to offer though with its comedy, positive messages and a slight bit of drama. There is even some romance to keep the viewer entertained and at the edge of their seat.
The story starts when a young puppy named Tiny goes on a dog singing show and does quite well. She receives a golden ticket from the judge which allows her to go straight to the finals. Everything changes when Tiny gets captured by animal control and must go on a huge adventure to get back to her owner and also to the competition finals.
Pup Star has a wonderful story line and great acting by Tom Everett Scott, Kaitlyn Maher and Jed Rees. The voice over cast for the animals matches their characters and feels quite authentic. They each make their characters truly come to life. But, the best part of this film is that the story which is entertaining, suitable for young kids and easy to follow.
My favorite scene is when we first meet Tiny. She gets on stage and starts singing. Her song is beautiful and serves to introduce the style and the feel of the film. I also love this scene because, although the talking dogs are animated, it looks very realistic, as if the dogs are actually talking.
Pup Star would appeal to families and younger kids. I recommend it for kids ages 4 to 13 and rate it 5 out of 5 stars for its excellent acting that truly makes the characters come alive, its realistic animation, beautiful music and its fantastic story. By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14
Pup Star is a fun, fantastic, family-friendly film! It really is an amazing and inspiring movie with talking and singing dogs. I found myself cheering for the super talented Tiny and booing the bad guys, or should I say bad dogs!
The story is about Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who dreams of becoming the next Pup Star, which is a spinoff of the popular TV singing competition reality shows. The celebrity judges include Dog Gnarly, Blake Sheltie, Lady Paw Paw and of course, Simone Growl.
Along Tiny's journey, she is dog napped, meets colorful companions and becomes a more inspired singer with the help of Charlie, who is on his own journey. Tiny is encouraged by everyone she meets to keep going and not give up on her dreams. My favorite part is when Tiny sings. Kaitlyn Maher's voice over and singing of Tiny is outstanding and all 13 original songs are so strong melodically that I found myself humming along to the song Blue Skies after watching it. Additionally, the various voice over and singing talents for all the other dogs are equally impressive.
The message of this film is never give up and follow your dreams. Tiny faces many challenges and tries her hardest to persevere and reconnect with her loving family.
The talking and singing dogs are created with amazing special effects. Their mouths move in perfect harmony with the words and lyrics. Also, I love the rich and emotional music composed by Brahm Wenger which draws you in from the get go. I recently had the privilege to interview the writer and producer of Pup Star, Anna McRoberts and she mentioned that this is the biggest cast of talking and singing dogs ever in one movie - 31 total. Bow Wow!!!
Out of all the Air Bud Entertainment movies, this is my favorite. We can all relate to following our dreams no matter what they are and cheering for the underdog. I recommend this film to kids age 5 to 18 as well as anyone who loves dogs - kids and adults alike. With so many wonderful things to love about this family friendly film movie, I give it 5 out of 5 pup stars! I want to share one more thing: throughout this entire film, I actually forgot that dogs don't really talk... or do they?
Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Lights, Fur and Make-up and we are good to go. Cameras are rolling, dogs are singing and talking. What? Dogs singing and talking? Air Bud Entertainment brings us American Idol and The Voice doggy style, complete with a golden dog bone which takes you straight to the final round of our singing competition.
Anna Mc Roberts and Robert Vince produced and directed this adorable story about singing dogs. Their vision leads to a unique, quirky, family-friendly movie which is fun to watch.
The graphics are so good that you believe the dogs are really singing and talking. The dogs all have different personalities. There are various breeds of dogs and they all sing a different genre of music. The breeds and the songs match up perfectly. The stylish dog outfits and cute names are spot-on adorable. All these differences remind us to be ourselves and enjoy being the person you are. After all, the world would be boring if we were all the same.
The 13 original songs will have you singing along. My favorite song is when Rowland (Jess Ress) the human dog catcher is singing "I want to be a cat" to the dogs. The dogs did not think it was funny but I laughed away. Each dog has its own singing style from country, pop, rock n roll, the blues by Big Ears (Obba Babatude) and many more.
The country scene when Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher) sings on-state with Emily Rose (Bonnie Somerville) is my favorite moment in this film. Their voices together are perfect. Kaitlyn Maher might sound familiar as she appeared on Americas Got Talent when she was four. Her voice has matured and she sings her heart out in this film.
There are three sets of stars in this film, the dogs and their trainers, the voice-over actor/singers and the real people actors. My favorite dog is Charlie (Tom Everett Scott). He is a Labradoodle and looks like a giant version of my dog Dust Bunny who is a Cockapoo. He is a free spirit and loves rock n roll. The dog trainers are awesome because there are some amazing dog tricks in this film.
Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier is too cute for words. Kaitlyn Maher voice matches the personality of Tiny perfectly. Makenzie Moss portrays Lou, the owner of Tiny. You can tell she truly loves dogs and the concern she has when Tiny is lost is genuine. She also sings and has a lovely voice. I would be heartbroken if Dust Bunny ever got lost and would look for him everywhere.
This is a love story. There is drama with Bark (George Newbern), the bounty hunter and Rowland, the dog catcher. There is a mystery as you discover who Charlie really is and wait to see if they ever find their way back in time for the big Pup Star finals. There is comedy in all the various quirky dogs we meet along the way.
The star-studded cast includes voice-over actors from Finding Dory (John Ratzenberger), Last Man Standing (Carla Jimenez), Air Bud (Nicholas Harrison), Let's Make a Deal (Jonathan Mangum), Miles from Tomorrowland (Diedrich Bader) and many more.
I recommend this film to kids ages 5 to 18 because of all the cute dogs, the singing and dancing, the voice-over actors and a great storyline. This movie is definitely family friendly. Who knows, it might make you want to go out and buy a dog. Remember, dogs are a lot of work and even though these trainers make it look easy, it's not. Let's just say lots of time and patience is needed. I give this film 5 out of 5 Doggy Tail Wags. Be sure to check out my interviews with the cast on KIDS FIRST! 's YouTube Channel.
Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11