Director: Robert Vince | 90 minutes | comedy, adventure, family | Actors: Mason Cook, Edward Herrmann, Richard Riehle, Adam Alexi-Malle, Mo Gallini, Ranya Jaber, Christopher Maleki, Lochlyn Munro, Ellie Harvie | Original Voice Cast: Tucker Albrizzi, Skyler Gisondo, G. Hannelius, Ty Panitz, Charles Henry Wyson, Elaine Hendrix, Kaitlyn Maher, Maulik Pancholy, Ryan Stiles, Bonnie Somerville, Aidan Gemme
Robert Vince, writer, producer and director of most of the Disney ‘Buddies’ films, has the five Golden Retriever puppies travel to Egypt in ‘Treasure Buddies’. Pete (Mason Cook, ‘Spy Kids 4’), the owner of one of them, Mudbud, is looking with his grandfather for the lost collar of Cleocatra (the cat of… right). Pete’s grandfather was once a real adventurer, and in Egypt, during an archaeological quest, he discovered half of an art object that, in complete form, would indicate the location of Cleocatra’s tomb. Cleocatra’s cat seems to have ever done something, which is not exactly clear, so that not cats, but dogs are still seen as man’s best friend. Now grandpa (Richard Riehle) has a museum in Fernfield, which has to close due to money concerns. On the day of the closure, an Englishman, Philip Wellington (Edward Herrmann) suddenly appears in front of him. With the other half of the art object …
‘Treasure Buddies’ has a somewhat strange and superfluous narrative structure: the framework is formed by a capuchin monkey Babi living in Egypt who tells his nephew Babu, who is apprenticed to him, about his meeting with the Buddies. Babi is a common thief, crazy about everything that shimmers and he also extends his adventure considerably. Babu is initially very impressed that his uncle has known the world-famous Buddies and even saved them from death, but soon understands that the heroic story must be taken with a good grain of salt. Babi met the Buddies when they arrived in Egypt. They traveled as stowaways on the plane that brought Pete, his grandfather and Wellington to the African country. The five talking puppies know – unlike Pete and his grandfather – what this Wellington and his bald scrawny cat Ubasti are up to: Wellington wants to steal Cleocatra’s collar and his cat wants to use it to affect humanity and all dogs. submit him. Of course the Buddies want to prevent that!
For a long time, however, Pete did not know about the presence of the puppies. The dogs must reach Pete on their own, with minimal help from Babi and baby camel Cammy, and thwart Ubasti’s nefarious plans. Prepare for Indiana Jones-esque scenes once everyone has reached Cleocatra’s tomb. Parents of very young children have been warned: some scenes may be too intense (a scene with a scary snake, a man falls into a pit full of snakes and does not return in the story…).
It takes getting used to: those animated talking, but very endearing puppies. In ‘Treasure Buddies’ there are also two unnaturally chatting capuchin monkeys and camels. Just like the storyline (predictable, hardly original), however, the target audience will not be concerned about this. For them, ‘Treasure Buddies’ is an immersive adventure in an exciting environment with funny and cute characters. The fact that the outdoor scenes were clearly recorded in a studio is irrelevant to them. The main story – the Buddies’ quest for Pete and Pete and his grandfather’s journey through Egypt – offers plenty of fun and excitement. However, for the seasoned film buff, there is little to recommend ‘Treasure Buddies’.