5 Things You Didn't Know About 'Air Bud' Star, Buddy The Wonder Dog

August 1, 2017

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The Disney film Air Bud was released 20 years ago today. The film’s star Buddy (sometimes known as Buddy The Wonder Dog) stole the hearts of so many ‘90s kids.

The film opened in theaters on August 1, 1997, and earned $27.8 million. That’s super impressive for a film with an estimated $3 million budget.

So we’re looking back on this iconic film with 5 Things You Didn’t Know about the film’s star, Buddy.

  1. Buddy was actually a stray dog. He was discovered by his owner Kevin di Cicco in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1989. Buddy wasn’t healthy when he was first discovered so Di Cicco used sports as a way of helping Buddy get into shape.

  2. It took about 6 months of training with a hoop for Buddy to score his first basket.
  3. Buddy’s first television appearance was on the Late Show with David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment.

  4. Buddy also had cameos as the adult Comet on the original run of the ABC TGIF sitcom Full House.

  5. Buddy lost the 1998 Nickelodeon​ Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Animal Star to Salem (from Sabrina the Teenage Witch).

Air Bud was actually Buddy’s final acting role after being active in the industry for more than 6 years. Buddy passed away from complications related to cancer in 1998. Of course, he stole the hearts of millions of kids who dreamed of playing basketball with their own dogs.