10 Silliest Movies About Animals Playing Sports
People love sports. People love animals. You can certainly see why movie producers thought it would be a good idea to connect the two.
The results have been corny, ridiculous and jaw-droppingly bad.
Were the people involved surprised that a movie about a dog playing volleyball or a monkey playing hockey turned out to be career-killing garbage?
Not as surprised as audiences were to see several sequels made of these clunkers.
From the gridiron to the hardwood, from primate to marsupials, let's hope this is a dying genre.
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Bonzo Goes to College: A former lab chimp joins a football team.
Air Bud: The movie the spawned the Air Bud franchise about a stray dog with a sweet shooting stroke.
Air Bud: World Pup: Air Bud is also great at soccer!
MVP: Most Vertical Primate: A chimp skateboards and makes friends.
10. Air Bud: Golden Receiver
“Football’s top dog!”
Plot: Air Bud plays on the junior high football team while trying to avoid some Russian dog-nappers.
The first of many Air Bud movies on this list offers a few light laughs and cameos by Joey Galloway and Warren Moon.
Isn't there a rule against non-students playing on a middle school team? Though questioning the logic of a movie where a dog can run routes is a fool's errand.
Enjoy the puns and the saccharine dialogue.
"The freshest meat!"
Plot: The struggling California Atoms seek the help of a ball-kicking mule from Yugoslavia.
The 1978 Disney movie is a formulaic, forgettable film where Johnny Unitas and Dick Butkus join forces with the legendary Don Knotts.
While the Air Bud franchise depends on the cuteness of the lead dog, Gus has to depend on people falling for a mule.
The football action is mostly inept. As Roger Ebert wrote, "Even the mule seems bored."
8. Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
"He took a doggy time out or something."
Plot: Air Bud plays on a baseball team while he deals with his pups being kidnapped.
Even if you can swallow the idea of a dog hitting three pointers or catching footballs, you may struggle accepting a golden retriever achieving any type of bat speed.
There is surprisingly little actual dog-playing baseball action. Air Bud is busy dealing with a rascal raccoon, some bad guy scientists and the usual family dramas.
Richard Karn from Home Improvement delivers an unenthusiastic performance.
7. MXP: Most Xtreme Primate
"An amazing primate who likes to catch a different kind of air."
Plot: The athletic, clothes-wearing chimp from MVP: Most Valuable Primate is accidentally sent to Colorado, where he snowboards a bunch.
If you think watching a chimp snowboarding around for 88 minutes sounds boring, don't worry—there are plenty of other hijinks to watch. Jack the chimp helps catch some over-the-top bad guys and takes part in some physical humor.
From Reel Film Reviews: "As far as movies about snowboarding chimps go, MXP: Most Xtreme Primate isn't half bad."
6. Soccer Dog: The Movie
"Let's get this dog a uniform."
Plot: The new kid in town befriends a dog who is on the run from the dog catcher, and also happens to be quite the soccer player.
Not sure what the casting director was thinking in choosing this ugly dog to be the lovable main character. The scruffy dog's odd-shaped face is distracting.
James Marshall of Twin Peaks is the lead. I doubt though that Twin Peaks fans are the same demographic as Soccer Dog fans.
If you don't get enough dog soccer and sappy music, a sequel awaits you in Soccer Dog: European Cup.
5. Air Bud Spikes Back
"Air Bud has done it again!"
Plot: A golden retriever plays volleyball. Hearts are warmed.
A volleyball movie with people would be hard enough to pull off, inserting a dog is quite simply bizarre.
Gabrielle Reese appears at the end, if you can make it that long.
To supplement the dog-smacking-a-volleyball action (which there is actually not much of), the film also offers some bumbling crooks that the multi-sport pooch must stop. As a bonus, they've added a cheeky, talking parrot into the mix.
This was the final film in the Air Bud series, but a spin-off series, Air Buddies, came soon after.
4. MVP: Most Valuable Primate
"Wait a minute ... it's a monkey."
Plot: A chimp is sent to Canada accidentally and befriends a young boy, who teaches him to play hockey.
On a cross-country bus trip, I was unlucky enough to have this movie playing and dumb enough to watch it all the way through.
You might spend the whole movie cringing, thinking someone is going to check that monkey into the ice and destroy him. Or maybe you find it amusing to see monkeys don clothing and skate with amazing dexterity.
You will not be surprised that the producers of Air Bud were behind this one as well.
3. The Karate Dog
Plot: A talking, karate-chopping dog teams with a police detective to solve the murder of his owner.
Chevy Chase might have been kidnapped when he provided the voice of the titular dog, as he sounds like he's speaking from inside a box throughout the movie.
Pat Morita, playing the dog's owner, was apparently willing to do any karate-related movie. Jon Voight apparently just doesn't care any more.
For a movie with "karate" in the title, it is lacking in the karate department. Mostly you'll see overdone movie references and lame sight gags.
"The story of two ball players who share one dream and one very small apartment."
Plot: A monkey named Ed Sullivan plays minor league baseball with Matt LeBlanc of Friends.
For something that strived to be cute and heartwarming, they sure made the monkey look creepy. It's hard to look into his eyes without thinking he's going to try and smother you in your sleep.
Fart jokes are only funny when done by Terrance and Phillip on South Park. Like all the attempted humor in Ed, the monkey's flatulence isn't so much off-putting as it is boring.
The always awesome Jack Warden can't save this. Ed was nominated for three Razzies and given a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
1. Matilda (1978)
"It's inhuman to do that to a baby kangaroo!"
Plot: A small-time agent backs a boxing kangaroo preparing to face a human opponent.
Robert Mitchum and Elliott Gould both left this off their resumes. Film goers will struggle to decide if Matilda is creepy or just plain boring.
The stiff-faced kangaroo costume is so awful you may be distracted from the ludicrous concept of the movie.
The Golden Turkey Awards lists it as one of the worst films of all time. It may get rented/downloaded a bunch more than it should because people confuse it with the 1996 film about the girl who loves to read.