He's made you laugh, he's made you cry, but for some reason, you haven't heard him bark out what would surely be a beautiful acceptance speech. Who is this brilliant, versatile actor who has captured our hearts with his athleticism and effervescent acting skills? None other than Bud. Air Bud.
I understand the men who receive Oscar nominations for Best Actor do incredible portrayals of Wall Street bankers and soldiers and astronauts and I don't want to take their nominations and awards away from them. But we aren't talking about a generic looking white dude who can portray a character beautifully, we are talking about a canine who has been the MVP in basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball. This dog is more than a talented actor, he is an athlete. He doesn't use stunt doubles. He is a star, and he deserves to be recognized.
A lot of movies fail at creating a sequel, and most good ones wouldn't dare doing more than a trilogy. But Air Bud pulled off 5 movies in his series, each being more heartwarming and impressive than the first. Air Bud, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch and Air Bud Spikes Back all captured our hearts, as we watched a brilliant actor navigate the pressures of being a world-class athlete with other hijinks (and sometimes criminal activity) along the way. His chemistry with his acting partners is unmatched and his ability to get viewers standing up and cheering for the Timberwolves is compelling.
I understand having a dog at your award ceremony might be distracting, but Air Bud is not just a dog. Air Bud is able to hit a baseball with a bat in his mouth and spike a volleyball with his paws. If a well-behaved, Oscar-nominated dog is the biggest distraction at the Oscars, it was probably a pretty boring ceremony to begin with.
These films may have come out between 1997-2003, but they are timeless. To deny Air Bud an Oscar nomination is to look a talented, multifaceted actor who overcame all odds to make it in a human-dominated field and say he can't succeed just because of who he is. He may not be a human. He may not date rich celebrities or drive fancy cars, but he is, at the core, just what every other Oscar-nominated actor is: A brilliant artist who captivates his audience and deserves to be recognized for his hard work.
Air Bud may not have ever received his rightful Oscar nomination, but he wins Best Actor in my book.
Someone Who Knows What Exceptional Acting Looks Like