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‘Air Bud: World Pup’ is Still a Huge Success

By: Sandy Wang

The United States women’s national team won the 1999 World Cup after beating China in a penalty shootout, with 40 million people tuning in to watch.

However, when people think of that win, they often think of a golden retriever.

One year after the win, in 2000, the Air Bud film franchise started focusing on soccer. The company saved multiple soccer teams and helped them win.

Air Bud invited Brandi Chastain and her teammates to re-enact the 1999 win for a movie with one difference. The final six minutes of this movie, named “Air Bud: World Pup,” would include Air Bud, a dog that takes over Briana Scurry’s place as goalkeeper after Scurry injures her shoulder.

Making the movie wasn’t easy, especially when Chastain and her teammates weren’t actors, since they had to “re-enact something that was so genuine and so in the moment.”

And it took quite a long time to perfect it, too. For 24 hours, over the course of three days, they filmed just the last six minutes of the 83-minute movie.

Scurry also revealed that there were six dogs acting as Buddy, the star, with each of them having different things they were good at. Some of the dogs were calmer, some were better at the actual soccer part, and some just weren’t in the mood.

But while Scurry did reveal this “secret,” she mentioned that she had been treating Air Bud like Santa Claus for a long time.

“I never tell kids about the six Buddies,” she said.

To Scurry, “Air Bud: World Pup” was a chance for her to be introduced to a generation of soccer fans that didn’t see the 1999 World Cup.

“These kids would know the players that have now taken the reins from us, that were in the crowd watching us play in 1999, but they wouldn’t have known the history of the 99ers or where that came from,” Scurry said. “That movie did a lot for the legacy of the 99ers for the younger generation.”

As the goalkeeper from both “Air Bud: World Pup” and the Women’s US national team, Scurry said that children still ask her for autographs.

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