Several months after Norman Snively is sent to prison and becoming Buddy's legal owner, Josh Framm, now a teenager, becomes angry when his mother, Jackie, begins dating Dr. Patrick Sullivan, the town's new veterinarian after a couple of failed dates. It all starts when Patrick innocently tosses Josh's basketball-savvy dog, Buddy, a football one day, and he discovers that Buddy also has an uncanny ability to play that sport. Soon enough, Buddy begins playing on Josh's school football team. Meanwhile, two Russian siblings, Natalya and Popov. kidnap him in hopes of having him perform as the special attraction in the Russian circus while Josh runs away when Patrick proposes to Jackie. His coach finds him and convinces him that just because Patrick is in his life now, he doesn't have to stop loving his father and he returns home, but Patrick is gone and Buddy is missing.
The Timberwolves are forced to play the final game without Buddy and lose. Buddy and the other animals manage to escape and Natalya and Popov are arrested and placed into the custody of the Russian embassy after their van falls into a lake following a chase sequence. Meanwhile, Patrick finds Buddy and takes him to the game. With his help, they catch up, but he is tackled and taken out of the game. They are forced to finish it without him and thanks to Josh and Tommy, they win. Later, Josh stops Patrick from leaving and convinces him to stay. They later go to a football game and Buddy sneaks onto the field.
Prior to the film's theatrical release, it was originally rated PG by the MPAA (as seen in the original theatrical trailer). However, by the time the film was released in theaters, it was given a G rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, making it the first Air Bud film to have been designated that rating in the United States.
- Buddy – Himself
- Kevin Zegers – Josh Framm
- Gregory Harrison – Dr. Patrick Sullivan
- Robert Costanzo – Coach Fanelli
- Tim Conway – Fred Davis
- Dick Martin – Phil Phil
- Cynthia Stevenson – Jackie Framm
- Nora Dunn – Natalya
- Perry Anzilotti – Popov
- Shayn Solberg - Tom Stewart
- Suzanne Ristic – Principal Salter
- Alyson MacLaren – Andrea Framm
- Joey Galloway – Himself
- Warren Moon – Himself
- Alex Vlisides – Vice Principal Van Nostrane
Home video release
The film was released to VHS in 1998, and was later released to DVD in 2000. Disney continued its line of Air Bud Special Edition DVDs with the release of Air Bud: Golden Receiver Special Edition on February 2, 2010. The special edition includes a play-by-play action exclusive Sports Channel by the Buddies led by Budderball.
- Air Bud: Golden Receiver on Wikipedia
- Air Bud: Golden Receiver at AllRovi
- Cinema Connoisseur review of Air Bud: Golden Receiver