What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie, while mostly lighthearted, does depict a child dealing with the death of his father. It also depicts abuse -- animal abuse and physical abuse of a boy by his coach -- though it makes it clear that both are wrong, and both are punished. If you don't have a dog already, be aware that kids may be inspired by this film to bring home stray dogs and try to teach them to play basketball.
- Families can talk about the proper treatment of pets. Does Josh display responsibility when it comes to Buddy? What are signs of abuse, and what should you do if you discover them? How would you react if you saw adults doing things wrong?