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Buddy (1997 film) facts for kids

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Buddy poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Caroline Thompson
Produced by Fred Fuchs
Steve Nicolaides
Francis Ford Coppola (uncredited)
Screenplay by Caroline Thompson
Story by William Joyce
Caroline Thompson
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Steve Mason
Editing by Jonathan Shaw
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date(s) June 6, 1997 (1997-06-06) (United States)
September 25, 1997 (1997-09-25) (Australia)
Running time 84 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million
Money made $10.1 million

Buddy is a 1997 American family comedy film written and directed by Caroline Thompson and produced by Columbia Pictures and Jim Henson Pictures. It starred Rene Russo as Mrs. Gertrude "Trudy" Lintz and Robbie Coltrane as her husband.

The film was based on the life of a gorilla called Massa with elements of Gertrude Lintz's other gorilla Gargantua (who was called "Buddy" at the time). In real life, Massa became the oldest gorilla on record until 2008, while Buddy/Gargantua died young as a circus attraction and his remains are now on display in a museum.

The gorilla suit used for Buddy was created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.


Millionaire animal lover and overall spoiled rich girl Trudy (Rene Russo) adds Buddy, a gorilla, to her family. Buddy finds life in the city very difficult to deal with. Although Trudy raises him as her own son in her mansion (which also houses a few comical chimpanzees, a kitten, a horse, a cheeky talking green parrot, her prize-winning champion pack of briards, a raccoon, and a flock of geese), he becomes hard to control due to his strength. A particularly bad experience in the Chicago World's fair makes things even harder for Buddy. After he goes on an aggressive rampage and nearly destroys Trudy's home, Buddy is taken to an ape sanctuary to live among his own kind in peace.


Dane Cook cameos as a cop at the Chicago World's fair. Buddy operated by Peter Elliott (adult Buddy), Lynn Robertson Bruce (juvenile Buddy), Peter Hurst, Mark Sealey (toddler Buddy), Michelan Sisti, Leif Tilden, Star Townsend, Robert Tygner, and Mak Wilson (facial controls). Buddy's vocal effects provided by Hector C. Gika, Gary A. Hecker, and Frank Welker.

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