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The Search for Santa Paws
The Search for Santa Paws.jpg
Disney release poster
Directed by Robert Vince
Produced by Anna McRoberts
Robert Vince
Written by Robert Vince
Anna McRoberts
Starring Zachary Gordon
Mitchel Musso
Kaitlyn Maher
Madison Pettis
Genevieve Hannelius
Richard Kind
Jason Connery
Christopher Massey
Music by Brahm Wenger
Cinematography Kamal Derkaoui
Editing by Kelly Herron
Studio Keystone Entertainment
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release date(s) November 23, 2010 (2010-11-23)
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Search for Santa Paws is an American-Canadian Christmas fantasy-adventure film released on November 23, 2010 (direct to video). The film is the tenth film in the Air Bud franchise and is also a prequel to Santa Buddies, as well as a spin-off from the Air Buddies film franchise.


At the North Pole, all the elves prepare for Christmas and arrange a birthday celebration for Santa Claus (Richard Riehle)

To cheer Santa up, Eli uses the great Christmas icicle to bring the stuffed dog to life. Santa names his puppy Paws (Zachary Gordon) and tells him that they will be the best of friends for all eternity.

Meanwhile, following her parents' deaths, a young orphan named Quinn (Kaitlyn Maher) arrives at a combination foster home/orphanage run by a strict, abusive and child-hating woman named Ms. Stout (Wendi McLendon-Covey) who disapproves of anything that children love: toys, Christmas decorations, singing, and even pets, including dogs and her hatred of children, including girls. She confiscates toys from the girls who rightfully own them and destroys them in her incinerator the house's basement. Despite the strict rules she has to respect while staying at the foster home, Quinn eventually befriends the girls, including Janie (G. Hannelius) and Willamina "Will" (Madison Pettis), who has lost her Christmas spirit since the death of her own biological parents when she was Quinn's age.

Santa and Paws travel to New York City but are hit by a cab, and loses his memory. Paws assumes a little man is an elf and tries to ask him for help, which only leading to him and Santa become separated. Santa is taken to the hospital and the crystal that keeps him eternal is stolen by a homeless man named Gus (Chris Coppola). He recovers, but has amnesia, going by the name of Bud, and when nobody appears to claim him, James and Kate Hucklebuckle, a pair of business people trying to make their recently inherited toy shop a success, take him in and give him a job as their store Santa, where he quickly becomes popular with the children, even attracting media attention.

In order to save Christmas, Eli (Danny Woodburn) and Eddy (Richard Kind) the uncanny elf dog have to go to New York City where they recruit local Boy Scout Jimmy in order to save Santa and Paws. Eventually, they find Gus and get him to return Santa's crystal to them. However, Santa soon lands in the hospital again after being without his crystal too long.

Meanwhile, Paws meets Quinn and is brought back to the orphanage, where he befriends the girls and uses his crystal's magic to give them Christmas cheer. However, Ms. Stout discovers this and locks Paws and Will (who takes the fall for Quinn) in the basement, stealing the former's crystal. As a resort, Paws reverts to becoming a stuffed animal by the next morning. When Ms. Stout discovers this, she assumes Paws has escaped and then attempts to throw him into the incinerator, but he is narrowly saved by Quinn and the other girls. Eli, Eddy, and Jimmy then arrive and reunite Paws with his crystal, restoring him to life. After explaining the situation to everyone, Will and Quinn leave with them to help Santa. After arriving at the hospital and finding Santa near death, they try to reunite him with his crystal, but its magic has been too used up to work. Paws then sacrifices his crystal's magic to restore Santa's, reverting him to stuffed animal form once more while saving Santa's life.

Santa, Eli and Eddy rush back to the North Pole and reach the main crystal just in time, and Paws turns into a full-grown dog named Santa Paws (Mitchel Musso) and Christmas is back on track. Meawhile, much to the excitement of the girls, Ms. Stout is fired from her job and evicted from orphanage after Eli reports her mistreatment of the children to Quinn's social worker Mrs. Gibson, who then takes her former position, and later invites Gus to spend the holiday at the orphanage. In the end, Will and Quinn are both adopted by James and Kate, and the family briefly reunites with Santa Paws on Christmas Eve before he and Santa continue their deliveries.


  • Kaitlyn Maher as Quinn, a young orphaned little girl who believes in the true spirit of Christmas; after her parents passed away, she is sent by Mrs. Gibson-(a CPS social worker) to Ms. Stout's orphanage in New York City. She finds Paws in the alley behind the foster home. She owns a doll of an angel that was given to her by her late mother.
  • Madison Pettis as Willamina "Will", the oldest girl out of all the orphans who serves as an older sister figure to Quinn. After her parents died when she was little, she lost her Christmas spirit as well as its true meaning until she accidentally gets stuck in the basement with Paws. She often gets the full blame for everything by Ms. Stout since she is the oldest and holds her accountable for Quinn and all the other girls’ behavior.
  • Richard Riehle as Santa Claus.
  • Danny Woodburn as Eli, Santa's head elf.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey as Ms. Stout, the greedy and child-hating owner of the girls' home and the main villain of the film. She finds Christmas, toys and anything that children love annoying or offensive and dislikes children, including girls. Will is her main target to everything and is often placing the full blame on her for everything that happens in the foster home because she hates children. She is eventually fired as a result of the abusive treatment she has inflicted upon the girls and now works as a janitor as punishment.
  • John Ducey as James Hucklebuckle, Kate's husband and grandson of the late Mr. Hucklebuckle.
  • Bonnie Somerville as Kate Hucklebuckle, James' open-minded wife.
  • Chris Coppola as Augustus "Gus", a poor homeless man who takes Santa's magic crystal, unaware of its power.
  • Jonathan Morgan Heit as Jimmy, a boy scout who helps search for Santa.
  • G Hannelius as Janie, an orphan who is best friends with Will.
  • Michelle Creber as Taylor, an orphan.
  • Kathryn Kirkpatrick as Mrs. Gibson, a kind social services woman who takes over the orphanage after Ms. Stout is fired.
  • Melody B. Choi as Mary, an orphan.
  • Nicole Leduc as Meg, an orphan.
  • Patrika Darbo as Mrs. Claus.
  • Pete Gardner as Franklin, Ms. Stout’s boyfriend as well as a dogcatcher.
  • Bill Cobbs as Mr. Stewart, James and Kate's caseworker who says they must successfully run Hucklebuckle toys profitability for one Christmas season.

Voice cast

  • Zachary Gordon as Paws and Mitchell Musso as Santa Paws, a Great Pyrenees.
  • Richard Kind as Eddy, a happy-go-lucky elf dog Jack Russell Terrier who is also Eli's assistant.
  • Jason Connery as Haggis, a Scottish Terrier who's "always ready to take action" who befriends Paws and is looking to get off Santa's Naughty List.
  • Christopher Massey as Rasta, a reggae Puli who is "laidback" and "easygoing" who befriends Paws and is looking to get off Santa's Naughty List.
  • Josh Flitter as T-Money, a streetwise hip-hop Bulldog who is "super cool" who befriends Paws and is looking to get off Santa's Naughty List.
  • Diedrich Bader as Comet, one of Santa's reindeer.
  • Michael Deyermond as Dancer, another one of Santa's reindeer.


A sequel, Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups was released on November 20, 2012.

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