Josh rediscovered something hidden under layers of leaves-himself. Within himself, or rather, the church court, Josh also found his father and Buddy. Josh’s father was always watching over Josh even though the body wasn’t there physically, and Buddy filled gap left by the father in Josh’s life. In the church court that symbolizes Josh, Josh found not only himself but his dad and Buddy. The first identification of the dog that Josh found in the church court, the piece of cloth, became a symbol of Buddy.
The cloth was dirty and torn when Josh found it in a bush. However, by the time Josh’s mom found it, the cloth was clean. This corresponds to how Buddy was dirty and unwanted when Josh first found him, but under the care of Josh, Buddy became clean and loved. The love is evident when Josh’s mom put the clean cloth beside the picture of Josh with his dad. Buddy was a part of their family. Similarly to Josh’s dad, Buddy was also forced to leave for a period of time.
Josh mended the cloth which symbolizes Buddy, a member of Josh’s family. One aspect of Buddy that Josh could not completely heal was Buddy’s fear, shown through newspapers. Buddy’s deep fear and distrust in humans resulted from being abused with newspapers in the past. In an attempt to hide his fear, Buddy buried the newspaper each morning. Fear, however, returns regardless of how well you hide it. The source of fear-Norm Snively-appeared after Josh’s mom found the buried newspapers.
Therefore, instead of continuing to avoid fear, Buddy surpassed his fear at the end of the movie when he tore apart Norm’s newspaper. The newspaper symbolizes the fear Buddy learns he can’t avoid. The church court, the piece of cloth, and the newspaper are some symbolism effects from the movie, Air Bud. The director produced the movie with impressively decisive and insightful details. Watching Air Bud once is not enough to understand the full depth of the movie.