If there’s anything cuter than the Santa Buddies, it is the sequel, the new DVD/Blu-Ray pick of the week, “Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups.” The puppies stow away on Mrs. Claus’ trip to a Christmas-loving town and have a lot of fun granting wishes until something goes wrong and Christmas itself starts to disappear. Who can save the day?
It was a lot of fun to catch up with Kaitlyn Maher, who returns for the sequel. “Santa is at his workshop and he needs a new child ambassador and he sends Mrs. Claus to go and find one. She meets the Reynolds family. Their town used to have the best city with the most Christmas spirit but the Santa pups decided that they were going to come and they took something without asking. Somebody wished for Christmas to go away and it happened. Mrs. Claus and my character have to help save Christmas, but I’m not going to say the ending,” she told me. The puppies were “so sweet and cuddly and cute,” she said, “and even sweeter when there was a dog treat around.” She said the trainers used “lots and lots of treats” and little toys and breaks, too, “if a puppy was being finicky or something, they would always have a new dog waiting. They were very professional.” The biggest challenge was that “there was a train that would go by six times every single day. We would have to stop recording, even if it was the best take we had done. We would have to stop until the train circled around the whole track.” She loved the set for Santa’s workshop. “I asked the producer where all the toys were going to be going.” When no one had an answer, Kaitlyn said, “Can I please donate them? I’d love to pick a few charities in Vancouver.” She became charity coordinator and the toys went to four different charities. “It was a great way to get the whole cast involved in sharing the joy of Christmas.” Her favorite prop in the workshop was a big bell. She thought it was funny when the elf fell off the bell in the first movie. Kaitlyn is home schooled and “I love that my mom teaches me.” She likes the American Girl books and Nancy Drew and loves to read about ancient history. And she likes movies that have a message. “The Sound of Music” is one of her favorites and she also likes mysteries. She says the buddies movies are popular because “the movies are fun and have a good message. The writers bring that message through magical and wonderful things that you could not imagine. Everyone works together and they’re family-friendly. People really feel blessed by them.” She loves to sing and her favorite scene in the movie was when she got to sing “O Holy Night.” She especially loves to write songs and will work on a new CD next year. “I like to make songs that are inspiring and encouraging. I like to make people smile.” And she is looking forward to Christmas with her family and spreading the joy of Christmas to everyone. “I think it is very, very important that people have the love they need on Christmas.”