Billy and Buddy manages to maintain the kind of brisk giddiness that many animated films struggle to achieve. But as family fare with a few unsettling Gallic touches, the boy-and-his-dog escapade is an odd fit.
The finely observed moments in Stateside accumulate little emotional power. The promise of something startling and compelling goes unfulfilled, and the arc of the central love story isn't interesting enough to sustain the drama.
A few smart laughs hint at what might have been, but thanks to sitcom-y mugging and a tepidness beneath the intended hilarity, David E. Talbert’s romantic comedy is stuck in a holding pattern for much of its running time.