Benji the Hunted (1987)

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When you decide to watch all the theatrically-released Disney movies, you’re bound to come across some that you dread watching. For some, it may be the westerns. For me, it’s the ones featuring non-speaking animals doing things!

And today’s film is one of those! I honestly didn’t know anything about the Benji franchise prior to watching this film, but I guess the franchise was popular enough to have Disney be involved in one of the films! I’m not sure exactly how involved they were, but I’m going to review the film anyway! Rest comfortably as I try to speed through Benji the Hunted.

And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!

At the beginning of the film, we see a live news report about the famous movie star dog, Benji, who has gone missing after the boat he was on capsized in stormy waters. A search and rescue mission is currently underway, but we soon see our protagonist, Benji, played by Benjean (the daughter of Higgins, the original Benji) wash ashore somewhere.

Benji tries to find his way home having to walk through a nearby forest to do so, but soon comes upon an unfriendly, injured mountain lion. As Benji keeps walking, he soon discovers the mountain lion’s kittens and takes it upon himself to take care of the cubs and reunite them with their mother father parent.

“Look, do you want him or not?”

And that’s pretty much the entire film: watching Benji try to reunite the cubs with the mountain lion while being chased by multiple predators including a human hunter, a bear, and a big, bad wolf.

“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your movie out of the box office records!”

A couple of times, Benji notices the helicopter that’s come to look for him, but his duty towards the kittens comes first. In the end, Benji reunites the cubs with the mountain lion and we see the helicopter arise on a cliff near to where Benji is laying down.

So…did Benji ever get home?

And that was Benji the Hunted, and my gosh, was it boring! I’m not saying it’s a bad film if you like watching animals do things (as these animals were all trained incredibly well), but it just bored me! I had to watch the film at a faster speed and since there was barely any dialogue, I didn’t miss out on anything. If you like animals, you may like it, otherwise I’d say hunt down another film for movie night!

So, my final score for this film is 20/35 = 57.14% (F) !

The next review will be posted on November 26, 2019.

5 thoughts on “Benji the Hunted (1987)

  1. I have never seen this film. But I wonder: are you aware of the controversy surrounding this film and Roger Ebert?

    Ebert’s review of this film was one of his most controversial, because he gave it a thumbs up on the same episode of Siskel & Ebert that he gave Full Metal Jacket a thumbs down. This was so infamous that it would haunt him for years afterwards, as Gene Siskel and talk-show hosts never let him live it down. But it also gave him the perfect opportunity to defend his “Ratings are relative, not resolute” principle as well.

  2. Wait…that is how the whole Benji franchise started? Or is it a later movie of the franchise? I admit, I never paid much attention to the franchise because I figured that it is mostly for Dog Lovers. Plus, the very best Dog movie which was ever made, is “Barry of the Great St. Bernard” from 1977 anyway (incidentally also a Disney movie, but sadly difficult to come by nowadays, I mostly know it because I had it on VHS)….what makes it so great is that it was based on a real dog.

    Mmmm….I wonder if there is a chance that Disney dumbs it on Disney Plus….I am really in the mood to see it again now….

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