The Original Classic
review by Bobby Blakey
Anyone that grew up in the 70s and 80s knows of Benji. Through numerous features he brought along the fun and adventure that we loved as kids. Now Mill Creek is bringing home the original classic Benji home to Blu-ray.
Benji follows a stray who has worked his way into the hearts of a number of the townspeople, who give him food and attention whenever he stops by. His particular favorites are a pair of children who feed and play with him against the wishes of their parents. When the children are kidnapped, however, the parents and the police are at a loss to find them. Only Benji can track them down, but will he be in time? If he can save the day, he may just find the permanent home he's been longing for. I have to admit I haven’t sat down to watch the original Benji in years and was worried it wasn’t going to hold up, but thankfully it was just as much fun as I had remembered.
The story is pretty simple and that is all it needs and unlike a lot of these animal type films it allows Benji to be the sole lead with the humans being the supporting players. Films like this today come off so cheesy, but there is something about the way they shot and framed Benji throughout that makes you believe in him. He offers up so much character in his eyes and movements that you cannot help but love him. Before we get into the usual bad guy scenario that themes films always have we get to just spend the day with him and his interactions with the town. One of the moments here that should not work, but manages too is the montage romance between him and a female dog named Tiffany.
This film remains a classic that offers up the type of film we just don’t see anymore. Benji is an icon for a reason and I hope this new release will get him discovered by a whole new generation. In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including commentary, a photo gallery, and behind the scenes featurettes. Grab your copy of Benji: The Original Classic available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment.