Movie: Benji Off The Leash

When I was a kid I was a huge fan of Benji movies. What kid wasn’t? So I was thrilled to rent a new Benji movie for CG to watch while CB was out of town. We sat down this past weekend and watched it together. In a phrase? LOVED IT.

Now, this isn’t the lighthearted fluffy Benji from the 1970s. This was definitely a “message” movie about how terrible puppy mills are. It was more about humans than the dogs themselves. However, there was enough warmhearted stuff in there to make the disturbing stuff palatable.

From Amazon:

Colby, a clever young boy, rescues a scrappy pup from his cruel father, who breeds purebreds with an eye towards profit but not the animals’ well-being.

And no, I admit that it’s not a great quality movie – the script is subpar and bounces too quickly from humorous farce to tragic seriousness, some of the characters are more like caricatures, and the movie was definitely preachy about puppy mills when it came down to it.

But.

Those dogs. Those dogs! SO DANG CUTE. And the sweet parts of the movie were VERY sweet albeit bordering on putting me into a diabetic coma.

During the serious bits I had concerns that CG (who is a sensitive girl) would want me to turn off the movie, but she stuck with it and when it ended she turned to me and asked, “Can we watch it again?” If that’s not a sign of being a good kids movie, I don’t know what is.

The movie is rated PG – not G. I get the feeling that a lot of parents (specifically those on Amazon that gave it negative reviews) thought they were showing their kids a “G” movie. It’s not! It gets its “PG” rating for a reason – namely, addressing the topic of physical abuse of dogs and people.

4 nights on the porch holding a bowl of dog chow out of five.

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