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Benji: Off the Leash [Blu-ray]

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Mr. Hatchett is furious when his best breeder gets free & mates with a mongrel, but his son Colby befriends the cutest of the mixed-breed pups. To save a fellow loner, Colby hides the puppy in his homemade fort where Benji soon becomes full-grown & frees his sick mother from the illegal breeding factory.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Benji, Nick Whitaker, Chris Kendrick, Nate Bynum
  • Directors: Joe Camp
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Gaiam - Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0081L9T5M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,489 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By CHARLIE'S ANGEL on October 23, 2004
Format: DVD
I have loved Benji since I was a kid and when I heard there was going to be a new Benji movie I was estatic. My husband and I went to see this famous pooch in his first movie since the '80s.

Although it was a very moving story and I did cry during the end,I didn't feel like this movie was as good as all the other Benji movies. It seemed like it took a very long time to tell the story and also didn't seem very planned out. Like other Benji movies had a plot(ie. Benji's first movie he stopped kidnappers and in For the Love of Benji he is trying to escape some spies that want him for an experiment, Benji the hunted he's trying to help some abandoned cougar cubs.) So you see my point. Even though this movie starts out with them on the search for a new Benji and our pooch who is named Benji in the end is trying to save his mom from a puppy mill they seem to get a little off the plot here and there during the movie. Children will love this adorable mutt and true Benji fans will as well. Most adults though may be bored. Other than the lenghty script and off topic scenes I loved it, would see it again, and plan to purchase the DVD on December 28th. And for those wondering there is a Benji Christmas movie to be released in theaters December 2005.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Largen on February 12, 2005
Format: DVD
Joe Camp's original Benji film blazed a trail and provided inspiration for independent filmmakers across the world. In Benji: Off the Leash, Mr. Camp continues to break new ground by examining issues that will inevitably provoke meaningful conversation between parents and their children, a feat rarely accomplished in modern family entertainment. I was not surprised to learn that after all these years, Camp remains faithful to solid principles of fine storytelling. While viewing Off the Leash, I got a sense of Camp's deep love for independent film and his intuitive respect for the audience.

Many modern flicks for kids consist of spiritually empty images of mindless destruction, delivered at a brutally hyperactive pace, but Off the Leash is a notable exception. Parents who view this film with their children will be amazed to discover their kids, who were nursed on modern frenetic film fare, will not grow tired of the lingering camera shots contained throughout Off the Leash, as these scenes are designed to allow kids (and adult children) to use their imaginations and emotionally connect with the characters. Imagine that!

Joe Camp has always held his films to a higher standard, and Benji: Off the Leash is no exception. This film explores a somewhat darker theme than the original Benji films, as the child protagonist faces the enemy within his own family (as opposed to the evil forces operating outside the family in the first films). Off the Leash inspires children to think about values, and it doesn't proselytize or adopt a condescending attitude in order to do so.

Off the Leash is blessed by a wonderful soundtrack, including a rendition of the big-band standard "It Had to Be You".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on November 11, 2006
Format: DVD
If you're looking for family picture, something cheerful and joyful that would make you smile and laugh, you should see some other Benji films, but not this one. Sure, the dogs are cute. But I think probably most dogs on this planet are cute, and that alone does not make a good family picture. You may think `Benji: Off the Leash!' is a film about Benji. Yes, it is, but it also includes several things that almost made me stop watching it.

A kind boy named Colby (Nick Whitaker) secretly keeps an abandoned dog who tries to rescue his ailing mother ill-treated by her cruel owner. If you think this is a good story (and it is, I agree), wait a minute. The dog is abandoned by Colby's own abusive and malicious father who tosses away the puppy in the opening. The same cold-blooded daddy treats badly Benji's mother too in order to get more puppies! (Oh, I forgot to say he is a dog breeder, and he needs money!) And beating someone is also suggested....

OK, I admit this film is made with good intention. It makes a good point about our society, where animal abuse is often deeply related to another type of abuse. But I thought this is a film about dogs, or adventures of these lovely dogs running around, and the film's DVD cover strongly suggests that kind of content. Of course, these serious issues could be in films made for kids, but here's another problem.

That is, the film's terrible script that is confusing and often pointless. There is another dog abandoned by an unknown driver. The film could have explored the friendship between them, but before it does, it strays into several silly slapsticks by two Animal Control officers (with such old gags as falling in the mud). The rambling story goes nowhere, and the social issues like animal abuse is clumsily treated.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eat-5 on August 18, 2004
Format: DVD
Benji Off the Leash! is no one-trick-pony. The film should win audiences of all ages and defrost even the most hardened canine-phobe. Both the movie and the mutt are that good.

Movies targeted for family trade often seem designed by committees hoping to lure all demographics. Happily, Benji Off the Leash! attains purity in every sense of the word; unlike many films of any genre, it reflects a unified vision. Benji producer/director/screenwriter Joe Camp has not stooped to conquer.

In direction, story construction, camerawork and performances both human and canine, Benji Off the Leash! is the best of the Benji canon. Its two-legged hero is Colby, a stalwart youngster who loves dogs. Its two-legged villain is Colby's harsh father, whose appropriate last name is Hatchett. He runs an illegal dog mill and mistreats all beings, both two-legged and four-legged.

Colby and Benji have parallel plights, dealing with the rescue of loved ones and strong maternal bonds.

Benji Off the Leash! has serious undercurrents, but it never turns grim. The film's canine comic foil is a character named Lizard Tongue, whom Benji befriends and then probably wonders if making friends with the rascally Lizard Tongue was a wise move. Two goofy dogcatchers and one eccentric recluse provide the human comedy.

As before, Mr. Camp films the canine scenes from the dogs' perspectives, and the desire to reach out and touch is irresistible. Benji interacts gamely with Lizard Tongue, a chatty parrot named Merlin and even a cow. Don Reddy's cinematography exquisitely captures each moment.

With eyes born for movie camera close-ups, Benji is a female mixed-breed terrier, three and one-half years of age. She is a wonder-dog, but she doesn't hog the show.
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