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Benji: Off the Leash! (2004)

 -  Drama | Family  -  20 August 2004 (USA)
4.4
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Ratings: 4.4/10 from 401 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 18 user | 20 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Three unlikely, unsuspecting souls who come face-to-face with that moment in their lives when they must stand and be counted. For Sheldon, it's difficult because he doesn't appear to be the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Whitaker ...
Colby
...
Ozzie
...
Hatchett
...
Livingston
Dane Stevens ...
Sheldon (as Duane Stephens)
Christy Summerhays ...
Colby's Mom
Carlton Bluford ...
Delivery Kid (as Carleton Bluford)
Neal Barth ...
Zacharia Finch
Melinda Haynes ...
Shelter Director
Jeff Olson ...
Market Owner
Kathleen Camp ...
Nancy / Voice of Merlin / Phoenix Broadcaster / Voice of Zelda Pinkstrum
...
Radio Announcer
Joey Miyashima ...
Veterinarian
Scott Wilkinson ...
Movie Producer
Benji ...
Benji
Edit

Storyline

Three unlikely, unsuspecting souls who come face-to-face with that moment in their lives when they must stand and be counted. For Sheldon, it's difficult because he doesn't appear to be the brightest guy in the world (although he might be the funniest). For Colby, it's even more difficult because he's only 14 years old, and up against enormous odds. For Benji, it's almost impossible--because, after all, he's just a dog, lost and alone, with nothing but a belligerent bird and a bungling stray mutt to help. A band of unlikely comrades, brought together by the least likely of the bunch, for a common, courageous purpose. Things will change. Lives will be saved. Because Benji is off the leash! Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Rules are made to be housebroken

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Benji Returns: Rags to Riches  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,512,000 (USA) (20 August 2004)

Gross:

$3,785,401 (USA) (15 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Follows Oh Heavenly Dog (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Suitable for children (and makes you want to adopt a dog!)
20 August 2004 | by (Indiana) – See all my reviews

We just returned from seeing this film, which opened today in our city. While it's by no means "great art" -- the plot and dialog are pretty basic -- the children around us were all laughing at the appropriate places and seemed involved in the story. When your movie-going experience is punctuated by people around you laughing or going "Awwww..." at the appropriate places, you have to assume they're enjoying themselves.

In an era when so much of what we see in films is created by computer, it was interesting to see the statement in the credits that there was NO computer-generated or animatronic stuff in this film and that all of the actions done by the animals were in reality done by the animals. I also think it's neat that the dogs in the film were actually adopted from animal shelters in different cities and were trained to be in this movie.

The film's humor is directed at younger children, especially the scenes involving the slapstick dog catchers, which older viewers might find a bit overdone. There are also some heavier aspects to the plot, but the children around us didn't seem to react to those so my assumption is that those parts just didn't resonate with the kids and that they were more involved with the cute dogs and what was happening with them.

I thought that the young man who played the lead character(or perhaps I should say, the lead HUMAN character!) did an especially nice job. Nick Whitaker's portrayal of Colby was one of the better acting roles of the film.

Bottom line: It's mainly a kids' movie, and it's a clean kids' movie (no off-color language or foul jokes). If it gets a bit sentimental at times, it makes up for it by showing just how expressive dogs can be, even without the power of speech. Oh -- and if you go, be sure to stay for the credits, which include scenes of the filming.


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