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Benji the Hunted (1987)



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Made ten years after the previous entry in the series, after the unwise spin-off Oh, Heavenly Dog!, Benji the Hunted restores Benji to being the dog that warmed many hearts in Benji and For the Love of Benji. This episode in the series skews even younger than previous episodes, or perhaps doesn't skew younger so much as has less to offer adults; nevertheless, it's a gentle, cheerful adventure with the charisma it takes to keep something like this from being too sickly sweet. Whereas the prior films chronicled Benji's attempts to survive in a human world, this one has him surviving in the wilderness and protecting orphaned lion cubs. The film eventually wears out its welcome, but Benji himself does not.

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