The current version of Benji (March, 2018) is a remake of the same-titled movie from 1974. I never saw the original version of Benji, so in the interest of fairness, I watched both versions. I will not, however, draw comparisons to both versions. I will say that the producer, writer, and director of the 1974 version is the father of the director for the 2018 version. The original version was made for half a million dollars (about 5 million dollars today) and made over forty-five million dollars.
The child actors in this were quite good and believable. At the beginning of the film, Benji’s mother is taken in by dogcatchers while Benji is overlooked. The titles section shows him going from puppy to fully independent dog. Any film where dogs and children are involved is sure to be sentimental and to an extent this is true here. There were at least two scenes where I felt some tears forming. That is a sign of a good film when you can express your emotions.
I don’t know if this version will have the same success as the 1974 version, which was the #3 top movie of the year and was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, but it certainly deserved to be watched and given whatever awards it may be put up for. I give this new version of Benji 4.5 stars out of five stars. Definitely a film for parents and kids to enjoy.