In what may be one of the most lovable reboots to happen pretty much ever, Netflix has brought back Benji. The adorable film just released today on Netflix, so you can catch it any time you want. And you’ll definitely want to watch it. Netflix’s description for Benji reads: “After lovable abandoned mutt Benji is adopted by a kind family, he chases cats, flirts with a show dog and bravely helps to rescue two abducted kids.” Many viewers are wondering after they finish this movie, just what breed of dog is Benji? Well, Benji isn’t a particular breed: Benji is a rescue dog, just like the part he plays in the movie. Read on for more details.
A Benji movie hasn’t been made since 2004, when Benji: Off the Leash! was released. Benji originated in the 1970s, when the first movie premiered in 1974. Netflix’s movie is essentially a remake of the 1974 movie. It’s created by Blumhouse which brought us Get Out and Paranormal Activity — completely different types of movies. But Blumhouse does a wonderful job on this family movie too. As an added bonus, the new Netflix movie was directed by Brandon Camp, son of the Benji creator Joe Camp. And it’s adorable. The movie also boasts some cute folk songs and great supporting characters, including Carter (Gabriel Bateman) and Frankie (Darby Camp, and not related to the director.) The two kids find Benji while he’s on the streets of New Orleans in need of a loving home.
Benji, once again, sports those brown eyes that you can’t resist and a level of cunning few dogs (except maybe Lassie) have also possessed. And just like the Benji from the 1974 movie, our 2018 Benji is also a rescue dog in real life. Yes, Benji was a stray who was abandoned in a grocery store parking lot. Someone found Benji on the streets and took him to a local rescue shelter, Brandon Camp told People.com. And the rest, as they say, is history. Camp knew Benji was perfect for the role. Why? “The eyes say everything. You could see this little mutt’s soul with every blink.”
And if you’re wondering where it was filmed: Benji was filmed in New Orleans, giving it a nice, authentic feel. Brandon Camp said his goal was to pay homage to the original movie, while adding a bit of a modern touch. He wasn’t trying to reinvent the movie or create a completely new one, but to simply capture the magic again for modern day families.
By the way, the 2018 Benji’s background is really similar to the original Benji from 1974. The original Benji (named Higgins) was found in a Burbank animal shelter as a puppy. He was labeled a Border Terrier, but his trainer believed he was a mix of Miniature Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and Schnauzer. The original Benji passed away in 1975, but his children carried on his work, portraying Benji on movies and TV.
So if you’re wanting to adopt a dog who looks just like the Benji on the 2018 movie, well, you won’t find him in any particular breed. You’ll just want to visit some animal shelters and dog rescues, looking for a pup with a similar look or personality. But in all honesty, it’s not really about finding a dog who looks like Benji. Carrying on the spirit of Benji is all about rescuing a dog who is just right for you. So visit your local shelter or rescue group, and just look for a cute dog who’s a great fit for you and your family. You won’t be disappointed.
You can watch Benji on Netflix here. You can watch the 1974 version on Netflix here.