Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Benji's Very Own Christmas Story|
Actors: Ron Moody, Patsy Garrett, Cynthia Smith, Benji, Sadie Corre
Director: Joe Camp
Genres: Kids & Family, Television
Studio: Gaiam Americas Release Date: 08/17/2004 Rating: Nr
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(4 out of 5 stars)
"Benji is the sweetest dog in the whole world! How can anyone say 'no' to Benji! Kids will LOVE Benji!"
Benji's Very Own XMas
Patrick W. Schwab | Alaska | 06/20/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I love the Benji Movies - except this one .....
That movie should not be considered a Benji Movie -- Yes, Benji was in the movie but there was very little footage of Benji .....
The movie centered on some aging actor (that definitly couldn't dance - probably forgot to take his geritol)attempting to pass himself off as Santa Claus - wouldn't have convinced a six-year-old .....
My guess is he used The "Benji Title" to get the movie(?) sold - his acting sure wouldn't - not the would-be actor's name (I didn't bother to look for it in the credits).....
I suppose I should be kinder but a would-be actor should have learned to give it up at his age .....
I'll never show it to a kid - it would ruin his image of Santa - but not of Benji .....
It is still in my Benji Collection as it is listed as a Benji Movie but I dearly wish they'd retitle the movie without Benji's name so I could throw - ahhh, nutz -I can't throw it away - my copy is titled Benji's Very Own Christmas - I'm stuck .....
I did watch it all the way thru but I won't repeat the comments I was making to myself (Thankfully I was watching it alone) .....
A Charming Curiosity
Monty Moonlight | TX | 12/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The year is 1978, and Benji is on top of his game! But wasn't he really a she, or was that just an urban legend? Anyway, Benji and "his" onscreen family, Cindy Smith and Patsy Garret, have been invited to a lovely Swiss mountain village to be grand marshals in their holiday parade. On their way to the event, however, they are sidetracked by their driver, Kris Kringle, the parade's Santa Claus. You see, Kris is the REAL Santa Claus, and since his elves will be too busy to enjoy this year's parade and see the movie stars themselves, he is bringing the stars to them. Suddenly, the human and canine actors find themselves on a walking tour of Santa's own little village, as he explains to them why his elves are busier than usual. It seems that Kris has broken his leg, and the elves will have to make his annual rounds in his place this year. The elves are beside themselves trying to learn the tricks of the trade and barely have time to chat, but Kris manages to introduce a few to the group along the way, including Needles and Pins, the official tailors. While in the wardrobe department, we get a firsthand explanation of how Kris must change costumes for every country he visits, since every country has their own view of Santa. In fact, much of the tour involves little explanations of the facts and complications of being Santa Claus, such as getting around the world in one night and keeping reindeer from flying away (by keeping them in a giant birdcage). The tour culminates in the letter department, where elves from the various countries of the world sort and respond to the letters children have written to Santa. Here, Kris Kringle is inspired to break into a catchy song and dance about his own "multiplicity." It's to his own undoing, however, when during his rigorous dancing, Kris's cast breaks apart and his ruse is exposed. He wasn't injured at all, he simply wanted to enjoy Christmas at home for a change, like everybody else. In the meantime, however, the elves are distracted by their chance to meet and pet Benji, and the lovable dog's ability to feel at home anywhere he is loved teaches Kris a valuable lesson and restores his eagerness to make his annual flight. So, with all things put right again, Kris Kringle returns with the little group to the parade route, and a wonderful Christmas is had by all!
"Benji's Very Own Christmas Story" is a charming little tale, though it carries a subtle touch of 70's nostalgia as well for all those who are aware of it. Benji, himself (or herself), is a 70's icon to begin with, and the lovely miss Cindy Smith comes off as sort of a poor man's Linda Blair (circa Exorcist 2, yowza). Plus, there's that whole "I'd like to teach the world to sing..." feel to the story. As a previous reviewer pointed out, Benji isn't given much to do in this one. Mainly, he's just carried around by Cindy Smith and gets petted by the elves at the end. Smith and Ron Moody, who plays Kris Kringle, are pretty much the stars of the whole program. More than anything, it's a "get to know Santa" kind of film, with a strong focus on his many international incarnations. Moody is center stage the whole time, as the Oscar nominated actor (Fagin in "Oliver!") handles most of the dialogue and displays his song and dance talents beautifully. Only a few gripes, like the fact that Santa has relocated to Switzerland because the North Pole was too cold, and the elves prosthetic noses are none too convincing in close-up shots, but otherwise, this is a very charming holiday special at a fantastic price! Nominated for an Emmy as "Outstanding Children's Program," you can't go wrong with this combination of the cutest dog of all time and the most wondereful time of the year! Oh, and be sure to watch for a cameo by Rudolph!"
Its all about the Great Ron Moody
Kevin Bowman | Dayton, Ohio United States | 12/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Really, this Christmas special has an odd feel to it because Benji is ostensibly the star, but mostly gets carried around. The plot is goofy, and sets are low rent, and acting is wooden. But the whole caper is just an excuse for the brilliant Ron Moody to do his schtick. For those who loved Ron Moody as Fagan in Oliver (which is practically anyone who has seen it), he is in peak form. The climax of the piece is Ron Moody as Santa Claus doing an elaborate musical number, which oddly has the Klezmer/jewish sound of songs like "I think I'd Better think it Out Again" from Oliver.Its a tour de force performance from him. The directors clearly knew what they were doing and just let him steal the show. It makes you wish there was more output from him on film and video. It lifts the whole project up and for that reason gets four stars from me. The flashes of brilliance from Moody make this a real Christmas treat that can be enjoyed more than once."