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Benji the Hunted

Benji the Hunted

TCM’s Treasures from the Disney Vault returns June 6, 2018. This installment, in addition to some other programming, appears to be themed to dogs. The content ranges from 1939’s Society Dog Show to 1987’s Benji the Hunted. Despite the closure of Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Great Movie Ride, Disney’s partnership with TCM continues with quarterly broadcast feature well-known and hidden gems from the Disney catalog.

  • 8:00 PM: A Trip Through the Walt Disney Studios (1937)
    • Made for Walt’s distributor RKO to help the marketing campaign for Snow White, this in-house documentary showcases life at the Walt Disney Studios
  • 8:15 PM: The Best of Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures (1975)
    • A compilation of some of Walt Disney’s live action shorts. Included are “Seal Island” (1949) which was filmed in Alaska by Alfred and Elma Milotte, “Beaver Valley” (1950), “Nature’s Half Acre” (1951), and “Water Birds” (1952).

  • 10:00 PM: The Legend of Lobo (1962)
    • In turn-of-the-century New Mexico, Lobo, a wolf-pup consumed by curiosity, meets an angry rattler in the course of his investigations and has to be rescued by his parents. He becomes the inseparable companion of an antelope, but when winter comes his mother and father are killed and Lobo must fend for himself. In his maturity he is the smartest, most dangerous wolf on the range, and he becomes a pack leader, taking a black female, Sombra, for his mate. Their first litter, born in a deserted Indian cliff dwelling, is accessible only by means of a tree trunk across a gorge. The reward for Lobo’s capture mounts until there is a $1,000 price on his head. Relying on the devotion of wolves to their families, a professional hunter manages to snare Sombra and use her as a lure. But Lobo leads his pack to create a cattle stampede, a diversion that enables him to liberate his mate and strike out for unsettled territory.

  • 11:15 PM: Greyfriars Bobby (1961)
    • Scotland 1865. An old shepherd and his little Skye terrier go to Edinburgh. But when the shepherd dies of pneumonia, the dog remains faithful to his master, refuses to be adopted by anyone, and takes to sleeping on his master’s grave in the Greyfriars kirkyard, despite a caretaker with a “no dogs” rule. And when Bobby is taken up for being unlicensed, it’s up to the children of Edinburgh and the Lord Provost to decide what’s to be done.

  • 11:15 PM: Society Dog Show (1939)
    • Pluto’s in a dog show against lots of snooty, high-society dogs. While Mickey’s chasing after a dropped can, Pluto is making eyes at the dog next door. Pluto’s turn for judging comes, and when the judge makes fun of him, Pluto gets mad and goes after the judge, which gets them thrown out. A fire breaks out, and the dog Pluto was romancing is trapped inside; it’s up to Pluto to rescue her.
  • 1:15 AM: Pluto’s Purchase (1948)
    • Mickey Mouse sends Pluto to buy sausage at the butcher shop, but Butch schemes to steal it.
  • 1:15 AM: Big Red (1962)
    • Rene Dumont, a 14-year-old orphan who lives in the woods of northern Canada, is hired to exercise Big Red, a champion Irish setter that belongs to James Haggin. When the dog becomes so attached to the boy that he refuses to take orders from anyone else, Haggin separates them. In a desperate effort to return to Rene, Big Red is seriously injured, and Haggin decides to have the animal put to sleep. Rene takes the dog away, nurses him back to health, and then reluctantly returns him to Haggin, who offers Rene his old job. When Rene refuses, Haggin, hurt by the boy’s rejection, ships Big Red and his mate, Mollie, to Montreal for sale. The two dogs escape from the train and disappear into the pine forest. Rene finds them in a cave where Mollie has given birth to a litter of puppies. Meanwhile, Haggin realizes his growing affection for Rene and pursues them, but he is thrown from his horse and trapped in a rocky gorge. Big Red and Rene arrive in time to save him from a menacing mountain lion. As they head for home, Haggin offers to adopt Rene, and the boy, knowing that he will never again be separated from Big Red, gladly accepts.

  • 3:00 AM: Moose Hunters (1937)
    • Goofy and Donald disguise themselves as a moose and go hunting with Mickey.
  • 3:10 AM: Benji the Hunted (1987)
    • When a shipwreck separates the courageous dog Benji from his trainer (Frank Inn), the crafty canine must brave the dangers of an island wilderness alone. As Benji avoids winding up the meal of bears and wolves, the resourceful mutt comes across four cougar cubs left orphaned by a hunter (Red Steagall) who shot their mother. Unwilling to see the cubs exposed to the perilous environment, Benji puts himself in harm’s way to protect the feline infants while searching for a safe haven.
  • 4:45 AM: The Biscuit Eater (1972)
    • Two Georgia boys of different races work together to take care of a feral dog and train him for a fence-jumping contest.

Look for Alex to do a complete run down of this quarter’s lineup.

Previous Treasures of the Disney Rundowns by Alex:

 
 

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