|“||This time, Pete, I'm gonna humiliate you! This time, I'm gonna prove to the world that you were wrong and I was right!! (Prickly: About what?!) About RECESS!! About freedom, about test scores! I found a way to prove my theory. I'm gonna get rid of the biggest recesses of them all: I AM GONNA GET RID...OF SUMMER VACATION!!||„|
|~ Benedict ranting out his true plan to Prickly and T.J.|
Dr. Phillium Benedict is the main antagonist of the 2001 animated Disney film Recess: School's Out!. He is the former principal of Third Street Elementary School and former Secretary of Education. He is also the former best friend of current principal Peter Prickly, and the ex-boyfriend of current groundskeeper Muriel Finster.
|“||Look, Pete, the 60s are over. All that peace and love and freedom stuff.... sure, yeah, it was great for pickin' up chicks, but it's not gonna help my career! To do that, I gotta make test scores go up, and to make test scores go up, I gotta keep kids in class where they belong. That's why, starting tomorrow, I'm tuning out recess.... once and for all.||„|
|~ Benedict announcing his first act as Principal of Third Street Elementary.|
Prickly, Finster, and Benedict went through teacher training when they were young and were close to each other, even Finster entered into a love relationship with Benedict. Starting up in his first year as principal of Third Street Elementary during the spring of 1968, Benedict plotted to abolish recess in order to keep students in their classes to raise test scores and further his career. However, the plan did not seem to work well to anyone in campus (including Prickly and Finster), and all of the students felt miserable after Benedict put his no-recess policy into action.
As a result, many of the parents laid down a protest against the school, demanding that recess be reinstated. Despite the protests, Benedict refused to give up his anti-recess policy, which forced Prickly to report to the Superintendent about the situation. Though the Superintendent assured the parents and teachers that Benedict's policy will never be carried out in the district, Benedict still refused to back down, leading the Superintendent to demote Benedict and promote Prickly as the new principal.
Benedict then assumed that Prickly turned his back against him to get the job as principal, though Prickly states that he never intended to do such a thing. Benedict refused to listen and broke up his friendship with Prickly, leading a disgusted Finster to finally end her relationship with Benedict for his rude and obnoxious behavior towards Prickly and his hatred of recess.
Upset over this loss, Benedict angrily swore revenge against Prickly and quit teaching. During the next 30 years, Benedict went into politics and was eventually appointed U.S. Secretary of Education. Two years prior to the film's events, Benedict exploited his position in an attempt to abolish recess on a nationwide scale, but this was foiled by the President, who saw through the plan and dismissed Benedict for it.
Having failed at his latest attempt to get rid of recess after being sacked from his job, Benedict plans to get rid of the biggest recess of them all: summer vacation.
After stealing a tractor beam from a U.S. military base, Benedict, his second-in-command Fenwick, his lieutenant Kojak and his henchmen (including the fake secret service agents, ninjas, scientists & technicians) took over Third Street Elementary School and used it as their home-base, since it was closed for the summer and was the last place on Earth that the authorities would look for the equipment. He also rigged the lock of the school to shock and transport anyone carrying the keys into the school in case someone did actually attempt to investigate, and he also ordered the bald guy to pose as Prickly just to ensure no one got suspicious after the real Prickly was taken hostage. He also had Fenwick, the scientists and technicians conduct frequent tests at the school involving miniature tractor beams in the auditorium, one of which T.J. Detweiller (the protagonist of the film) accidentally witnessed while fuming about how his summer was going. He also had the auditorium altered to be the main control room for the tractor beam.
Benedict later claimed Prickly's office as his main office, which was fitting due to being a former principal. As the plan progresses, Benedict eventually had the first lead scientist detained after the latter's attempt at moving the moon shut down unexpectedly due to the tractor beam having bugs in the system and promoted his assistant to that position. Shortly afterwards, T.J. and his gang ended up being forced to expose themselves due to Mikey having an unexpected and uncontrollable urge to belch, as well as the vents giving way to their weight. Phil orders his henchmen to seize the children, though the gang manage to escape, T.J. was captured and imprisoned along with Prickly in the stock room. There, Benedict introduces himself and explains to both Prickly and T.J. that he was running a "night school", but they're not convinced. He eventually learned that T.J. and Prickly had managed to sneak into his office and found his walkie talkie, although not before T.J. alerted them that Benedict's plan was to get rid of summer vacation after stumbling on a mural (presumably painted by Benedict himself and/or his men) depicting the end of summer vacation.
The next day, Phillium summoned Prickly and T.J. into his office, where he explained how he planned to accomplish his goal: on Lunar Perigee (the time when the Moon's closest to the Earth on orbit), he will fire the tractor beam at the Moon to alter its orbit with the intention of causing the entire Earth to freeze over into an ice age and eliminate summer, thus eliminating summer vacation. T.J., disgusted with what Benedict was planning, told him he won't get away with it. He, however, confident that he can't be stopped even if anyone else knew about his plan, then proceeded to have both T.J. and Prickly locked up in a cage to prevent them from interfering. They soon manage to escape since Prickly swiped Benedict's keys while he wasn't looking and he and T.J. start their mission to save Summer Vacation.
Meanwhile, T.J.'s friends gathered up all of the students to help rescue T.J. and Prickly and reclaim the school. Evidently under pressure of time as well as the resistance's actions, he also slowly lost his cool and started barking orders at his remaining henchmen to make the necessary preparations, including getting a back up generator after Gretchen sabotaged the fuse box, although after Prickly and the student resistance managed to enter the auditorium to stop him, Benedict confidently had the guards arrive. He then explained to the congregated student body that his main motivation for this was because the top three highest countries in the world with test scores--Canada, Iceland, and Norway all had cold climate, which meant they couldn't play ball, so the only other method in his mind was for the students to stay inside and study (and also implied that he may potentially be elected President of the United States and be hailed as a hero should he succeed) so that they don't have summer vacation (which, in truth, they most certainly do). However, T.J. counters this by stating that the kids can do lots of fun on a cold climate, such as a snowball fight or camping in iglooes. Despite this, Benedict still planned to eliminate summer vacation once and for all, much to everyone's horror. However, before he could fully activate the tractor beam, Finster had arrived alongside all the teachers and staff to stop Benedict and the battle is on.
As the moon was about to enter Lunar Perigee, in a last-minute attempt, Benedict attempted to personally fire up the tractor beam, only to be stalled by Prickley, who furiously punched him in the face after making him believe that he had a spot on his tie. Despite this, Benedict still managed to activate the tractor beam after slumped by Prickly's punch, and Prickly was unable to reverse the process. Fortunately, T.J. threw his lucky baseball to Vince and had him throw it at the reactor core, destroying the tractor beam and the machine, much to Benedict's distraught. Gazing of what's left of the destroyed machine, Benedict yells out in agony over the failure of his plans, and both the students and teachers cheer for their victory of saving summer vacation. With his plans foiled, Benedict and his men ended up being arrested by the authorities and sent to prison for their crimes; Benedict furiously tried to protest that he was a former Secretary of Education, only for the arresting policeman to sarcastically respond that he was also the "former Princess of Morocco."
|“||Be cool, people. Be cool. You're bumming my mellowness, here. (Female protestor: We'll be cool when you give our kids their recess back.) Hey, babe, I'll do what I want, 'cause I'm the principal of the school, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.||„|
|~ Benedict standing up to the protest.|
|“||You took my chick. You took my job. Well enjoy it while you can, Petey boy, ‘cause you're gonna pay. Somehow, someway, you're gonna pay!||„|
|~ Benedict swearing revenge on Prickly after he takes his place as Principal.|
|“||Neatly done, Fernwick. (Fenwick: It's Fenwick, sir.) Uh-huh. Are they dead? (Fenwick: No, sir. Merely unconscious.) Good, good. You know how much I hate violence. (Rubs his shoe against the guard's shoulder) Mmm. Nice shine. (Fenwick: Uh, what next, sir?) Well, obviously we establish our base. (Fenwick: And where will that be?) The last place on Earth they'd look: A place called... Third Street School.||„|
|~ Benedict as he initiates his plan by stealing a military tractor beam.|
|“||(Fenwick: Well, here we are, sir. But it's just an old principal's office. Why is it so important?) Because, my academically challenged young friend, it used to be mine.||„|
|~ Benedict as he and Fenwick approach Prickly's office.|
|“||We have a thing called the 'window of opportunity'. If we miss the window of opportunity, then the project fails! And if the project fails, then I get very, very ANGRY! (Fenwick: They may have a point, sir. It seems the logistical problems are a bit more complicated than Dr. Steinheimer thought!) (Dr. Steinheimer: Yes, it would be a lot easier if we could move the laser to a more appropriate location.) This operation will be executed as planned from RIGHT HERE! Have I made myself clear? (Dr. Lazenby: But, sir--) NO BUTS! It started at Third Street, it is going to END at Third Street.||„|
|~ Benedict impatiently ordering his scientists to fix the satellite.|
|“||Dr. Rosenthal, why did the beam suddenly? Oh, what's the technical word for it? Stop?! (Dr. Rosenthal: Well... as I believe you were told before—) Told before? (chuckles, then walks menacingly towards Dr. Rosenthal) Do you think I care what I was told before? (Dr. Rosenthal: Please, sir! I-I-I'll do better next time.) "Next time"? Isn't that cute? Rosenthal, lemme ask ya something. Say you were a teacher—or even better say... the principal of a school, and you had to deal with a delinquent student, a naughty child who didn't know his place, who kept telling you over and over that he'd do better next time... but he never did. What would you do? (Dr. Rosenthal: [whining] Oh, no! Not detention! NOT DETENTION!) Take him away! (Dr. Rosenthal: No, please! I can fix it! DON'T DO THIS TO ME-E-E-E-E!) (is dragged out of the room by Benedict's guards)||„|
|~ Benedict punishing Rosenthal after the laser suddenly shuts down for the umpteenth time.|
|“||Alright, who's second in command? (all the other scientists take a step back, pointing to Rosenthal’s assistant) (Thick Glasses Scientist: Uh, I am, sir.) Well, good. Now you're in charge. And if I were you, I'd make sure I had this machine working at full power by tomorrow morning. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?! (Thick Glasses Scientist: Y-Y-Yes, sir!) Awww dear, I got spittle on my lapel.||„|
|~ Benedict promoting Rosenthal's assistant as head scientist and demanding to remove all the glitches out of the laser by tomorrow morning.|
|“||Hello, Pete. Remember me? (Prickly: Well, well. If it isn't Phillium Benedict. I should've known you'd be the one behind all this!) (T.J.: Principal Prickly, you know this guy?) Pete and I are old pals. Although the last time we saw each other, Pete was the one ruining my life. By the way, Pete, you like this suit? It's Italian. Raw silk. Nice, huh? (Prickly: Yeah, you always were more concerned about appearances than people, Phil.) Oh, Pete, come on. There's no need to be rude. Not after I instructed my men to take such special care of you. (Prickly: Special care? That's what you call gagging me, tying me up and taking away my pants?) Had to, Pete. Otherwise, you might run off and betray me, like you did the last time. But, hey, look at the bright side. At least you've got company now. (Prickly: Let the boy go, Phil. He can't do anything to you.) Same old noble Pete, always standing up for the rights of children. But, unfortunately, I can't let anybody go right now. You see, this experimental night school that i'm running is kind of a secret. I'm trying to show that my adult students can be trained to be capable and productive members of society. (T.J.: Oh, yeah?! Well, if you're just running a night school, then what's that giant laser gun doing in the auditorium?!) (Benedict glares at T.J.) What a rude and badly dressed little boy you are. You know, you should teach your pupils a little respect for their superiors, Pete. But that would mean that you'd have to know how to teach them anything at all, wouldn't it? (Benedict and his goons leave, slamming the door behind them.)||„|
|~ Benedict as he tries to cover up his plan.|
|“||A confiscated walkie-talkie. Why do you do those things to me, Pete? Do you enjoy tormenting me? Do you hate me? (Principal Prickly: I don't hate you, Phil. I just think you're insane!) (Benedict chuckles) Insane. Well, there you go again, Pete. Insulting me, hurting my feelings, just like 30 years ago. Only this time, Petey, I'm ready. You see, all those years, no matter how big I got, no matter how successful...I always thought about you. HOW YOU EMBARRASSED ME! HOW YOU HUMILIATED ME! HOW YOU DESTROYED MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MURIEL FINSTER, THE ONLY WOMAN I EVER LOVED!||„|
|~ Benedict still blaming Prickly for destroying his life, even though it was his own fault for trying to abolish recess.|
|“||You see, all I have to do is modify the moon's orbit ever so slightly, and tide levels on the Eastern Seaboard rise eight feet. Move the moon over here, and the currents that warm California suddenly become ice-cold. Summer, as we know it, will become a thing of the past. And without summer....... no summer vacation! (T.J.: You'll never get away with this, Benedict!) Oh, yeah? Well, who's gonna stop me?||„|
|~ Benedict showing his plan to freeze the world to end summer vacation.|
|“||Don't do it? You think after all this planning, all this work, you can get me to stop just by saying "don't do it"? (Mikey: What if we add "please"?) (sighs) You kids just don't get it, do you? Well let me explain this in a way your uneducated brains will understand. The American public thinks test scores are too low. But if a person, say me, could make test scores go up, why, everybody would feel better. They might even elect that person president of the United States. Now, do you have any idea which countries have the highest test scores? (Gretchen: Uh, Japan?) (Vince: Germany?) (Mikey: Tierra del Fuego?) CANADA! ICELAND! NORWAY! And why? Because it's snowing up there all the time! Kids don't waste their summers playing ball! They're inside studying. And that is why I'm getting rid of summer vacation, once and for all.||„|
|~ Benedict explaining his motivation.|
|“||You're too late, Pete! THIS TIME, I WIN!!!||„|
|~ Benedict gloats to Prickly about his victory.|
|“||All my plans, my hopes and dreams..... ruined..... RUINED!!!!||„|
|~ Benedict crying out in defeat.|
|“||Get your hands off the suit, you CLASSLESS FEEB!! I am the former SECRETARY OF EDUCATION!! (Cop: Yeah, yeah, and I'm the former Princess of Morocco. Get in the car!)||„|
|~ Benedict's last lines as he is being arrested by the police.|
- The late Burt Reynolds was originally chosen to voice Benedict, but was later dropped out of the film during production, leaving James Woods to take over.
- Dr. Benedict's face design is close similar to Doctor Claw's face.
- Despite his intelligence and former reputation as an educator, Benedict is very deluded and has a lack of common sense, as he does not realize that his plan to bring in permanent winter will only endanger billions of lives as opposed to raising test scores. Even when T.J. angrily pointed out the flaws of the plot before the final fight, Benedict didn't care and instead continued with his plot, saying that he still could try.
- Benedict's plan to remove recess was tested by the government in one episode. However, as the kids had no way to alleviate their stress, their scores went down. This proves that Benedict's idea was very wrong.
- Benedict shares many features with Hades the main villain of Disney movie "Hercules". The actor who voice them both is James wood and both characters belongs to Disney, plus Benedict and Hades show a really similar personality. In fact they have frequently mood swings who change their calm and relaxed attitude into violent temper tantrums which make them loudly scream from anger against allies and foes and then suddenly return again to their composure. Both shows great lust for power since Hades wants to conquer Mount Olympus and became the major deity while Benedict plans to became president of United States both already had an elevate role, Hades is the God of deads and Benedict the Secretary of education (but was eventually fired) but that wasn't enough for them. Both characters prefer to not take part to fight against their enemies, sending their hencemen to do the dirty work for them (for Hades they were mythological monsters,Titans, Pain and panic. For Benedict guards and ninjas) both have minions who greatly fears them and are victims of their wrath (For hades they are Pain and panic for Benedict professor Fenwick and scientists troupe) they both are in love with a good-side characters but not returned (for Hades its Aphrodite for benedict is Muriel Finster) and in the end both have an archi-enemy who they greatly despise (For hades its Zeus for Benedict its principal Prickly) and they are both contrasted and defeated by a person releated to their nemesies (For Hades its Hercules for Benedict its T.J. Detwiller)