Dr. Phillium Benedict is the main antagonist of the 2001 Disney animated film, Recess: School's Out. He is the founder and leader of the Anti-Recess Legion.
As seen in the flashback of '68, in his younger years Phillium used to wear a Brown Biker's Jacket, blue jeans, black shoes and black aviator sunglasses. He also used to have medium-long blond hair.
In the present timeline of the first movie, he’s now middle-aged and has gray receding hair and a beard of the same color. Phillium has now taken using a cane (most likely from his leg injury) to walk and enjoys wearing suits, as seen when he wore a black suit, blue shirt, dark purple necktie and black leather shoes. Due to his vanity, he is very obsessed with keeping his suits nice and clean. At one point, Prickly distracted him by lying about a spot on his necktie before punching him in the face.
Phillium Benedict was once the principal of Third Street School, where he used to be the best friend of current principal Peter Prickly and the boyfriend of the current groundskeeper Muriel Finster. Starting up in his first year, he was very popular as he was just made the youngest principal of Third Street Elementary in the Spring of 1968.
He called Pete into his office, as the latter told him of an idea to hold class outside on the playground while Phillium liked the thought, he instead told him that he planned to abolish recess in order to keep students in their class to raise test scores and further his career. He believed Pete's words of freedom and peace were only good for getting women but wouldn't help him in the future. This didn't work well with anyone on campus (including Prickly and Finster) and many of the students' angry parents laid down a protest against the school unless recess is reinstated. Despite this, Benedict refused to give up his anti-recess plans since he is the principal, leading to Prickly reporting to the Superintendent about the situation but to just stop him. The Superintendent assures the parents that Benedict's policy will never be carried out in this district, to their joy. But Benedict still refused to hold back down and tried to protest to his superior, leading the Superintendent to demote Benedict and replace him with Prickly to be promote as the new principal.
Shocked at this decision, Benedict was upset then accused Prickly of turning his back against him to steal his job as the principal, ignoring Prickly's insistence that he never intended anything of the sort. Benedict broke off his friendship with him, he then turned to his girlfriend Muriel and wanted to leave with him, but she refused and finally ended her relationship in disgust for rude and obnoxious behavior toward Prickly and his hatred of recess. Because of his rejection along with his demotion caused him to develop a grudge against Prickly even though he assured him it wasn't his fault. During his fury at this turn of the event, Benedict accidentally fell off the school steps hard onto the pavement, which presumably resulted in his legs being injured and damaged enough to require the use of a cane as he got older. Benedict refused help from Pete and Muriel before he angrily swore to get revenge against with Pete.
During the next 30 years, Benedict ultimately quit teaching and later went into politics, soon was eventually appointed and becoming the U.S. Secretary of Education in 1996 (working directly with the President). Despite of his great success before 2 years prior in the film's events, Phillium still remembered Prickly humiliating him and the destruction of his relationship with his one true love in Muriel. Benedict also maintained his position and plan to carry out in his attempt for recess cancellation crusade on a nationwide scale, but was foiled and fired by the President, after he saw through the plans. Having failed for the last time, Phillium then planned to get rid of summer vacation ("the ultimate recess") by any means necessary.
To succeed in his plans, he would break into a military base with his men and steal their equipment. He would set up base in Third Street School since it was where his humiliation had begun. He would have his lead scientists alter the moon's orbit with a tractor beam on lunar perigee (the time when the moon is closest to the Earth in orbit) in order to create cold currents and icy climates. Phillium believed that doing so will force students to remain inside to study during the summer, though this was inaccurate since he would endanger the lives of others with his plan.
To prevent anyone from stopping his plan, he had any trespassers teleported into the school after putting a device on the door to allow it. T.J. and Principal Prickly, who were captured by him when they tried to infiltrate, manage to escape and they learn of Benedict's goal. They then alert the rest of the gang of the evil plan and they are horrified to witness the practice of the beam before T.J. and Prickly are taken to Benedict. Benedict reveals his goals and locks the two away again. However, T.J.'s friends gather the other students to help in stopping the plot from coming true. Prickly was able to break himself and T.J. out since he stole the keys from Benedict's desk when he wasn't looking. Muriel Finster also went to the police but they didn't believe the story and she instead gathered the other teachers for help.
As Phillium voices his goals, T.J. points out his plans' flaws but Phillium was still intent on going through with them and ordered for the beam's activation. He is then shocked to see the arriving Muriel, he compliments her continued beauty and begs her to come back to him but she refuses and insults him as a "two-bit recess hating pretty boy". Angered at this rejection, he decides to get rid of her though she voices she didn't come alone as the teachers swarm into the auditorium, and Benedict orders his men to attack everyone.
During the chaos, he tries to use his tractor beam but is stopped by Prickly who he threatens with a Taser until the latter distracts him with a spot on his tie, allowing Prickly to punch Phillium in the face. However, as Phillium slumps over, he triggers the beam and Prickly cannot reverse it. Recovering, Phillium gloats of his plans' imminent success but T.J. tosses his baseball to Vince, whose accurate aim destroys the machine.
With the laser destroyed and his equipment in ruins, Phillium collapsed to his knees in disappointment at his failure as the students and staffs cheered at their success.
In the end, Benedict and his accomplices then get arrested by the police officers (who were presumably given proof of everything) for their crimes. Phillium protested his arrest as he voiced that he was the former Secretary of Education but his pleas were ignored.
- He is arguably the evilest character in Recess (surpassing Dr. Slicer). Whilst he does wish to alter the climate to stop summer vacation his motivation for doing so was to raise the educational levels of the nation, quite a noble motive. However, Benedict is very deluded and has a lack of common sense in his thinking, as he doesn't 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 he still could try. Showing raising test scores is precious enough for him to commit major crimes.
- Benedict probably caused the cold behavior of Principal Prickly and Miss Finster.
- His ultimate goal is to be elected President of The United States once test scores went up and people thanked him by giving him more power.
- Ironically, this was the person who fired him as the secretary in 1996.
- Also, Benedict didn't see his actions would not guarantee him such a position.
- Benedict is very similar to Hades from Hercules. Both villains are cruel, selfish, short-tempered, and sarcastic. Ironically, both villains are voiced by James Woods.
- Coincidentally, the Latin America's dub is the same case since the both Hades and Benedict are played by Ruben Trujillo.
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