This made-for-cable family film was inspired by the 1960s TV series of the same name. Following the (apparent) deaths of his parents, young Mark (Reiley McClendon) goes to live with his sheriff uncle, Jack (Dean Cain), in the North Woods. Here, Mark befriends a huge, but lovable, bear, whom he nicknames Ben. The rest of the film finds Mark and Jack joining forces to rescue the endangered Ben from a relentless poacher named Fog (Corbin Bernsen). Filmed on location in Auburn and Foresthill, CA, Gentle Ben debuted March 25, 2002, on the Animal Planet cable network.