ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN
Ireland, 1989, 85 minutes, Colour.
Voices of: Burt Reynolds, Vic Tayback, Judith Barsi, Dom de Luise, Loni Anderson.
Directed by Dan Kuenster, Gary Goldman.
All Dogs Go To Heaven is the work of former Disney animator, Don Bluth. He and a group broke away from the Disney studios in the late '70s and produced a number of animated features including An American Tale, Land Before Time.
This is a popular dog story which also has a little girl as heroine. It is a piece of Americana - and the story of an American rascal dog, his awkward comic companion as well as a villainous dog. The film also shows the values of kind-heartedness and the possibility of redeeming oneself. However, it is all done lightly and entertainingly. There are also a number of songs.
The main voice talent is that of Burt Reynolds as Charlie Barkin. The dog has many of Reynolds' characteristics and style. This also gives Reynolds the opportunity to sing a number of songs. Itchy, his friend, is portrayed by Reynolds' friend Dom DeLuise?. The villainous Carface is voiced by Vic Tayback.
An enjoyable animated film - though not in the league of Disney's best.
1. Enjoyable animated film? For family audiences?
2. The style of the animation: drawing, use of colour? Design? Musical score and songs? The voice talents?
3. The American plot, dogs, echoing of the gangster movies? The humans - and romantic themes?
4. Charlie and Itchy: the initial escape, the tunnel, the water? The encounter with Carface? The break with him and his betrayal? Death, heaven? The possibilities? Charlie finding Anne Marie, taking her, her ability to pick winners, talk to horses? The sequence in the wrecked car? Not wanting to be kissed? The racetrack, the horse race and the win? Picking the pocket? The three with overcoat placing the bet? The setting up of the club, the success, the clientele? Anne Marie feeling that he had betrayed her? Going to the parents? Carface and the other dogs, the attacks, the alligator? The explosions? Charlie helping Anne Marie? His dying - the appearance of the Devil, the heavenly spirit? His saying farewell to Anne Marie? Going to Heaven? Burt Reynolds and his manner, style, humour? Songs?
5. Itchy and his incompetence, humour, sharing all the experiences with Charlie? Sad at the end, looked after by Anne Marie?
6. Anne Marie and Carface, the orphan, with Charlie, loving him, in the back of the car, talking, the need for parents? Talking to the horses, the bet, the winning? The disappoint? Taking the wallet back? Encountering the loving couple? Charlie buying her the dresses, the collage of the new clothes? The dangers? Carface? The threat to her life, Charlie saving her? His farewell? Her happiness with her parents?
7. Carface as the villain, his look, his betrayal, the dogs as the henchmen? His cruelty? Anne Marie? Attacking Charlie and Itchy? Following them, the attacks, the alligator and his death?
8. The crooked dogs, working with Carface, their cruelty, trying to kill Charlie and Itchy, their comeuppance?
9. The attractive parents, romantic, the racetrack, the encounter with Anne Marie, her going to the house, the returning of the wallet, their concern? Reunited with her?
10. The insertion of the songs, the variety of moods, revealing characters? Love, happiness? The musical alligator - and memories of Esther Williams' movies?
11. The overall appeal of the film? Plot and characters? Animation design? Songs? Attractive for children? Families? Adults?