52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2006
I never liked dogs when I was a kid, mostly because I was a runt and they could pretty much eat me whole. Which didn't preclude me from liking the idea of dogs, or from loving this film way back when. On a nostalgia kick I bought it again and expected to have another aspect of my childhood destroyed upon being reminded of how horrible some of the things I liked back then actually are from an adult perspective (A few examples come to mind, but at least I won't have to contend with liking a few things on TV nowadays that will definitely have future adults cringing...).
Surprise, it's actually even more enjoyable now as an "adult". It's all as good as I remembered, or better.
When I was a child I never percieved it as a particularly "dark" film as so many claim it to be... Truthfully, the thing that has stuck with me over the years is the songs. They really are engaging and well written, not the squirm-fests that populate most children's films of any era. And while certain things stick out as not being acceptable in today's children's pictures (the drinking, and straightforwardness on topics such as gambling and murder), I definitely don't think that's the attitude that defines the film. To "clean up" this movie would be to suck the life from it, and make it just like any more modern children's film.
I have no qualms with showing it to my nieces and nephews. I think it's a shame that movies nowaday shelter younguns from anything resembling reality. Besides, at the core it's a great, touching story about love and friendship, and I think that's what shines through for most kids, and most adults upon watching the film. Anne Marie is absolutely adorable, and Charlie, voiced by Burt Reynolds is as likeable a scoundrel as any. The characters are all dimensional and believable, despite being dogs. Another thing that sticks out when viewing this film in comparison to more modern children's offerings.
It can now be seen, unfortunately, as a throwback to when kids movies didn't need to rely on flashy graphics or super-hip characters and settings to be entertaining. Current studios could use a dose of this adventurousness.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
I'm a huge fan of this movie and I was looking forward to the Blu-ray release, especially since the DVD transfer is pretty lousy. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray isn't much of an improvement, and in some ways is worse than the DVD.
First off, the Blu-ray is totally bare-bones. The only extra is the theatrical trailer. There's no top menu, only a pop-up menu which lets you select scenes and toggle audio/subtitles while the film is in progress. This makes setup a real pain, since you have to start the movie, choose your settings, and then restart the movie. There's no recall function, so if you need to stop the film partway through, you'll have to restart it when you return. In addition, you'll need to manually skip through the 20th Century Fox logo and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" ad every time, since there's no top menu to jump to.
As for the film itself, the jumpiness/flicker from the DVD version is gone and the colors are bolder. However, there's still a lot of digital noise--graininess, specks on the screen, etc. Overall the picture looks like something that would be found on a DVD, and compared to the crystal clear Disney Blu-rays, it's extremely disappointing. The bigger problem is that the Blu-ray is presented in widescreen format, despite "All Dogs" being filmed in 1.33:1 aspect. So, the top and bottom of the screen are cut off, and large segments of the background art are lost. Granted, people have always complained about black bars on their screens, and including a cropped-in option isn't a bad idea. But why isn't a matted version there as well? Surely there's enough room on the disc for both?
If you need to get a copy of this film right now, I recommend the DVD version: the picture quality isn't quite as good, but it's in the correct aspect ratio and it has a top menu. Otherwise, hold off until Fox releases a true high-def restoration.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2000
I have not seen the DVD of this movie, but will comment on the movie itself:
With a movie based around dogs running a gambling (rat races) and bar joint, it already earns coolness factor among children's fare. As a child of about 9 when this movie was originally released (ten years ago) these references went straight over my head. Strangely the movie is still entertaining, although slipping a bit into typical heartwarming stuff after the introduction of the little girl into the mix (who is being held by Charlie's - the German Shephard-like lead dog voiced wonderfully by Burt Reynolds - nemesis, Carface because she can talk to animals and thus know who will win the day's race.)
Set in New Orleans, the main plot (which the rest is filler really) is Charlie and his partner Itchy return to the joint that Charlie and Carface used to run together (up until Charlie was thrown into the clinker - the dog pound - until Itchy got him out, the great escape is where the movie begins) and under the guise of helping Charlie set up his own place, Carface holds a party at Mardi Gras where Charlie gets a little too sloshed and makes him an easy target for a cleancut murder. All dogs go to heaven of course despite the fact there's little record of our lead actually doing any good in his earthly canine life, but heaven wasn't good enough for Charlie, he wants revenge, so he steals his watch of life, winds it back up and heads back down for Vengeance upon the ones who has done him wrong. That's when his life gets entangled with the little orphan girl (called "Squeaker" by him through most of the movie after a rather cute scene which I won't spoil here), who he 'rescues' for 'using' her for his own selfish purposes instead of helping the child realize her dreams, but his coming to care for her in turn ends up leading to his own true salvation.
A very 'dark' film, in lighting and sometimes even in story, there's many morals to be found underneath, the biggest being that even imperfect people (or animals) have goodness in their heart, they only have to reach out and open their hearts to find it. The badguys are truly bad although the lead villan's Chihuahua looking scrapgoat shows a kinder side sometimes, and are played out kind of like mobsters and not too over-the-top. There are no ridiculous ambitions, simply the doing in of Charlie so that his claim to the business is his void (he'd be dead afterall), which is a refreshing pace from superhero movies. The voice acting is very good in most cases, and a couple of the songs don't even make adults cringe too much (especially the one in heaven is quite nice).
A well done film throughout, which spawned a mediocre sequel and animated series. However, there's no substitute for the original, which is one of the best animated movies to come out of the 90s period. Children will love it, and adults will be able to watch it without feeling too ill or out of place, and those that grew up on it, probably still hold it close to their hearts.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2006
Really, the only reason I'm writing this review is to debunk the "too dark for children" issue. C'mon people! Has the world gone soft or something? I watched this film when I was at least five years old back in the early 1990's and I thought it was incredibly satisfactory. Ya, it was scary in some parts. Ya, it was violent. So what? I don't remember getting any nightmares or crying or anything. In fact, the gritty tone of this movie was what made it so special. Most animated films these days are so horribly politically correct and "dumbed down" for children that I don't even know how they can stand to watch them themselves.
Charlie, the protagonist of the story, I have to agree with the naysayers, really is an evil character. He lies, cheats, and steals all throughout the movie. Near the end, he says "Look, I don't care about the girl! I tell her things now and then. I pretend to be her best friend but its bologna!" But it's thanks to this horrible side of him that makes the climax of the film so powerful. If you haven't seen it yet, then I won't give it away specifically, but basically what happens is he overcomes his former self and does the right thing.
What I'm really trying to say is don't judge too harshly just because it's a little non-ethical with it's storytelling compared to today's standards. The movie really does have an honest side and is a welcome addition to anyone's collection.
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2001
I agree with some of you, this movie is not a real kids movie, or, atleast not younger kids (7 and under). It does contain some things that may upset younger, or less mature viewers. The plot is slightly on the dark side, a change from the usual happy, peppy cartoons. But I love it none the less. The characters are unique for an animated film. Charlie - although in all respects you should hate, atleast for the begging of the film, is a lovable mutt and is enjoyable to watch. Anne Marie is a darling character, adorable from every aspect. Especially her voice, which was done to perfection by Judith Barsi. I admit the villian is more than annoying, and not incredibly intimidating. The basic plot is good, and the animation is nice. Annabelle (The Whippe in heaven) is a slightly ditzy little creature, who is enjoyable enough in her little part. The songs are okay. "You Can't Keep A Good Dog Down' is good enough, but "Lets Make Music Together" needs a bit to be desired. In short, do not buy this movie if you want to show your little 3 year old the happy dogs running around, go for 101 Dalmatians if you want that. But if your looking for perhaps a more realistic, darker movie, that is enjoyable and wont make adults cringe too much, this one is for you.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2000
A brillinatly animated, well-acted tearjerker movie, "All Dogs Go to Heaven" is probably one of the darkest G-rated animated movies ever made. Most likely, it should have been given a PG rating. Set in New Orleans, 1939, the movie stars a German Shephard dog named Charlie B. Barkin, who runs a rat race track where dogs unite to gamble and drink. Charlie's partner is the scheming, cigar-smoking Carface, a pit bull who secretly plots to kill Charlie so he doesn't have to split the profit. Although Carface's murderous attempt is successful, Charlie, upon reaching heaven, rewinds his Watch of Life and goes back down to Earth, seeking revenge against his former partner. He is joined by Itchy, a roly-poly daschund dog, and Anne-Marie, a little orphan girl with the ability to speak to animals. Because Anne-Marie can speak to rats who tell her which rat to gamble on at the race track, Charlie is soon back in business. For most of the movie, Charlie is constantly pretending to be Anne-Marie's friend but is just using her for money, distressing the poor girl repeatedly by breaking his promises to find her a family. Although Charlie begins to warm up to Anne-Marie in the end, the movie leaves the unsatisfying feeling that maybe Charlie wasn't that nice a guy. Despite this, the movie is very enjoyable. It is humorously morbid, yet tender at the end. You may want to think twice before showing it to young children who may be haunted by very dark scenes or wonder why the main character is such a jerk. Includes several lame but catchy songs and a rather bizarre singing alligator in a scene that makes no sense, but overall a terrific movie for more mature audience who are still young at heart.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2003
Don Bluth's 1989 film, "All Dogs Go to Heaven" is a smart movie in it's own way. I agree with some out there that it does own a darkened tinge to it, but none the less, it's a good movie for most viewers. I, just especially love Don Bluth's traditional animation and movies including, "The Secret Of NIMH" and "The Land Before Time", which were made all around the 1980 decade. I personally think that was when Don Bluth's best and most memborable films were made. Though, back to the subject, this movie definetly stood out in my mind, with it's cute songs, but which could use more work and appear more in the movie, like "You Can't Keep A Good Dog Down". This song was the one with the main character, Charlie, a German Shephered and his loveable friend daschound, Itchy sing in the bar. With refrences to gambling, which in a dog's fantasy world, rat races, and subjects containing killing, can be gestured to adults though it has it's light-hearted, happy-go-luck kiddy moments with the graceful Whppet Annabelle and Charlie romping the the clouds of heaven and the little orphan who Itchy and Charlie take under, Ann Marie's loveable moments with charlie and Itchy. Carface and his sidekick, whose name is forgotten by me, are the nuisence of a villan, who plot to kill Charlie. Charlie who only takes care of and pretends to love Ann Marie, in hopes to pay back Carface with money owed so as he can live. After time and instinces, which the inseprible trio go through, helps Charlie to soon love the little girl. I myself, thought this movie was good if your looking for a movie with a few dark subjects and childish subjects, then this mobie is for you though I don's really recommened it to any child under 6.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 1999
A great movie...a classic in my heart. The first time I watched this movie was at my 2/3 cousins house. We were looking for something more kiddieish for me to watch than the rest of her movies. Suddenly, behind a stack of loosely pilled video tapes, was the cover of All Dogs go to Heaven. My attention was draw....even pulled to the German Shepard dog...that gloriously graced the box. From the first glance....I knew he was my kind of dog....a street dog, definetly street wise, charming, selfish on the outside, but kind and giving under neath all that fur. Although, somewhat Heavenly in a cool way. I grabbed the box and took out the movie. My cousin smiled and said, "Oh, that movie....I think you'll like that one. You wanna watch it?" No sooner that she had asked, I poped the tape in the VCR and promptly turned up the volume of the TV. "Wow" was my only though when I watched the part where Charlie ended up in Heaven and sang that song with Anabell. Charlie....even his name gave my a feeling of love. Reality never once told me that he was a dog, much less unreal...made-up...non-living. When it did hit it hit hard. Even the Charlie's voice was so soft yet hard. He was the first character, cartoon kind, that I ever actually fell in love with. However, time passed and I forgot about Charlie. Until....one day. The day that All Dogs go to Heaven 2 was playing at the theaters......
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2005
i almost didnt see this movie for like 10 years and finally bought it after searchin evrywhere, its a really good movie if u havent seen it already, reminds us older viewers of our childhood, animated films have changed during time, and they sure dont make jewels like this no more, if u wana watch other great films chek out all of don bluths classics, i dont think they make films like that no more, but anyways disney is still good..jus not that good anymore, this isnt a disney movie though but it is way better then most disney movies out there. anyway chek this movie, its pretty good, but i think younger kids will be kind of bored of it cuz it is for a lil more mature audience..maybe ages 8 and up. not a movie u show ur tots..but whatever , its a good movie if you animated classics
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2006
I think All Dogs Go To Heaven is so powerful that it could make a grown man cry. It has to be one of the most perfect kids movies and I am glad to have had it when I was growing up. The title holds no secrets for the rest of the movie, so obviously you know where the sadness comes from but surprisingly the film retains it's ability to make kids happy with it's weird songs that actually don't even annoy adults, okay they might annoy adults a little. It's a very realistic movie in some ways but the talking dogs and funny creatures give a lot of joy. I think the only problem is that this DVD only does an Ok job polishing the old audio and picture but it's still a step up from the old VHS. It's a very colorful film in every way, you can't go wrong with it but hopefully it will be given more respect with a better DVD.