Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|All Dogs Go to Heaven/All Dogs Go to Heaven 2|
Actors: Dom DeLuise, Burt Reynolds, Charlie Sheen, Sheena Easton, Judith Barsi
Directors: Dan Kuenster, Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Larry Leker, Paul Sabella
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Animation
Disc 1: All Dogs Go To Heaven 1 Disc 2: All Dogs Go To Heaven 2
Good Buy Just to Compare the Two
J. Larson | Morehead, KY | 10/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This item lost two stars for the second movie; having both films on hand and being able to actually compare the works helped to remind me just why sequels to Don Bluth films stopped working after Bluth was gone: the people who made them were too stupid to understand the messages behind the original subject matter.
The first film, All Dogs Go To Heaven, is lauded by overconservative parents who believe there are too many adult themes: drinking, smoking, gambling, death, etc. What they fail to understand however is that Bluth never portrayed any of these things in a positive light. In Bluth's kiddie flicks, he doesn't treat children like they're stupid. These elements that you'd never find in a rated G movie today were still handled delicately, in the sense that no one who appears to take part in any of these questionable practices are happy -- a very smart message on his part. (And watching All Dogs for the first time since I was seven, I'd like to point out that the only time I, as a kid, ever paid attention to people smoking or drinking on TV was when an ADULT in the room would make a big deal out of it. Your kids don't care, people. They see the dogs are singing and eating porkchops.)
You follow the story of a smooth-talking but grumpy German Shepherd by name of Charlie B. Barkin, who lives a life of vice in 1930's New Orleans. After escaping prison (ie: the pound), he is murdered by his former business partner, Carface, who doesn't wish to share the profits of their gambling practice now that Charlie's come back. Charlie goes to heaven by default, because "all dogs go to heaven", but he cheats his way into being sent back, warned that he may never return, in order to get back at Carface. He discovers a little orphan girl who can talk to animals, Anne Marie, who Carface has been using to fix the races and games in his establishment. Charlie befriends her by promising he'll help her find a family, and he convinces her to help him win at a number of games to start his own new establishment, all the while telling her that, like Robin Hood, he is giving to the poor. Slowly, he begins to develop a strong bond with her, and out of a necessity to take care of her, he begins to learn the error of his ways and is placed on the road to redemption.
I've seen reviewers praise the second film as better than the first, and I have to stop and ask them if they're blind. The second film is terrible, in all accounts by which animated sequels always are: the voice acting and animation are beyond subpar (it depresses me to think this actually went into theatres when, like Disney's "Return of Jafar" it really only stood as a musical tie-in to the up and coming TV series, which also flopped after two seasons). Charlie Sheen as Charlie B. Barkin is no Burt Reynolds, and and the original character of Charlie was completely lost in this film. His scounderel antics are seriously downplayed, to the point of making him a near parody of his original self for a Nick Jr audience, one that does not need to be talked down to in such a way. His impressive voice, love of music and natural charm -- all elements that were part of the original -- are not well portrayed here, if at all. Charlie's not even drawn the same way. Similar things can be said for all returning characters. There were plot inconsistancies up the wazoo (Charlie and Itchy were around in the 30s, and the film appears to have moved them forward to a more modern time -- and across the country, to boot). The romance plotline was heavily forced, also, and following after a film that didn't need romance to push Charlie into redemption. All in all: disappointing film, and a shining example of why newer audiences can't properly appreciate the innovations that Don Bluth brought to animated film."