An underrated and often forgotten animated classic which contains courageous concepts, lovable characters, and first-rate animation.
All Dogs Go to Heaven is a 1989 animated musical comedy-drama film directed and produced by Don Bluth, and featuring the voices of Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Judith Barsi and Vic Tayback.
Set in 1930s New Orleans, the story follows Charlie B. Barkin (Reynolds), a German Shepherd who is murdered by his former friend, Carface (Tayback), and sent to heaven.
When he gets there he decides that he’s not ready for Heaven and escapes back to Earth, despite being told that if he does he can never return.
Back on Earth he teams up with his best friend, Itchy (DeLuise), as well as making a new friend, Anne-Marie (Barsi), who teaches the lovable rogues important lessons in honesty, loyalty, and love.
All Dogs Go to Heaven is one of the best cartoons not to be produced by Disney, and you definitely won’t mistake it for a Disney film. It’s got some very grown up themes, such as smoking, drinking and gambling – not to mention the fact that the whole film revolves around the murder of a cute German Shepard.
It’s a pretty dark kids film that shows a tremendous amount of bravery when it comes to the subject matter that it covers.
Sharp animation, a well rounded anti-hero and strong themes of true friendship and redemption all come together to make for very enjoyable viewing.
The film underperformed at the box-office due to poor advertising and strong competition from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which was released on the same day.
However, it was very successful on home video, becoming one of the biggest-selling VHS releases of all time.
It went on to inspire a sequel, a television series and a direct-to-video film.
Watch the official trailer for All Dogs Go to Heaven HERE: