Posted in: Disc Reviews by BABY on April 7th, 2011
“You can’t keep a good dog down.”
Baby here again. Yeah, that’s right. I’m the German Shepherd/Chow mix that runs security here at Upcomingdiscs. I make sure only the best movies get through my complicated security system. And that spells F A N G S. Okay, I made that last part up. I try to keep them all out, but let’s not talk about that right now.
You know what really upsets me? You wanna know what puts the growl in my scowl? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. Why is it that every time something gets messed up, the first person you blame is the dog? You find some shredded tissue on the floor and what do I hear? Baby! There’s a wet spot on the carpet and everyone’s looking at me as if I did it. Did you ever stop to think that maybe there was a leak in the roof and I just got finished fixing it for you? No, you don’t think like that. A speaker wire “falls” out of the speaker and suddenly I’m not allowed back in the theatre for two weeks. Lucky for you this here dog movie got here, or I’d still be on the outside scratchin’ on the door and you’d have to read more of the same human stuff that you get here everyday. And that spells Y A W N.
The film starts out with Charlie (Reynolds) and his buddy Itchy (DeLuise) breaking out of the pound. It seems they’ve been framed. That’s exactly what I’ve been talkin’ about. Another dog gets framed and ends up in the slammer. ‘Cept Charlie was framed by his partner Carface (Tayback). It seems Carface was gettin’ tired of sharing 50% of the treats with Charlie, so he wanted him out of the way. I’m told I’m very good at gettin’ in the way myself. Maybe that’s why I’m being framed around here. Anyway. Charlie doesn’t know who set him up, but Carface isn’t very glad to see him, so he decides to rub him out. (And we’re not talkin’ belly rubs, either) He runs over Charlie with a car and the next thing you know Charlie’s in Heaven. Even though he wasn’t a good dog, it turns out there’s this loophole where all dogs go to Heaven. I suppose that’s where they got the title from. Charlie winds his watch up again and gets to come back to life. But the Heaven people are pretty mad, and they tell him he can’t ever come back again. Charlie doesn’t care. He wants revenge on Carface.
Now Charlie discovers that Carface has been keeping a little girl named Ann-Marie (Barsi) in the basement of his casino. She can talk to animals and can give him inside information on the rat races from the rats themselves. Charlie decides to kidnap, I mean rescue, the girl, but not because he’s a good dog. He wants to take her from Charlie and start cashing in for himself. He promises Ann-Marie that they’ll use the money to help the poor and also get her some parents. Of course, he doesn’t really intend to do any of that. But the little girl crawls into his heart and he goes soft. Humans can be like that. Maybe Charlie can find his way back to Heaven after all.
The animated feature came out in 1989. It didn’t make a whole lot of money, but Gino says that’s because it came out the same time as Disney’s The Little Mermaid. He says Disney usually is top dog when it comes to animated features. I think that really is a good thing. Not so good for All Dogs Go To Heaven. It only made about 27 million treats, while the Disney folks pulled in over 110 million treats. It’s kind of funny, because Don Bluth who was the creative guy behind this movie used to work for Disney. I guess they weren’t giving out enough belly rubs there, because he ended up leaving to start his own company, and All Dogs Go To Heaven was one of his better movies. Gino says that timing is everything, like not being in the wrong place when something gets broken.
The best part of this movie is the voices. Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise are friends and have done a lot of movies together. They really do make good pup pals here. The little girl who played Anna-Marie, who looked suspiciously like Snow White to this pup’s eyes, sounded so cute I wanted to snuggle right up to her. Vic Tayback played Carface, and he sure sounded like a mean guy. So that was a good fit for that part. There’s a few songs in the movie, but they don’t really stand out like in some of the Disney features. The movie takes place in New Orleans in the 1930’s, and sometimes you could hear that style of music, but it never really stayed true to the atmosphere of the place. I’ve never been there, and I still don’t feel like I have. The animation is pretty simple.
The movie did have a sequel. but the only voice that returned was Dom DeLuise as Itchy. Everyone else has a new voice. It was kinda like when Gino got back from the throat doctor. It came out in 1996, but it really stank and didn’t make hardly any treats at all. There was even a television series where Dom DeLuise came back again as Itchy. Steven Weber played Charlie. The series did better than the second movie. It lasted a few years and had 81 episodes. That’s a lot of dogs, I’ll tell you.
All Dogs Go To Heaven is presented is something Gino calls an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC MPEG-4 codec at an average 30 mbps. Okay, so Gino told me to say that, too. The colors were very good here. I like shiny things, so I was in love with the movie from the very beginning. Detail is so good that the stylish animation might appear more crude than was originally intended. There does seem to be a lot of print scratches, but what you would expect in a film that’s over 300 years old.
There is something called DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 coming out of the speaker things. This is one of those films that plays out just the way it needs to with its original stereo mix. The little bit of stuff that cames out of the rear speakers only serves to distract this doggie, who by the way can hear a lot better than you humans can. The music was a bit harsh at times and could have used some more work in smoothing out those higher pitched frequencies. You can hear what everybody’s saying just fine, and that’s what matters most to me.
It’s nice that this movie is now coming out in Blu-ray. Gino says that having these movies in high definition gives you a chance to share them with your families even though they might have come out when you were just a puppy. He thinks its fun when you can share stuff with your pups that you used to watch. That means you should probably get this one, too. Oh Oh. It sounds like “someone” got a few things out of that container in the kitchen where they put all kinds of cool stuff. ‘Cept we’re not supposed to go in there. Of course, I had nothin’ to do with it. I think I gotta stop writing now. I keep hitgting the frong ketys. “I can’t help it. I itch when I’m nervous.”