Released in 1989 by MGM production: All Dogs Go To Heaven. The story is based on Charlie Barkin, a canine (a German Shepard Collie mix) who is part owner of the Casino “Rat Race.” Had just escaped from the pound with and thanks to his best friend Itchy Itchiford (Dachshund).
Unhappy of Charlie’s arrival back at the Casino, Carface, (the other Partner) is scheming to take over the entire Business. He convinces Charlie to split their partnership (ends being part owner of the Rat Race.) Unaware of Carface's plans, Charlie accepts leaving him to a sealed fate, as Carface kills him through running him over.
Plotting to take revenge, Charlie finds out after spending sometime in Heaven, he must “rewind his life” literally by winding back his “life watch” but once that occurs, he can never return to Heaven and he's condemned to Hell if he dies once again. Now with a dual situation to handle, Charlie knows he must fulfill his motive of revenge as well as redeem himself to earn in a place back in Heaven...
In this touching tale you can see Charlie battling to balance out both, reuniting with Itchy and a making a new one,Anne Marie. A little girl with a special talent to be able to talk to animals and her own special want of a family compared to Charlie whose motive was also money.
This one of Don Bluth’s Movies underrated due to poor advertising and strong competition against Disney’s "Little Mermaid". Mainly left in the dust and giving an undeserving set back for the movie.
A movie worth while watching which gives you a depth and feeling that you wouldn’t want to forget.
Initially the idea of All Dogs Go To Heaven was different and was about a canine detective, with three short stories to make a compilation film. Due to fiscal difficulty Don Bluth Productions, had to proclaim economic failure and the idea was abandoned. However in November 1987 after they took drawing motivation from films such as "It's a Wonderful Life," "Little Miss Marker"and "A Guy Named Joe" the plan was rejuvenated and reworked under the new heading of All Dogs Go to Heaven by Bluth, now teaming up with John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman. The movies label actually came from a book Bluth's read in fourth grade in school, and felt he preferred the response of people to the title stating it was “provocative.”
This was the first movie to be financed from sources outside of Hollywood. Goldcrest Films agreed to invest US$70m into the studio.
Burt Reynolds (Voice of Charlie) and Dom DeLuise (Voice of Itchy) had earlier appear in The Cannonball Run together and therefore wanted to ad-lib as in record voices together. Bluth later commented “their ad-libs were often better than the original script”. Another pair of voices, those of Carface and Killer (Vic Tayback and Charles Nelson Reilly respectively) also recorded together.
After Screening. All Dogs Go to Heaven gained a PG rating from the MPAA. Writer and producer John Pomeroy considered it undesirable. In order to manage a G rating decided to curtail or remove several shots, such as a clear shot of Charlie being knocked down by a car, and his nightmare about Hell. Don wanting to give the original print screening as well couldn’t as it was later stolen. And the original cels burnt by Goldcrest
Unfortunatley On November 17, 1989, All Dogs Go to Heaven is released in the U.S on the identical day of the week as The Little Mermaid produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. Now Don’s movie has to go head to head against Disney's, just as their previous one (The Land Before Time) had. The results were unsatisfying to the critics, drawing was unfavorable compared to Disney's offering, they disapproved of the disorganized narrative, the quality of the animation, and the songs by Charlie Strouse and T.J. Kuenster. As the movie gave depictions of death, violence, drinking, smoking, gambling, demons and Hell, the critics found the darker subject material objectionable in a family film. However the reviews were positive, with critics admiring the film's emotional qualities, humor and vibrant color palette. Roger Ebert, who was unimpressed with (one of Bluth's better rated movies) An American Tail, gave it three out of four stars. More recent reviews of the film have generally been less harsh, with Box Office Mojo awarding it a B- rating.
All Dogs Go To Heaven made a budget of $13.8 million back, but it’s performance fell short of Sullivan Bluth Studios' previous box office achievement grossing US$26m,only over half of what An American Tail and The Land Before Time each took. Although on its home video release a it became one of the top-selling VHS releases of all time also making it well known as a sleeper hit, selling over 3 million copies in its first month. As of today, 44% of the critics give positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. However, this is only based on 9 reviews (with Ebert being the only "Top Critic"). The more numerous website users, on the other hand, gave it a score of 72%.
Later MGM purchased the rights of the Characters and the movie in order to make it's sequal All Dogs Go To Heaven 2