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Headscratchers: All Dogs Go to Heaven
  • In the first movie,the whole climax with Charlie sacrificing himself was unnecessary, he could've slipped the watch on his neck and dived for Ann-Marie, instead he put the watch on a faulty area where it could easily slip and fall into the water. Was Ann-Marie really gonna drown in the split second Charlie slipped on his watch?
    • Presumably, and as is the case with many watches, he put it on the piece of wood because he didn't want it to stay in the water, which would cause the gears to freeze up and the watch to stop, which is why he put it where it would not be in the water. If he had put it on his neck, it would still be in the water when he dove for Marie. This troper personally found it more disturbing that he simply put her, a sick, helpless child, on a piece of wood and gave her a shove and some encouraging words, then diving after the watch, rather than making darn sure she got out okay and forgetting the watch entirely. The fact that he risked her like that and went for the watch indicates that he wasn't truly willing to sacrifice himself for her, which is what he was allowed into heaven for. Instead, it seems like he was willing to help her to a point, but still wasn't going to just let himself die, even if it meant ensuring her safety.
      • It makes sense that he'd put the watch on the wood at first, but when it falls off and he is going through the "should I save the girl or the watch" moment in the water when he is holding the watch and sees Anne-Marie falling, he could easily hold on to the watch and her, especially since he is able to grab Anne-Marie with his "arms" and the watch strap with his teeth without even taking another second.
      • Although I agree that he should have gone after her to make sure she was ok, and foregone the watch entirely. He must have known the chances of saving the watch were slim to none. What if Anne-Marie didn't make it all the way and his sacrifice was for nothing? Having him take her all the way to safety would have been a more strong and confident choice.
    • It's possible that he thought the gears of the watch would freeze up before he could swim her all the way to shore and went after the watch hoping that retrieving it would allow him to swim after her afterwards.
      • Makes sense to me. I think everyone here is forgetting that Charlie was panicking. He was in the odd situation of effectively drowning without being underwater should he have abandoned the watch. Even rescuers are supposed to try to save themselves. It might have been better this way, though. Anne-Marie probably couldn't have handled Charlie dying right in front of her. I'm not sure what Charlie was thinking, but he did spare her some trauma.
  • Why on EARTH would Anne-Marie inexplicably be very sick with PNEUMONIA of all things? That just seems EXCEEDINGLY random and makes little to no sense for a film about talking dogs in Heaven.
    • I would not call it inexplicably sick. She spent who knows how long with Carface, who I'm pretty sure was not the best caretaker. End result, possible malnutrition. I haven't seen the movie in a while so please correct me if I mess up this next part. From what I remember, she started saying she wasn't feeling good during the scene with the aligator. She had been in the water for a little bit and her clothes were probably not warm enough for the weather. Living in a disease-ridden junkyard may have caught up with her, and we do not know how long Charlie and Anne-Marie were with the 'gator. I don't know if they actually said she had pneumonia, but there are plenty of reasons for her to be sick in general. It is not as out-of-place as it seems.
    • Flo said, "She's burning up with fever, Charlie. She could have pneumonia." Charlie probably told her that they were in the water. I'm not sure if that factors in with the cause pneumonia or not, but in the 1930s it was assumed by a lot of people that it caused it flat-out. It's definitely not unusual for a little girl to get sick after all she's been through.
  • Let me get this straight: in the sequel, Gabriel's Horn is stolen from it's proper place by Carface and sold to...well, Satan. The Arch-Angel Annabel needs to send someone who can quickly and quietly retrieve the horn before absolute disaster befalls all of Heaven. And who does she send? She sends Charlie Barkin, a soul with a track record for disobedience and a goddamn ex-gangster to recover the most important item in all of Paradise. Granted, she sends Itchy with him, but Itchy is a completely spineless toady (as he was in life), and of course can't stop Charlie from abusing his power and ignoring his Mission from God. Charlie then proceeded to abuse his miracles, spend his time horning after an attractive Sasha, helping a ten year old run away from home, oh, and selling Gabriel's Horn to Satan so he can have a few more minutes on earth. This directly leads to every soul in Heaven to be forcibly ripped from the astral plain and forced into a small earthly cage. Charlie practically annihilated paradise over a single child (who wasn't in danger, mind you, Charlie just wanted to say goodbye), but we'll ignore that for now. After Charlie defeats Satan and reclaims the horn, The Arch-Angel brings him back to life as a reward for his services.. Annabel rewards Charlie for cleaning up a mess that he almost entirely caused himself. What. The. Hell.
    • It wasn't all his fault, as Carface had a major role. And he did realize he'd messed up and saved everyone. On top of that, Charlie is clearly more happy on Earth than in heaven, and probably a lot less troublesome there.
      • That doesn't change the fact Charlie backstabbed Heaven by giving him the damn Horn.
    • Maybe they just want to get rid of him? At least for a few more years.
  • How did none of the human adults notice a bunch of dogs setting up a casino with flashing lights in a car junkyard?
    • That's just a given in stuff where animals have their own little humanesque civilization along ours. Might as well ask "Why are the dogs talking to each other and watching races and having relationships instead of operating on instincts and routine?"
  • What exactly do the dogs need with money? And how do they use it? We see them gambling at Carface's casino early on; they are betting bones and steaks and things. Which makes sense, dogs gotta eat. But later on Charlie gambles for money, to fund the construction of his own casino. Fund how? Who does he pay? At one point we see him, Itchy, and Anne Marie use a Totem Pole Trench to place a bet, so I can buy that he could make a purchase from humans if he really needed to, but that doesn't seem like a normal occurrence. Is the money to buy the steaks and stuff for the dogs to gamble on? How did that work for Carface? Did he get Anne Marie to help with purchases?
    • The dogs probably use money because we use money. They're just copying us. Carface probably steals the steaks... either that or he managed to set up some elaborate arrangement with a butcher using money he stole off of humans, using trial and error. "Here. I'm setting the money down. NO DON'T TAKE IT I AM GROWLING AT YOU. Now I'm staring at the steak. I'm staring at the steak. GROWLING BECAUSE YOU'RE TRYING TO TAKE THE MONEY. Right. Give me the steak. Good human. There, now you can have the money."
  • Why was the film set in 1939? There doesn't seem to be any reason for it.
    • Because a Depression-era setting worked better for the background story than a modern setting would, as shown in the sequel.
    • Also because that's when the original book the movie was based on (by Beth Brown) was set.
  • How did Carface get out of Hell for the Animated Series?
    • Poor writing.
  • What happened to King Gator? Because I want to know.
    • Probably died of old age at some point.
  • So, is the ending implying that Satan is giving Charlie the opportunity to say goodbye?
    • Why not? Charlie's apparently the first dog he's ever had in Hell. It might have made him enough of an amusing oddity to indulge a little. Either that or Satan knew Charlie was likely to be called back up to Heaven and didn't want to make a big deal over it.
    • Maybe Charlie managed to slip out since they aren't used to dealing with dogs down there. Or he managed to con/bargain a chance to say good-bye. Either way, it might have amused Satan enough to watch Charlie have a last look at something he would never have again: his old life and friends.
  • Why did Itchy end up staying with Anne-Marie at the end? I mean, up until his argument with Charlie caused her to run away, he pretty much couldn't stand her. I get that he wouldn't want a little girl to die, which is why he helped during the climax, but why live with her afterwards if he thinks all the things that went wrong for him and Charlie were because of her?
    • Because he loved Charlie, and he realized Charlie loved her, and he wanted to watch over her now that Charlie was dead. Also he probably didn't want to live on the street anymore.
  • Something that bothered me when I rewatched the original movie and the sequel (and I hadn't seen either in a long time): so out of all the dogs that ever lived EVER, Charlie is the only one who deserves to get into Hell? I'm not saying Charlie's actions aren't bad (Anne Marie even hangs a lampshade on the fact that having her talk to animals to place bets is the same as what Carface had her doing at first and he starts doing facile things to pretend to be good to make her happy) and he's basically a Loveable Rogue but Carface is much worse: he gets Anne Marie (for all we know, he took her off the street or from an orphanage) to shift odds in his rat racing and keeps her locked up in the basement as an afterthought and as a bargaining chip and thinks nothing of killing Charlie after framing him and sending him to the pound. I suppose Charlie needed the second chance by rewinding the watch and to learn eventually to put others needs over his own to save Anne Marie when before he just wanted to get revenge on Carface and start up his own casino but the rules of Dog Heaven is basically: All dogs are good and if they aren't when they show up, we have the time to turn them good because we have all eternity to do it. They don't seem to take into account Carface at least is beyond saving (conspiring to steal Gabriel's Horn while sucking up and pretending to be good) and Charlie is just too restless to stay in a place like Heaven where everything is nice and fair all the time.
    • Well, quite simply, Charlie broke THE RULE: no going back. Die once, free ticket to heaven. Go back by rewinding your watch and you're on your own. Carface ends up in hell via his own actions at the end of the second movie without ever technically being alive. If you have sanction to return to life, which Charlie receives at the end of the second film, you can return to heaven when you die like a normal dog. It isn't that Charlie was worse than everyone else; he broke the only real rule he was confronted with.
  • Why did Anne-Marie continue to wear her rags after Charlie and Itchy were clearly shown buying her nice, new clothes (which she had earlier expressed wanting desperately, as they might help her attract adoptive parents?)
9Headscratchers/FilmAn American Tail

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