Western Animation: All Dogs Go to Heaven
All Dogs Go to Heaven
is a Don Bluth
film released in 1989 which centers around a dog named Charlie B. Barkin who ends up getting murdered by his gangster business partner, Carface Carruthers. He ends up in Heaven, but decides to return to life and take revenge upon Carface. After he returns to life, Charlie frees a young orphan girl, Anne-Marie, from captivity at the hands of Carface. At first, Charlie exploits Anne-Marie's ability to speak to animals, but he soon comes to like the little girl and eventually undergoes a change in character.All Dogs
landed in theaters on 17 November 1989; on the same day, Disney
sent out The Little Mermaid
, resulting in one of the worst cases of Dueling Movies
in film history Explanation
. It has been Vindicated by History
since. Despite being savaged by critics and being a box office flop, the film ended up selling very well on home video
and thanks to those numbers, the film received a sequel (par for the course for every animated film ever during that time
) and a TV series adaptation (with neither of which Bluth had any involvement).
This animated film, its sequel and its TV spinoff provide examples of the following tropes:
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All Dogs Go to Heaven
- Afraid of Blood: Killer, which may be why he prefers to "use the pliers".
- All Dogs Are Purebred: According to one song, Charlie is about as mixed as they come, yet he looks like a German Shepherd through and through. Itchy identifies himself as a "wiener dog" which implies he's most likely a Dachshund, and Carface appears to be an English Bulldog. The angelic dog is a Whippet, pointed out by Charlie. Apart from that, a number of minor dog characters look ambiguous enough that they might be mutts, but it's a bit tricky to tell with the art style.
- Amazing Technicolor Puppies: The puppies Flo is looking after are all bright unnatural colors compared to all the other dogs who have more natural looking fur colors.
- Ambiguously Gay: King Gator and, to a lesser extent, Killer.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Itchy, who remarks about the Grand Chawhee, "I don't care if it's his... his bar mitzvah! That horse is a gluepot!"
- Anachronism Stew: Forgetting for a moment that ray guns have yet become a reality as of yet in the 21st century, where did Killer manage to acquire an atomic ray gun in the year 1939?
- Animal Talk: Used weirdly. Dogs can only communicate with other dogs. The orphan girl Anne-Marie is the only character who is able to speak to all animals. This is made explicit when it's revealed that Anne-Marie is being exploited by Carface, since she can inform him who will win in a race. It's held pretty consistent throughout the film... except when it isn't (e.g., King Gator and Charlie's Big Lipped Alligator Moment.)
- Anne-Marie can't always fully understand some creatures if they speak in a different 'language', as she stated to Charlie when King Gator's rat-minions, who she says "talk too funny", are carrying them to him in their cages. She probably only recognizes and understands English since most animal characters are interpreted/translated in her view as being English.
- As well with the horses at the race track. The dogs don't understand what the horses are saying, but the horses understand when the dogs are insulting them.
- It's plausible an animal can learn another language.
- Ascended Meme: The Blu-Ray cover dedicates an awful lot of space to the big-lipped alligator.
- Big Damn Heroes: King Gator pulls this at the end of the movie, showing up just in time to free Charlie and eat Carface.
- Bittersweet Ending: The original film ends with Charlie saving Anne-Marie, at the cost of his own life. He shares one last goodbye with her before having to return to Heaven. And true to the title of the film, Big Bad Carface gets into Heaven as well.
- Break Up Make Up Scenario: a very sad one.
- Chekhov's Gun: Charlie's voice attracting King Gator may be the Trope Namer for Big Lipped Alligator Moment, but is more a clumsy Deus ex Machina of this sort.
- Cowardly Sidekick: Itchy Itchiford, most of the time.
- Death's Hourglass
- Disappeared Dad: It's never explicitly said in the film, but you can bet those puppies are Charlie's.
- Word of God says that Flo is just an orphan puppy caretaker.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite technically already having one.
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Carface exits pursued by a Big-Lipped Alligator.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even before his Character Development kicks in and Charlie truly grows to care for Anne-Marie, he is utterly indignant when she compares his treatment of her to Carface. Furthermore, many of Carface and Charlie's employees and customers at their casino remark that Charlie treats them better than Carface does.
- Evil Versus Evil: Charlie vs. Carface, until the former's Character Development.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Another bout of Executive Meddling turned Carface's Tommy Gun into "a RAAAAAAAY gun!" Apparently they thought the real gun was too scary. The official story is this: Midway through production there was an incident where a man attacked a school in LA with an automatic weapon. Many children died and the studio did not want to recall the episode, so the tommy gun was changed to something out of fantasy. ( Could also be connected to the Reality Subtext of the death of Judith Barsi, who played Anne-Marie).
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Driven into the ground.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Also driven into the ground.
- Food Porn: The waffles and the pizza.
- Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: Two-legged Charlie, a German Shepherd/Collie mix, contrasts with Itchy Itchiford, who walks on all fours because of his Dachshund anatomy.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted - Charlie and several other dogs are shown drinking mugs of beer and clearly getting drunk. Getting Charlie drunk was Carface's first phase of murdering him, as he becomes unable to suspect anything odd.
- Gentle Giant: King Gator.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The angelic Whippet tells Charlie, singing about everything wrong with Earth - one of the problems is that there's single's bars. Nothing overtly sexual, but definitely something that will go over the heads of tots. Charlie also sings about "love from a stranger".
- Good Is Boring: The reason Charlie rejects Heaven.
- The Great Depression: The film's time period.
- Grotesque Gallery: Most of the character designs hover along the Ugly Cute border, but King Gator's character design is... a bit much. As well as a pink horse.
- Heartwarming Orphan / Tastes Like Diabetes: Anne-Marie is intended to be the first. Some fans see her as the latter.
- Hell of a Heaven: The afterlife nice, but Charlie isn't happy about staying there right yet as he misses things from his life. Carface obviously hates it as well, and breaks out at the end.
- The Hero Dies: Unusually, Charlie dies at the beginning of the movie, only to cheat his way back to life. He dies again at the end while saving Anne-Marie, finally doing a good deed which would actually earn him a place in Heaven. Due to his earlier stunt with the watch, when he dies this time, it is heavily implied he is going to go to Hell, but he doesn't.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Hollywood Natives: The sewer rats, and their leader/god King Gator have bones stuck in their noses. The rats act a lot like the natives from King Kong.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Itchy Itchiford - at least occasionally.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Roger Ebert noted in his review of the movie that Charlie not only had the voice of Burt Reynolds, but some of his mannerisms as well.
- It Is Not Your Time: Quite averted for a story where characters returning from the dead is a theme. Charlie, however, lies to Itchy and tells him this is the case.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans
- Jerkass: Charlie spends most of the movie as this before his Heel-Face Turn.
- Karma Houdini: All dogs are, simply by being dogs. Carface—murdering, kidnapping, horrible Carface—ends up in heaven.
- Large Ham: "A number 3, Lame Dog."
- Last Chorus Slow Down: "Hey! I know we're dead up here, but so's the music!"
- Late to the Punchline: One that most American viewers completely missed: the horse named "The Grand Chawhee". Don't get it? Look into the political situations of Ireland (where Sullivan/Bluth studios was based) from around the time it was made. That is all we shall say.
- Long Song, Short Scene: The credits song is nowhere to be heard on the soundtrack. And its a orchestrated jazz version of "You Can't Keep a Good Dog Down". It's quite catchy too. In fact, all of the instrumental score is arguably better than the songs, but are nowhere to be found.
- The song that replaced it, "Love Survives", was a tribute to Barsi.
- Love Redeems
- Manly Tears: Charlie sheds a manly tear at the end.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Killer, who sometimes doesn't seem like he likes following Carface and carrying out his evil plans.
- Mood Whiplash: About halfway through the movie, it's done no less then three times. There's a happy sharing song, a sad "I Want" Song, and a nightmare.
- After Charlie's ghost says one last goodbye to Anne-Marie and ascends to heaven, a heavenly chorus sings in the credits right before Charlie demands something a little livelier.
- Mook-Face Turn: Probably applies to Killer, who loyally serves Carface throughout most of the film, but is the one to swim Anne-Marie to safety at the end.
- His boss was just eaten by an alligator...
- Never Trust a Trailer: It's portrayed as more of a comedy.
- Nightmare Sequence: Two of them.
- First, Charlie has that ever-so-lovely dream about going to Hell.
- Second, towards the beginning, after Charlie dies, Itchy has a nightmare that Carface is strangling him, but then hears Charlie's voice telling him, "Itchy, it's okay! It's okay, little buddy! It's me, Charlie!" and wakes up to discover Charlie, alive and well, shaking him awake.
- No Name Given: The heavenly whippet. She was not named Annabelle until the sequel.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Anne-Marie lives in a junkyard and gets kidnapped by a gang of talking, gambling dogs to be exploited for her ability to communicate with animals.
- Parental Abandonment: Anne-Marie
- Pet the Dog: A rare example where it is the dog which pets the human. Also, in the more literal sense — particularly at the end.
- Pounds Are Animal Prisons: The opening of the movie, complete with dramatic jailbreak.
- Punch Clock Villain: Killer before his Mook-Face Turn at the end of the movie.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Anne Marie. She has been compared to Snow White.
- Recognizable By Sound: The Big-Lipped Alligator has Charlie Barkin between his jaws when Charlie howls in terror. The sound is so melodious to the alligator that he set Charlie free. Later in the story, the evil Carface has captured Charlie, and has caused Charlie to howl in pain. Miles away, the Big-Lipped Alligator hears this cry, and comes to Charlie's rescue in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Charlie is red, Itchy is blue
- Redemption Equals Death: Charlie dies after finally learning to care for someone besides himself.
- Also kind of a variation while it costs Charlie his mortal life, the act saves his soul from Hell, thus it saved his afterlife.
- Reflective Eyes: Charlie and Anne-Marie at the end when they're saying good-bye.
- Refusing Paradise: A non-heroic example. Charlie tricking his way out of Heaven sets the whole plot in motion.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Revenge Before Reason: Charlie is willing to forever forsake his place in Heaven to get revenge on Carface for murdering him in the first place.
- Right Behind Me: Near the end, Charlie says that he's only using Anne-Marie and only pretends to be her friend to Itchy, unaware that Anne-Marie is standing on the steps behind him.
- Ring of Fire: Though it doesn't happen IN one, the final fight between Charlie and Carface happens above one, during which Carface falls into it and is eaten by King Gator. Charlie then has to rescue an unconscious Anne-Marie from the burning ring.
- Satan: A giant red dragon-like creature appears to Charlie in a nightmare of Hell and appears outside Anne-Marie's house near the end of the movie, and is implied to be Satan.
- Say My Name: It's astounding how many times people say Charlie's name in this movie - 122 times total! This video counts almost all of those moments.
- Second Face Smoke: Carface does this to a rat and Killer.
- Series Continuity Error: The scene with a certain alligator violates the rules of the movie: animals can only speak to members of their own species, with Anne-Marie being the only being who can communicate with everyone. Yet the Gator and Charlie can share a cross species musical number. This only adds to the sequence being completely out of place in the film.
- A horse also seems to respond to Itchy implying that it is stupid.
- Not to say you can't, y'know, learn another language. Or just read body language or tone of voice; it's not like Itchy's trying to be subtle about it.
- Sewer Gator: King Gator is a big-lipped alligator (yeah, THAT big-lipped alligator) living in the New Orleans sewers, worshipped by the sewer rats.
- Shark Pool: Carface uses the piranha-filled version of this trope to dispose of Killer after he fails him twice. That is, until Killer mentions he has a gun.
- Shopping Montage: Used to cheer the disillusioned Anne-Marie. We're not supposed to ask what the dogs were going to do with all the money otherwise.
- They used it to get Charlie's casino off the ground.
- Which raises even more questions, really.
- Anne-Marie's outfit and hair are much like Disney's Snow White's.
- If you watch the King Gator scene closely, it starts out as an homage to King Kong, including the fact that King Gator was so taken with Charlie; it turns into the trope-naming BLAM once the singing starts.
- It's a Buck Rogers ray gun!
- Sidekick Song: "LET'S MAKE MUSIC TOGETHER!" Also, "You Can't Keep a Good Dog Down," despite not being sung by the sidekicks.
- Slasher Smile: Carface breaks into a twisted one after learning that Killer has "a ray gun" stashed away.
- Soul Jar: Charlie's watch.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Anne-Marie.
- Subtext: "You're in love with the girl!"
- Surrounded by Idiots: Carface ("MORONS! I'm surrounded by MORONS!!")
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: How Carface kills off Charlie. By getting him sloppy drunk, blindfolded and lining him up to be hit by a car on a pier. It wouldn't be enough to just lead him into a busy street or drown him, he does both to be one of the few animated villains to actually kill the protagonist early on and would've won had Charlie not scammed his way out of Heaven.
- Through a Face Full of Fur: Killer becomes ill and his whole body turns green from the exposure to passive smoking, causing him to cough, after Carface blows it from his cigar towards him, twice.
- Totem Pole Trench: With two dogs and a human. Amazingly, it works. Even worse, the teller didn't seem to notice that the adult man making the purchase had the voice of a six-year-old girl when he tells him that it's the Grand Chawhee's birthday. (Our advice? Just go with it.)
- Undying Loyalty: Itchy and Charlie - quite literally. The source of some tearjerking moments.
- Villain Decay: In the movie Carface is intelligent and dangerous, but in the sequels and TV series he's cowardly, bumbling, and idiotic.
- Villain Protagonist: Charlie, before his Character Development.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The tribe of sewer rats that capture Charlie and Ann-Marie in the scene leading to the Big Lipped Alligator Moment have little relevance to the plot.
- Watching Troy Burn: Itchy returns to the monastery to chew Charlie out for wasting too much time with the girl (and nearly getting him killed), just in time for both of them to look over the junkyard and see their new casino go up in flames.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Itchy's rant to Charlie after Carface's thugs nearly kill him.
- Wild Take: Killer springing in mid-air, his eyes bulging in and out, and screaming, after he retrieves and puts back on his glasses, when he sees Charlie and Itchy are out of prison clearly enough the second time.
- Carface gets two. The first is when Charlie is freed from the anchor. The second is when he sees King Gator swimming towards him.
- You Have Failed Me: Halfway through the movie, Carface is lowering Killer into a piranha tank, after discovering Charlie is still alive.
Carface: That's strike two, Killer. You're out.
Killer: No, boss! I get one more strike, I swear!
All Dogs Go to Heaven 2
- Almost Kiss: After Charlie and Sasha sing "I Will Always Be With You", they're about to kiss, unfortunately the sun sets and the collar Red gave Charlie wears off (the collar allowed the wearer to be visible until sunset on the next day), and Charlie becomes a ghost again. Doubles as a Moment Killer.
- Always with You: Has a nice little song based around this.
- Artistic License – Biology: Well, how else would two dogs have shared a Big Damn Kiss at the end?
- Lampshaded by Itchy early on when he's trying to tell Sasha that his "lips are sealed" in regards to where Charlie is and takes great effort showing her his nonexistent lips.
- Award Bait Song: "It's Too Heavenly Here" and "I Will Always Be with You".
- Back from the Dead: Charlie, permanently at the end...or at least he's given 20 years, which is very generous for a large dog. Itchy's given the same offer, but declines; he lived a full life and is content to stay in Heaven.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Red. His Villain Song is even devoted to this.
- Cats Are Mean: Red and his minions are all cats. Apparently, cats are not only mean but also The Legions of Hell. Despite appearances, it's implied that Red is not Old Scratch himself, but an Elite Mook. Charlie makes mention of "his boss" yanking his leash, which could be a reference to the dragon in the first film being Satan.
- The Chanteuse: Sasha during "Count Me Out", though she was merely doing it for a big prize she hoped for to feed a runaway boy named David.
- Cherubic Choir: At the beginning.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Flo, Charlie's implied possible dog love interest in the first movie, was never mentioned in any of the sequels.
- Cultural Translation: This film is set in San Francisco, unlike the original.
- Deadpan Snarker: Charlie's in fine form in this movie, especially after he sends Red back to Hell:
Charlie: "Hello... double chili CAT burger with onions and pickles!"
- Also when he tried to retrieve Gabriel's Horn from the police station but couldn't fit it through the bars.
Charlie: "It couldn't have been Gabriel's Flute, or Gabriel's Kazoo, nooooo..."
- Deal with the Devil: Carface makes a deal with the Big Bad demon cat Red, a collar allowing him to be physical on Earth in exchange for his soul (though in his defense, he didn't know what Red meant by soul at the time). When Red is finally defeated and sucked into Hell, he decides to cash in on the deal and sends his minions to drag Carface into Hell with him.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: when David and Charlie need to distract the cops in the police station, David announces a truck with fresh donuts has arrived. All cops immediately run outside to get some.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Itchy makes his first appearance in this movie having died from choking on a chicken bone.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Played straight in the end of the movie when Charlie is granted life (at least until he dies again), where he gets together with Sasha and both live with David and his family.
- Elvis Impersonator: Appears during the "On Easy Street" number.
- Evil Feels Good: "It feels so good to be bad! So delicious to be a despicable cad..."
- Fantastic Racism: Being a cat, Red has little more than contempt for dogs.
- Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: During the police chase scene, David receives a black helmet when he and the dogs escape on a red motor bike.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Compared to the first, completely driven into the group, complete with (all pink!) Cherubic Choir. One reviewer even called it "Pepto-Bismol Heaven."
- For the Evulz: Red's song is about this trope.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Played straight in the sequel, in which the drinks at the bar is "root beer" (which is purple for some reason).
- Gonk: Oh boy, look at most of the humans in this installment. Some of them have huge noses, angular heads, awfully skinny bodies and stuff like that.
- The Great Depression: The first film is set in 1939. The sequel seems to be set in more modern times, which would be fine and dandy given the lifespans of angels, but it begins with Itchy having been recently deceased. Must have been a really long timeskip somewhere in there.
- Hakuna Matata: "On Easy Street".
- Hell of a Heaven: After the events of the first movie the dog Charlie B. Barkin is in Heaven. However, he's bored with the place and wants to return to Earth. He gets his chance when Carface steals Gabriel's Horn and goes back to Earth. Charlie is sent after him on a mission to retrieve the Horn.
- Honor Before Reason: After Red's first collar wears off, Charlie is so desperate to fulfill his promise to David that he bargains Gabriel's Horn to Red in exchange for another corporealization collar... only to realize he has been duped when Red reveals himself.
- Hostage For Macguffin: Red and Carface kidnap David in order to force Charlie to hand over Gabriel's horn, though unlike most other examples, Red willingly lets David go with no strings attached after the trade is complete.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: "You contemptible canine!" "Don't call me canine!"
- In Name Only: The film bears nearly no resemblance to the original whatsoever—except for a few of the character names.
- Ironic Echo: "I like your spirit!" First said by Red (disguised as a dog) to Charlie, and later Charlie to Giant Red.
- "I Want" Song: "It's Too Heavenly Here".
- Karma Houdini: Averted to Karmic Death. Two minutes after Red gets dragged to Hell, Carface shares the same fate. Itchy's words at the end of the scene poked at the saying and title of the movie.
Itchy: Well, what do you know, and I thought all dogs go to heaven.
- Lighter and Softer: The sequel certainly had lighter tones to it. However, some people seem to forget that, while the original had a power-hungry crime lord for a villain, the Big Bad in the sequel is a literal demon.
- Magic Kiss: Charlie does this to Sasha to give her the ability to talk with David.
- Mood Whiplash: The "Easy Street" number starts out bright and cheerful, but towards the end, instantly turns into a heartwrenching Tear Jerker melody.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Red gets hold of Gabriel's Horn due to Charlie's bartering, he kidnaps all the dogs in Heaven, including Annabelle, and imprisons them on Alkatraz Island. Charlie soon realized in horror what his actions have caused and quickly tries to reverse it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Charlie willingly mortgages Gabriel's horn to Red in order to fulfill his promise to David... giving Red just what he needs to fulfill his plans.
- Non-Standard Character Design: David is the only human in the entire film to be drawn with as much detail as the dogs.
- Off Model: In some parts.
- The Other Darren: Dom De Louise is the only actor from the first movie to reprise his role.
- Parental Abandonment / The Runaway: David.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Sasha during her song "Count me Out" stands at a strange angle, giving her one of these. In this case it's a wedding veil.
- Police Are Useless: The chase scene between a couple of police officers and David and the dogs.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: For the TV series, despite quite a few disconnections between both of them.
- Pun: After Red reveals his true form to Charlie and Itchy:
Red: "Guess the cat's out of the bag!!"
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Red, when he's disguised as a dog, has these at a few parts in the movie.
- Refusal of the Call: Charlie initially only undertakes the mission to retrieve Gabriel's horn because he's gotten bored with Heaven and wants to go back to Earth; when he arrives, he immediately makes his way to a dog bar to goof off, only to discover that he is a ghost and unable to interact with the physical world.
- Restraining Bolt: The collars that Red gives Charlie to make him visible and tangible also serve as a means of controlling him. During the final confrontation, Red magically tightens said collar around Charlie's neck twice to prevent him from blowing Gabriel's horn.
- Reunion Kiss: Charlie and Sasha share this at the end of the movie when Charlie is brought back to life once again after saving Heaven from Red.
- Satan: Though he doesn't appear this time, this installment has Red, an anthropomorphic red cat who seems to be the lap-demon of Old Scratch.
- Setting Update: Seems to take place in the 90's rather than the 30's, calling Itchy's extreme longevity into question.
- The Shadow Knows: When first meeting Charlie, Red appears in his dog disguise, but his shadow on the wall is that of his true demon cat form.
- Sidekick Song: "Easy Street," despite not being sung by the sidekicks.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Charlie's voice when he sings is somehow higher pitched than his speaking voice, thanks to two different actors playing him.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Charlie and Sasha, up until the "I Will Always Be with You" number.
- Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness/Eviler Than Thou: During Red's Villain Song, Carface brags that after they get Gabriel's Horn, they'll be able to open every safe and bank vault in the world; Red promptly shuts him up, revealing himself to have far bigger plans for the horn:
Red: "I didn't recruit you for such entry-level wickedness. You have so much to learn!"
The TV series and Christmas Special