November 27, 1989 -- ``All Dogs Go To Heaven'' is an animated feature film by Don Bluth, the creator of ``The Secret of NIMH,'' ``An American Tail'' and ``The Land Before Time.''
The artwork in the film is generally excellent, but the musical numbers are a little lackluster, primarily due to the fact that Burt Reynolds performs the voice of the main character and he is not known for his talent as a singer. The main character, Charlie, a street-wise German shepherd with a weakness for gambling, is killed by the evil Carface (performed by gravely-voiced Vic Tayback).
Charlie manages a brief reprieve from death by stealing a magical pocket watch which, once wound, maintains his charmed life on earth. Reynolds does a good job with the voice characterizations, except for the singing.
Dom De Luise, a good friend of Reynolds, also does the voice for Charlie's friend Itchy in the film. De Luise, who also did a voice in ``An American Tail,'' does his usual fine job in this film.
The only musical number that really glitters in the film is done by Ken Page, who performs the voice of a marvelous bright green alligator called King Gator. The number ``Let's Make Music Together'' sparkles both musically and visually. It is a kind of water ballet, which is not surprising since the number was intended as a take-off on old Esther Williams movies.
The most enchanting character in the film is not an animal, but a little orphan girl, Anne-Marie. Modeled on a six-year-old Irish girl, her face is very appealing and her voice is ably done by Judith Barsi.
The story line is not very tight and the plot seems to wander capriciously at times, but a patient viewer will be rewarded by some drama in the last quarter of the film and an ending that is really touching.
On a scale of one to 10, this film rates a six.
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