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Laramie Movie Scope:
All Dogs Go to Heaven

Nice artwork, forgettable music

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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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.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)