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|All Dogs Go to Heaven 2|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Larry Leker
|Produced by||Paul Sabella
|Screenplay by||Arne Olsen
|Story by||Mark Young
|Music by||Mark Watters|
|Editing by||Tony Garber|
A. Film A/S
|Distributed by||MGM Family Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||March 29, 1996|
|Running time||81 minutes|
All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 is a 1996 Animated musical comedy film, and a sequel to Goldcrest Films' 1989 animated film All Dogs Go to Heaven. Produced by MGM Animation It is directed by Larry Leker and Paul Sabella. Dom DeLuise reprises his role from the first film, while Burt Reynolds, Vic Tayback, and Melba Moore are replaced by Charlie Sheen, Ernest Borgnine and Bebe Neuwirth, respectively. New characters are voiced by Sheena Easton, Adam Wylie, George Hearn and Wallace Shawn.
The film was released on March 29, 1996. Don Bluth, the director of the original film, had no involvement with the sequel. It was the second theatrical sequel to a Don Bluth production (as most sequels to Don Bluth films, such as The Land Before Time, An American Tail, and The Secret of NIMH, were direct-to-video sequels); the first being An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. This was MGM's last theatrically released animated film until 2006's Arthur and the Invisibles.
Charlie B. Barkin the German Shepherd (Charlie Sheen) welcomes his friend Itchy Itchiford the Dachshund (Dom DeLuise) to Heaven after the latter choked to death on a chicken drumstick. However, while Itchy embraces paradise, Charlie reveals he has grown bored since his death and wishes to return to Earth. Carface, Charlie's old enemy, and a Pit Bull/Bulldog mix (Ernest Borgnine), is also in Heaven, but he steals Gabriel's Horn. However, upon leaving Heaven and falling into the swirl cloud, Carface loses the Horn after he is sucked through an airplane's jet turbines. The dog angels are alerted of the Horn's theft by Annabelle, the head angel (Bebe Neuwirth), meaning the Pearly Gates will not be open for deceased dogs. After using some smooth talk and persuasion, Annabelle sends Charlie and Itchy to San Francisco, California to locate and retrieve the Horn. She gives them 1 miracle to use.
Upon arrival in the city, the two dogs discover they are ghosts, unable to interact with the physical world or be seen. The two go to a bar for dogs where Charlie falls in love with a pretty Irish Setter named Sasha La Fleur (Sheena Easton). Carface appears in a corporeal form, courtesy of a red dog collar created by a mysterious dog named Red (George Hearn). Charlie and Itchy gain some collars, but they will only work for a day and Charlie and Itchy will become ghosts again after that. However, it is revealed that Red is really a Hellcat (a Giant Red Beast) planning to use the Horn to imprison and rule over the canine angels, and Charlie's collar will be used to manipulate him into gaining the Horn.
Charlie and Itchy meet Sasha, who is not interested in Charlie's romantic affections, and her adopted "kid": a 8 year old lonely boy named David (Adam Wylie) who ran away from home. He wishes to become a street performer. Charlie agrees to assist David, much to Sasha and Itchy's objections, leading David to believe that Charlie is his guardian angel, a title which Charlie lovingly adopts. Before leaving for "Easy Street" Charlie uses his miracle to grant Sasha the ability to talk to David, and for David to understand her. On the way to a nearby entertainment spot, the group spots the Horn being taken into a police station. After a chaotic distraction, Charlie and his group retrieves the Horn, with Carface failing to steal it from them. Charlie, however, starts to have second thoughts about returning to Heaven, and places the Horn in a tied-up lobster trap before kicking it into the dock to make sure nobody gets to it. The group goes to the entertainment spot on Easy Street, with David and the dogs entertaining an audience with magic tricks, but a rainstorm and David tumbling into a fountain ruins the act, leaving him and the dogs with no money to earn.
The group takes shelter at the docks from the rain, where David reveals his mother has died and his stepmother is having a new child, so he ran away under the belief he would be forgotten as he feels as if they don't love him anymore, despite the fact that his stepmother is actually worried about him along with his father. Charlie promises to go with David back home, but then confides in Sasha that he may have to break his promise since he must return to Heaven with the Horn. Sasha reveals her newfound feelings for Charlie, but just as they are about to kiss, Charlie's collar vanishes and he and Itchy become ghosts again. Determined to fulfill his promise to David, Charlie races to Red's place for a new collar. Red manages to manipulate Charlie into agreeing to give him the Horn, with Carface kidnapping David and demanding that Charlie brings Red the Horn to Alcatraz Island, or else he and Red would kill David for violating his deal with Red.
He then brings the horn to Red, who plays it and sucks all of the dog angels out of Heaven and into Alcatraz's prison, before it begins to sink into the ground. Charlie, Itchy, Sasha and David fight Red as he grows to a giant size monster, with Charlie finally obtaining the Horn and playing it again to free the angels, who return to Heaven, and sending Red back to Hell. Carface (who took refuge in the vents) reappears hoping to make amends as well as trying to downplay his involvement, but Red drags him into Hell as well, revealing to everyone that Carface sold his soul to Red in exchange for his collar.
After Charlie and Sasha profess their love for each other, he and Itchy return to Heaven, but Annabelle decides to send Charlie to live with David, resurrected. Itchy, on the other hand, decides to remain in heaven. Charlie returns to Earth, meeting David and Sasha at David's family home where David is reunited with his family, learning of his stepmother's love, and he calls her "Mom". After David asks to keep Charlie and Sasha. Then Sasha asks Charlie why he came back. Charlie tells her that he came back to be her husband much to Sasha's delight, but just as they are about to kiss, David works up some magic and presents Charlie and Sasha with their very own dog bowls with their names on it. Charlie and Sasha then passionately kiss and join David and his family as a couple.
A soundtrack album was released on the same day as the film's theatrical release, featuring music composed by Mark Watters. The track listing is as follows.
Reviews have been mixed and the film has been criticized for its shoddy low production values and departure from the tone and setting of the previous film. Several scenes show obvious errors, such as Charlie wearing the collar before he actually gets it or the policewoman changing race. It has also been noted that Charlie's singing voice and speaking voice are distractingly dissimilar (the most notable is in the "I Will Always Be With You" sequence), and the replacing of Burt Reynolds with Charlie Sheen for Charlie's voice was lambasted. The ending was also questioned, citing the Deux Ex Machina effect of Gabriel's horn, the separation of Charlie and Itchy, the reception of the wings, and the happy ending for Charlie and Sasha.
However, the voice work in this film has been praised, as have the musical numbers. Sheena Easton's Sasha and George Hearn's Red in particular have been held up as examples of well-done voice acting carrying an animated film. Animator Mark Flood even claims this was one of his favorite childhood films.
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