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Animation Is The Only Thing Keeping 'All Dogs Go to Heaven' In The Kids' Films Genre

Updated September 18, 2020 4.6k views14 items

If you read the plot synopsis of All Dogs Go to Heaven, it wouldn't seem like a kids' movie. The Don Bluth film follows ex-con dog Charlie and his life in the seedy underbelly of 1930s New Orleans. Set in smoky racetracks, neon-tinged bars, and literal hell, All Dogs Go to Heaven feels more like a Scorsese mob thriller than a heartwarming story about a dog learning how to be good. 

  • Carface's Henchdog Gets Charlie Trashed And Then Runs Him Off The Pier With A Car

    In order to catch Charlie off-guard, Carface throws his ex-partner a welcome home party. The dogs sport fraternity hats and get sloshed. Carface tells Charlie that he has one last surprise, but he needs to be blindfolded. Killer guides a very tipsy Charlie to the edge of a pier and instructs him to wait.

    Carface waits at the top of this perilously steep pier, and once his henchdog is out of the way, he releases the emergency break on a car. It slams into Charlie, sending him into the depths of the gulf.

  • Charlie Turns Down Heaven So He Can Get Revenge On Carface

    Charlie comes to in a cloudy, pleasant place, and is greeted by a breathy lady dog angel. She tells Charlie that all dogs automatically go to heaven, and that here he is free to do anything his heart desires. 

    But that isn't enough for Charlie. Instead of adapting to a new reality where all of his indiscretions are forgiven and he can live in eternal bliss, he wants to return to Earth to get revenge. This dog's ego is so bruised that he tricks the angel, winds back his life watch, and is sent back to Earth. 

  • Charlie Is Banished From Heaven

    As Charlie snickers to himself in a self-congratulatory way after sneaking out of heaven, the angel calls out to him. Her ethereal voice says that Charlie "can never come back," since he left. With one action, the movie's hero is damned.

    The angel's voice pops up throughout the film, reminding Charlie of his mistake.

  • Charlie Dreams He Goes To Hell - Literally

    Even though Charlie has seen heaven, he doesn't spend much time after returning to Earth contemplating the existence of its darker mirror. As he starts to grow a conscience about how he and Itchy are leading Anne-Marie on, he has a scary dream that takes him to the underworld. It is chaotic and full of nightmare-inducing, fiery demons.

    When he wakes up from the horrific nightmare, he is still not entirely convinced that he should change his tune.