A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Redemption is possible for those willing to atone for the evils of their past behavior.
Positive Role Models
Role models here aren't the most positive.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish violence, some demonic imagery. Main characters die. Orphan girl Anne-Marie is threatened with death in a river of fire, nearly drowns. Anne-Marie is kidnapped throughout the movie, forced by the dogs to use her ability to communicate with animals to find out which animal is going to win for the sporting events the dogs bet money. Characters steal, commit arson. Lead character dogs shot at by humans as they escape the pound. Antagonist tries to kill the protagonist by rolling a car down a dock, hitting him, and throwing him into the water.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Dogs shown drinking at a bar, falling over and passed out. Dogs singing while drunk. Dog smokes cigar, blows it in Anne-Marie's face. Horse smokes a cigarette.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that All Dogs Go to Heaven is a 1989 Don Bluth animated feature in which a dog who owns a casino cheats death and must find a way to redeem himself and make amends for his bad behavior. The dogs are parodies of Prohibition-era gangsters -- they smoke and drink, lie, cheat, steal, commit arson, and try to kill each other. Dogs are shown at the casino bar acting extremely drunk, falling over, passing out. The lead character dog is shown drunk and singing, and there's cigar smoking, including scenes in which the lead antagonist dog blows smoke in the face of a little orphan girl. This little girl has been kidnapped by dogs and forced to use her ability to communicate with animals to tell the dogs which animals are going to win at the races. This little orphan girl nearly drowns in flaming water in another scene. There's some potentially frightening imagery (demons pursue Charlie in a fiery nightmare) and some racial stereotyping: For a brief moment, one of the characters morphs into a racist caricature of an Asian. Parents who grew up watching this movie might be shocked at much of the content, and could use this as an opportunity to discuss how some content, behavior, and stereotyping that was permissible in the past is no longer tolerated. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are many odd segments in ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN that seem to complicate, not extend, the plot. But this doesn't seem to bother younger viewers, who enjoy having their shorter attention spans tweaked. The key of the film is its uplifting message that people (and dogs) can always follow through on their word and be redeemed. Despite his selfish deeds, Charlie eventually does the right thing, and earns back his place in heaven, while Carface is carted off, presumably to be eaten by a crocodile.
Many don't seem to mind the film's darkness, which is set in an urban world of poverty that couldn't contrast more with the squeaky-clean suburban normality of most kids' movies. It helps that the characters and backgrounds are drawn with entrancing style, and that the story isn't as grim as the setting might suggest. But more sensitive children may be disturbed by the depiction of death and violence.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.