Welcome to the Fancast Weekend Double Feature! Free movies, free fun, and you’ve got the best seat in the house – your house. Sit back, relax and take in some classic movies.
Marley and Me was a surprise hit of the holiday season, despite being marketed as a kiddie movie and turning out to be a more adult story telling the tale of a marriage through the life span and eventual death of a beloved dog. We grown-ups who got really nervous about how traumatizing this would be for children apparently had memories that are just a bit too short, because back in 1989 there was a popular series of animated films geared towards kids based around the idea of dying dogs, starting with Don Bluth’s All Dogs Go To Heaven. Created in the Sullivan Bluth animation studio that also gave us An American Tail and The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven was one of the biggest selling titles of all time upon its video release, and it not only spawned a sequel and a Christmas movie, but also its own television series. We’ve got the movies right here for you to watch back to back, as part of our animation spotlight.
This is the story of Charlie B. Barkin, a German Shepherd-Collie mix from the wrong side of the tracks, as voiced by Burt Reynolds. He’s part of a crew of criminal casino canines, and in the interest of not sharing his earnings, Charlie’s pit-bull partner Carface Carruthers (Vic Tayback) has him thrown in the pound. When Charlie’s best pal Itchy the Dachsund (Dom DeLuise) breaks him out, Carface resorts to cold-blooded murder, as Charlie gets run down by a car and sent to heaven, where all dogs go. Charlie, however, is now bent on revenge, and forsakes his place there to return to Earth and exact it by stealing Carface’s trump card – a young orphan named Anne-Marie (Judith Barsi) who has an ability to communicate with animals, which gives Carface inside information on races. But the little girl has quite a profound effect on the rough and tumble Charlie, and soon he’s worried about his place in the afterlife. Will he be able to reconcile his burning desire for revenge with his need to redeem his puppy-dog soul with a good deed, lest he be resigned to the underworld for eternity? You’ll have to watch to find out – and keep an ear out for Loni Anderson as Charlie’s friend Flo, and Charles Nelson Reilly as Carface’s sidekick Killer.
Things get switched up a bit for the sequel as far as the voice cast goes, although DeLuise remains on as Itchy, who joins his friend Charlie (now voiced by Charlie Sheen) in heaven after choking to death on a chicken bone. Itchy loves it in heaven, where all dogs go, but Charlie admits that he’s longing for some new excitement, discontented with the peace and quiet up in the clouds. That excitement comes in the form of Carface (Ernest Borgnine) accidentally sending the archangel Gabriel’s horn somewhere in San Francisco. When Annabelle the Whippet angel (Bebe Neuwirth) decries its theft, Charlie convinces her to let him go after it. While he and Itchy are on the mission, Charlie becomes enamored of an Irish Setter named Sasha La Fleur (Sheena Easton), and their mission becomes complicated by love, Sasha’s friendship with a young runaway and a nasty feline devil named Red.
And as a bonus, if you’re really missing that holiday spirit about now in the dead of winter, relive it again in An All Dogs Christmas Carol! It retains most of the cast from the sequel, but now Charlie is voiced by Steven Weber!
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