All Dogs Go To Heaven 2
April 9, 1996
Most young children will enjoy the songs and animation in "All Dogs Go To Heaven 2" (G). It's themes of love and death speak to children's hopes and fears.
The canine hero Charlie (voice of Charlie Sheen) and his flea-infested friend Itchy (voice of Dom DeLuise) are sent from Dog Heaven to retrieve Gabriel's Horn, which was stolen and taken to earth. Armed with one miracle to be used in case of emergency, Charlie lands in San Francisco. There he finds himself attracted to Sasha (voice of Sheena Easton), a lovely female Irish Setter who has no interest in Charlie. Sensing Charlie's desire for Sasha, Carface (voice of Ernest Borgnine) entices Charlie to visit Red, the cat-devil, who wants the celestial horn. After Red sings of the pleasures of being bad, Charlie uses his one miracle to win over the reluctant Sasha, instead of using it to retrieve the horn.
Charlie, Itchy and Sasha meet David (voice of Adam Wylie), an eight year-old boy who has run away from home. David, whose mother is dead, fears that his pregnant step-mother will no longer love him when the new baby arrives. The boy thinks that Charlie is his guardian angel who will help him with his problems. Charlie decides to help David and to retrieve the horn, as he had promised. The devil fights back by imprisoning Charlie and his friends at Alcatraz. Ultimately, the good win, as they should.
"All Dogs Go To Heaven 2" speaks to a young child's fear of being replaced by a new sibling. David's situation is made even more dramatic because his mother is dead. He doubts that his step-mother will love him when she has a new baby. Since stepmothers are often portrayed negatively in fairy tales and other stories, it might seem logical that she would discard the older child for her own baby. To this film's credit, the myth of the evil step-mother is dashed. She and David's father love the boy and are joyful at his return. This can be reassuring to children from all types of family situations, for the worry about keeping a parent's love when a new sibling arrives is quite common.
This film also stresses the virtues of telling the truth, keeping one's promise and helping others. With children's naturally ambivalent feelings about always being "good," they will probably like the Devil's song, "It Feels So Good To Be Bad." Charlie's triumph over the evil devil is a satisfying conclusion for children, because it reinforces what their parents and society teaches.
The theme of death is strong, and this film might bring up upsetting thoughts for certain young children. Children who are experiencing serious illnesses or deaths of loved ones might react most strongly. Parents can use this tale as a way to help their children with these feelings. "All Dogs Go To Heaven 2" has no sex or profanity and minimal violence. It is appropriate for most young children, although parents might be careful about taking children who are currently dealing with issues of death.
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