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Charlie B. Barker and Itchy Ford are back with Sasha and the gang having a Dicken's of a time as they try to save Christmas from Carface and an evil spirit that wishes to use dogs all over the world to ruin Christmas forever. Written by
The first All Dogs go to Heaven is not my favourite Don Bluth movie, but it is one of his most charming and memorable. I actually didn't mind the sequel either, it was nothing great due to its dull animation and rushed story but it wasn't awful as I liked the soundtrack and voice work, plus I can name worse sequels. This one was very nice and heart warming. Is it as good as the original? Not quite. But is it better than the sequel? I think it is. I however have real issue with the IMDb rating for this movie, literally saying it is horse poop. Seriously it is not that bad, I can think of a number of animated movies worse than An All Dogs Christmas Carol. Titanic:The Animated Movie? Doogal? The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue? Pokemon:The First Movie? Cool World?
Enough of that, let's get down to business. Right the animation is better than it was in the second. It's not quite as luscious as the animation in the original, but there are some nice backgrounds and the characters are at least well drawn. I also really liked the music, and I am probably alone here but I found the soundtracks here and in the second more memorable than in the original personally. The first song can be repetitive to some but it is nice and well sung, Carface's song about being a puppy was rather touching and Clean Up your Act was irresistibly catchy.
The story is also much better thought out and paced. One or two scenes do drag I agree, but I loved the canine twist on the immortal Christmas literary classic A Christmas Carol and the dig at It's a Wonderful Life(It's a Wonderful Carface) and it was less rushed than the second in my opinion. Plus the dialogue was pretty good. Then there were the characters. Charlie and Sasha aren't given as much to do but they are pretty likable, while Timmy is adorable. The two scene stealers were Carface, who steals the movie as a Scrooge-like caricature and the villainess Bella Donna who is deliciously bitchy. The voice acting on the whole is well done. Ernest Borgnine is brilliant as Carface, while Dom DeLuise is humorous as Itchy. Sheena Easten is lovely as Sasha, while Bebe Neuwirth was a huge improvement in the dual roles of Annabelle(Melba Moore was better though, and I found Neuwirth irritating in the second film) and Bella Donna(she gave the better vocal performance of the two with Bella Donna). The only weaknesses for me were Steven Weber, who just lacks that roguish charm, and Charles Nelson Reilly, who not only sounds different here, but got annoying at times.
Overall, An All Dogs Christmas Carol wasn't really that bad. Actually it is quite charming and heart warming. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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