Set in 1939 New Orleans, this colorful, song-filled story centers on Charles B. Barkin, a roguish German Shepherd with the charm of a con man and the heart of a marshmallow. Out for revenge against his double-crossing former partner, a cigar-chomping pit bull known as Carface, Charlie finds himself guardian to a lonely little orphan named Anne-Marie. Her astounding ability to talk to animals leads this unlikely pair on an adventure packed with thrills, laughs, tears and true love.
All Dogs go to Heaven is a great Don Bluth film that for some reason I have only owned in VHS format since I bought it at Suncoast Motion Picture Company many moons ago. I still throw it on from time to time and I have noticed recently that some areas of the tape were really starting to fall apart. I considered ordering the DVD, but since I had made the jump to Blu-Ray I held off and picked up the newly released budget blu-ray release of the film last month. It turned out to be mixed investment for me. The film has been restored and looks great, which is good news for fans of the film (but their is a drawback). Not perfect, but you can really see some wonderful details in the lines and the color is crisper and more vibrant then I remembered it ever being. I have checked out comparisons to the DVD on other sites and I would say that if you have the DVD and are just a passive fan you are not missing much, but if you are an All Dogs go to Heaven fan, you will definitely notice some improvement in picture quality (and at under 15 bucks, that ain’t bad).
What is odd about the Blu-Ray is that they seemed to have forced a widescreen format on the film and cut out some of the picture on the film. I am not sure why they did this, since I think “All Dogs go to Heaven” was animated in a 1.33:1 aspect and that is how the DVD was presented. Is it because of people’s expectations for widescreen? Still a step back for those who want the original cinematic experience.
If I had owned All Dogs go to Heaven on DVD, I would not have purchased this blu-ray, while I like the films updated cleaner look, the weirdness of the widescreen hurt what could be a really good budget Blu-Ray purchase. If you have never owned it, you will need to weigh the pros and cons of your purchase. Can you sacrifice some viewable are for picture quality? If so: