Back in the day, deeming a film "for children" didn't carry the same negativity it does nowadays. With kid-flicks falling off of the studio conveyor belt at an ungodly pace, such a venue for family entertainment has become nothing more than a soulless commodity for studios to indulge. When the best reviewed animation is that of the ineptly written Frozen, you know there's a problem. Before they became akin to a self-building Matrix of CG sentinels, children's films once carried weight, towering ambitions, fearless subject matter, mind-boggling practical effects and the most inspiring of hand-drawn animation. With time, the ideals, messages and depth of yesteryear's many cinematic experiences have only strengthened. While the narratives of these movies haven't changed, the interpretation of their meanings have, proving that - sometimes - things truly do get better with age....
10. All Dogs Go To Heaven
Released in 1989, All Dogs Go to Heaven is one of the many brilliant films released under the Don Bluth banner that featured exceptional voice-acting, fantastic animation and more adult themes then you could wag a tail at. Taking place in New Orleans during the year 1939, All Dogs Go to Heaven possesses a wide-variety of disturbing subject matter concealed under the colorful veneer of a child's film. Talking animals, beautiful animation and playful musical numbers distracted many a juvenile from understanding the mature thematic elements that were truly at play during All Dogs' intimidating runtime. Charlie B. (voiced by Burt Reynolds) is a vice-fueled protagonist who spends much of his time drinking, chasing tail (pun absolutely intended) and gambling - hell, he even owns a casino with his foil of a pup, Itchy (voiced by the late Dom DeLuise). This rockstar life ultimately leads to his demise when the villain gets him drunk and kills the vivaciously inebriated canine with a car. Even before the main plight comes into play, the first act of the film establishes a crime-ridden world of dogs which is wholly consumed by alcoholism, tobacco use, monetary wagers and even murder. It's all rather heavy content made all the weightier by the narrative's refusal to play it safe whatsoever - even up until the haunting finale. Pushing Charlie's over-indulgences aside, the storyline becomes increasingly grave as his yearning for revenge against Carface strengthens and the hellhound grows ever closer to pulling his reluctant soul into the torturous, dark depths of Hades. And let's also not forget about the giant, homosexual alligator. Sure, there's a fun, thrilling adventure about sin, redemption and sacrifice that children will adore, but once such audiences come of age and realize everything that's actually going on beneath the kid-friendly surface - the story, its characters and conflicts become all the more meaningful.
Greetings from The Yentz! The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!
I live, eat and breathe film... And videogames... And comics... And, well... Anything that might be considered "nerd related".
I consider myself the voice against that of mainstream cinema. While critics might praise the ostentatious drivel supplied by Oscar-pandering films, I enjoy directing attention to less popular gems in hopes of educating people on incredible film experiences that may not be backed by massive studios, nominations and a star-studded cast.
Outside of WhatCulture!, I write for Movieweb, assisted BlueCat as a script analyst, have worked on films from the east coast to the west and continue to write, critique and direct here in the lovable land of ol' LA.
I hope you enjoy reading my diatribes as much as I enjoy writing them.