While it pales in comparison to the outstanding animation of its predecessor, Don Bluth's imaginative if somewhat graceless All Dogs Go to Heaven, this 1995 sequel has some nice moments of its own. Charlie Sheen replaces Burt Reynolds as the voice of Charlie Barkin, the afterlife-stranded pooch who sought vengeance against his killer in the previous film but instead discovered the joys of earthly love and community. This time, a bored Charlie, looking for a little adventure, reteams with his old pal Itchy (voiced by Dom DeLuise) to retrieve Gabriel's Horn after it's stolen. Dropping down from Dog Heaven to take on his old nemesis (and killer), Carface (Ernest Borgnine), Charlie falls for a sexy Irish setter (Sheena Easton) and helps a boy caught in a jam. Featuring grand pop songs by the legendary songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 provides kids with a simpler story than Bluth's original film, as well as less unsettling violence. On the downside, director Paul Sabella, a Hanna-Barbera veteran who produced television's The Smurfs, either can't or won't stretch much as an artist here. --Tom Keogh
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