This animated feature from Bluth, who left Disney in 1979 to develop his own inimitably kinetic brand of animation, is a seriously flawed piece shot through with teasing glimpses of excellence. After escaping from a New Orleans dog pound, German Shepherd Charlie B Barkin (voice by Burt Reynolds) and psychotic side kick Itchy (De Luise) high-tail it to ex-partner Carface (Tayback), a casino-owning pit bull. Double-crossed by Carface, finding himself at the pearly gates without a good deed to his name, Charlie tricks his way back to earth, and liberates a young girl from Carface, who uses her ability to talk to animals to predict race-winners. The usual rompery ensues, as Charlie and Itchy exploit, then grow to love, the multi-lingual cutie. The most obvious disappointment is the songs (courtesy of Charles Strouse and TJ Kuenster), which are strikingly unmemorable, a situation worsened by Reynolds' vocal inadequacies. More worryingly, something seems to have gone seriously wrong in the editing, so that the establishment of character and scene is frequently confused. The animation is fine, but flashy visuals hardly paste over the gaping inconsistencies.
Cast and crew
Dom De Luise