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 Добавлен Charlie, 31.07.06, 01:16
Charlie B. Barkin, a roguish German Shepherd with a con-man's charm, an ace up his sleeve and an unsuspected soft spot in his heart, leads the way for an exciting, song-filled story of rascals and puppies and a lonely little orphan named Anne-Marie. Her astounding ability to talk to animals leads her and Charlie on an adventure packed with thrills, laughs, tears and true love.

Burt Reynolds, {Judith Barsi}, {Dom Deluise,} Melba Moore, {Charles Nelson Reilly}, Vic Tayback, and {Loni Anderson} supply the voices for the full-length animated feature ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN, which is based on an original story by the acclaimed animation team of Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, and John Pomeroy.

Filled with all the richness and artistry of classic motion picture animation, ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN is set in the canine world of New Orleans, circa 1939. Its cast, beginning with the rascally Charlie, is among the most memorable ever seen in Don Bluth films, which include the box office sensation "An American Tail," as well as "The Land Before Time" and "The Secret of NIMH."

United Artists Pictures, Inc., in association with Goldcrest Films, presents a Sullivan Bluth Studios Ireland, Ltd. production, ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN, directed by Don Bluth from a screenplay by David Weiss. The film features music score by Academy Award-winning composer Ralph Burns ("Cabaret," "All That Jazz") and original songs by Charles Strouse ("Annie") and T.J. Kuenster. Morris F. Sullivan and George A. Walker serve as executive producers, and Bluth, Goldman, and Pomeroy are producers.

"ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN has probably been the most delightful film we've done so far," says producer/director Bluth. "The characters are our strongest yet. When you have plot, good characters and actors, and fine animators -- all these things are the makings of real magic."

The character of Charlie, says Bluth, was created with Burt Reynolds in mind. Charlie is the eternal opportunist, part con-man, part dog-about-town. "Burt had already agreed to do a film with us," says Bluth, "and knowing that he'd be featured in this made it so much easier to create a strong central character. Burt has a way of cocking his head and raising his eyebrows at half-mast, just an incredible way of using his face, so that aspect of Burt went straight into Charlie the dog."

Bluth also points out that Anne-Marie, the orphan girl, is the only human heroine to star in one of his company's productions. "Humans are much more difficult to animate than animals," says Bluth. "We are all so used to seeing each other talk and move that we're expert judges in human action. Even the slightest fault is immediately picked up."

To solve the problem of properly animating Anne-Marie, the artist chose a six-year-old Irish girl to be the model for her. The technique they used was "live-action reference." Producer/directing animator John Pomeroy explains that they auditioned some 50 little girls. "We watched how they moved and how they expressed themselves," he says. "We finally picked a little six-year-old. In the course of six or seven months, she would come into the studio two or three times a week and we would film her doing in live action what Anne-Marie was to do in animation. I think we did about 30 sessions all together," he says, "and the final result is pretty convincing."

"All great stories seem to me to have two things in common," says Bluth.

"They entertain and they educate. I've always loved the experience of being carried away in fantasy, but I think it's important to learn something while you're there."

In ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN, he points out, the story is both a cautionary tale about greed and a lesson in the redemptive value of love and friendship. Charlie sees that Anne-Marie's gift of talking to animals can be used to advantage in betting on horse races, so he steals her from his gambling casino partner Carface (Vic Tayback), who has been holding her prisoner. Anne-Marie thinks that Charlie rescues her because he cares for her. And, in time, despite his own resistance, he does. What they give each other is not only love, but hope.

"To experience real hope or happiness," explains Bluth, "you have to feel the opposite. That's why I believe a judicious scare is very good. It's a great release of anxiety. You can't cut evil or danger out of your story. If you do, you present an utterly distorted view of life and children, in particular, will suffer."

"I think my favorite film is Frank Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life," says Bluth. "It moves me and I'm grateful for that. I watch the fiml and I cry. I think, 'Oh, I'm glad to be alive!'"

Despite the "scares" in ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN, the film is populated by a purely delightful cadre of canine characters. In addition to Charlie, there is Itchy, a nervous dachshund voiced by Dom De Luise; Carface (Vic Tayback), the villainous pitbull; Killer, the misnamed near-sighted mongrel (Charles Nelson Reilly); the otherworldly, angel-voiced Heavenly Whippet (Melba Moore); and Flo, the beautiful collie (Loni Anderson).

In any film, choosing the right actor is a key element in creating a believable character. This is especially true in animated films, where only voices, not faces, can be utilized.

"In ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN we had a remarkable electricity between the actors," says Bluth, noting that Reynolds and De Luise have worked together in films several times and that Reynolds is married to Loni Anderson. Although voices for animated films are often recorded separately, Reynolds and De Luise were brought together to record their lines.

"Normally," says Pomeroy, "we record the voices separately, then intercut them to make up the tempo and timing that's needed. With Reynolds and De Luise together, we let them record the way they wanted to. They've worked together so often and have such a great rapport we could take what they recorded together and just cut it into the film."

"There was almost no direction," recalls Bluth. "I'd give them a few ideas of what was needed, and then I'd be literally chased from the room. Their ad libs were often better than the original script!"

Complementing the actors and the script are six songs, four of them written by composer Charles Strouse, who won Tony Awards for "Bye Bye Birdie," "Applause" and "Annie."

"We'd talk about the general story," Bluth recalls of his initial meetings with Strouse, "and the specific concept for each song. No one could be just stuck in without a purpose. Every one had to advance the plot or enlighten the audience in some way."

As an example, Bluth sites "Let's Make Music Together," which is sung in the film by King Gator (Ken Page). "We were trying to figure out how to make this big, mean, ugly alligator entertaining when it struck us to do a take-off on the old Esther Williams movies," says Bluth. "And so our ugly 'gator transformed into this lunatic, emerald green primadonna (complete with flowered bathing cap), who pirouettes, dives into flower covered pools of water and just about steals the show- all the while singing this terrific song."

Two songs were written by musician T.J. Kuenster, brother of co-director Dan Kuenster. The score is by Academy Awared winner Ralph Burns, whose film credits include "All That Jazz," "Annie," "Lenny," "Cabaret," "A Chorus Line," and many others.

Production of ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN took 19 months to complete, including six months of research, character development and pre-production. More than 1.5 million individual drawings were needed, including preliminary character and storyboard sketches and 964 meticulously painted backgrounds. There are approximately 130,000 final drawings in the film, comprising some 121,579 frames of film. Artists drew from a collection of 1,100 different shades of paint to color each character and background. Depending on the time of day, mood of the scene and other factors, principal characters changed colors and shades up to 68 times each.

Producer/co-director Gary Goldman remembers that it took a long time to decide on the setting for the film. "Eventually," he recalls, "we opted for New Orleans as a completely different setting than anything we'd ever used before, with overtones of Mardi Gras, jazz music, the Mississippi and a feeling of worldliness that contrasted nicely with the film's spiratual theme. Along with co-director Dan Kuenster, I made a special trip there and we took more than 3,000 photos for research purposes."

That meticulous attention to getting every detail exactly right is a hallmark of the work Bluth, Goldman and Pomeroy have done since the trio decided to leave their jobs at Disney in 1979 and strike out on their own. In doing so, they decided, they culd realized their shared goal of restoring the classiccal animation techniques they felt had fallen short in some of the later Disney Films.

"Animation is the key to the inner workings of the mind," says Bluth. "It goes where the live action camera cannot enter, to unlock an entire imaginary kingdom which is otherwise quite inaccessible."

Along with 11 other animators who had resigned from Disney with them, Bluth, Goldman and Pomeroy began work on the award-winning television special, "Banjo, the Woodpile Cat." They followed with several other projects, including a two-minute animated sequence for the film "Xanadu" and the full-length animated feature "The Secret of NIMH."

In 1982, Bluth and company joined forces with two other firms to produce the first interactive laser disc arcade game, Dragon's Lair, a nationwide phenomenon that pioneered a new marked for animation. They follwed it with the equally popular Space Ace.

In conjunction with Steven Spielberg, Bluth and new business partner Morris F. Sullivan next produced "An American Tail," which was the highest grossing animated feature for a first release in motion picture history, grossing over $50 million in the U.S. alone. It was also one of the top-selling video cassettes of 1987 and 1988. Worldwide theatrical and video receipts are in excess of $120 million to date.

Bluth and Sullivan then established the Sullivan Bluth Studios and relocated from Hollywood to Dublin, Ireland. It was there that the Lucas/Spielberg presentation of a Don Bluth film, "The Land Before Time," went into production. The film was released to popular and critical acclaim in late 1988.

 Добавлен One of the Charlies, 20.09.09, 18:36
Прочтение сего-ещё один шаг к тру-фанатству!

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