Monday, October 17, 2016

One dog who didn't make it to heaven.

To this day, I have still not seen the 1989 animated feature, All Dogs Go To Heaven.

It's not that I have anything against cartoons from Don Bluth studios or dog characters based on Burt Reynolds's vocal talents (with all of Burt's 1980s chums along for the ride). Or the plotline about a pound-escaped pooch who used to run a casino and gets murdered while drunk. (Though, that sounds like a wonderful reason to dodge the film.)

It's simply due to the title, and its seeming argument with The Hound of the Baskervilles, which had just come out in its Jeremy Brett edition the year before in 1988. You remember that story, with its line like:

". . . and there ran mute behind him such a hound of hell as God forbid should ever be at my heels."

So if a curse upon a country squire raises a hound from hell, it only follows that said dog had to go to hell to start with, unless he (or she) was born there, in which case a doggie mother had to emigrate to the nether-depths at some point, which denies the title of All Dogs Go To Heaven just as much.

Now, Googling "hell-hound" brings up the definition of "a demon in the form of a dog," which would suggest that the Baskerville curse beast was not a dog at all, but a demon. And yet, unless that demon turned back into some other demonic form before returning to hell, it would still be a dog who certainly wasn't going to heaven, to get technical about it.

Wikipedia goes much deeper on hell-hounds, and definitely calls them "supernatural dogs." Wikipedia also notes that the main dog character in All Dogs Go to Heaven does have a nightmare where he goes to hell and meets a hell-hound, so within the movie's own logic it would seem to acknowledge that hell-hounds are a part of dog culture.

Maybe only one dog went to hell and became the hound of the place, long before even Viking times, and all dogs since then went elsewhere, giving movie-makers free reign to make a movie called All Dogs Go to Heaven with an implied asterisk.

Thus endeth one of the more ridiculous lengths a lazy Sherlockian blogger might go to to post on a regular basis.  Sigh.

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