Charlie B. Barkin is a clever, fun-loving, mischievous, charming dog and the overall main protagonist of the All Dogs Go to Heaven franchise. He is the main protagonist of All Dogs Go to Heaven, All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, and All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series and the deuteragonist of An All Dogs Christmas Carol. Charlie's character design was been slightly modified to less of a mutt due to the negative attention of the original movie.
Charlie is said to have "the brain of a con man, but the heart of a marshmallow," meaning he's clever, fun-loving, mischievous, charming, stingy, sneaky, dishonest, and silly. But initially, doesn't mean any harm as he has proven to harbor a very caring, and compassionate side. In the first film, he starts off roguish, hot-headed, and menacing (but not as malicious as Carface) and is not known for doing good deeds, but because he's a dog (since dogs are naturally benevolent as explained by Annabelle), he was allowed into heaven. But with his time spent with Anne-Marie (despite originally exploiting her for his selfish needs), he began to warm up a lot more, even going so far as to sacrifice his own life for hers after the final showdown with Carface at the climax of the film. In the second film, TV series, and Christmas special, Charlie's personality slightly changes.
He becomes more laid-back and friendlier, but is still scheming and mischievous as well as selfish, lazy, and dishonest at times. He would rather ignore his responsibilities as a guardian angel just to goof off and live the life of a normal dog than to do his duties, but when it comes to his friends and their well-being, he always comes around and fixes his mistakes.
Charlie's early life is unknown. He was born to Loni A. Bowser and Burt R. Barkin on 13 September 1937 (which is the day of Don Bluth’s birth in the real world). At some point in his childhood, he ran away from home and after that, his parents never saw their son again. Eventually, he met Itchy Itchiford and the two have been best friends ever since.
Charlie is an anthropomorphic German Shepherd. In the first film, he appears older, thinner, and slightly hairier. His fur is light brown while his underbelly is a light tan. His torso is quite wide, while his waist down is quite narrow. He has dark brown ears, with 2 holes on his right ear lope, and his left ear always leans down. He has ruffled hair on his head and has a big, long, dark brown spot that starts from his head, reaching almost down to his bottom. His tail is long and hairy, he has a mole on each side of his face, his snout, and eye shade are a dark brown, his nose is a spicy brown, and he appears to have 2 small whiskers sticking out near the right side of his nose. Throughout the rest of the franchise, he appears younger, and his color scheme is notably lighter. Unlike Itchy, he typically goes bare, wearing only the watch he stole from Annabelle in the first film.
Charlie is seen escaping from the pound with the assistance of Itchy, his best friend, using a drill to dig him out, they get caught and chased by the guards, but they escape. And then, the two of them return to an abandoned ship turned casino for dogs, and celebrates his return with the others. After Killer discovers them, he informs Carface Charlie has come back. Carface creates a new plot as he talks with Charlie about the partnership saying they need to split it up. During the Mardi Gras, they throw Charlie a fake good luck party and gets him very drunk. Itchy (after overhearing Carface's plot from Killer) tries to warn him but before he could, Killer takes Charlie to the dock of the river and blindfolds him, telling him to wait here for the “big surprise”, and assists Carface run his car into Charlie, slaughtering him. Charlie finds himself flying through space to a golden gate where he meets Annabelle, the Whippet who tells him that he’s in heaven soon enough. At first, Charlie is pleased, but when he hears that he’s been murdered by Carface, he furiously plots revenge and he’s introduced to a watch which held his life but it stopped after he passed on, and Annabelle forbids Charlie to wind it back to return to earth. Charlie steals the watch from Annabelle (getting her attention with using his baritone singing voice) and winds it, which sends him flying out of heaven and back to the dock of the river. As he recuperates, he hears Annabelle's voice, warning him he can never come back to heaven again, instead, he’ll be sent to hell if his watch stops one more time, but he pays no attention to her warning and closes the watch. Then he goes to search for Itchy.
He meets with Itchy at their home, and tells him his plan in order to get even with Carface, also pondering over how his business is going up without Charlie there being the brains of the outfit. He and Itchy enter Carface's basement and see that he has a little orphan girl named Anne-Marie who has the gift of talking to animals (which is revealed to be the secret behind Carface's success). When Carface and Killer depart the room, he and Itchy meet Anne-Marie and take her to the junkyard and reads her stories as well as promising to help her find a family. The next day, Charlie takes Anne-Marie to a horse race where they win their bet. As time goes on, they raised enough money from gambling, and gets his own casino at last. Anne-Marie becomes fed up with Charlie's gambling, attempts to depart, but Charlie stops her concurring to support the less fortunate (which he also promised her as well as helping her find a family). Charlie takes her to a very old church where they meet Flo and her puppies and have a pizza party, but soon Anne-Marie discovers that Charlie stole a wallet from a couple they met at the horse race, and accuses Charlie for stealing the wallet. During that night, Charlie has a very weird dream of going to hell, where he is sucked into it, and he gets ambushed by a Hellhound, but he becomes relieved when he finds it was only a nightmare (thanks to Flo’s puppies while they were waking him up). He goes up those stairs to find Anne-Marie, but he learns from one of the puppies she left to return the wallet to the couple.
He finds Anne-Marie enjoying some waffles at the couple’s house and she and the couple forgive Charlie. Later, he takes her on a trip in the street, but he gets ambushed by Carface and Killer who shoot at him with a ray gun, but they can't slaughter him (due to his immortality as long as he wears the life watch). They get away hiding in an abandoned building and fall into a sewer below, losing his watch in the process. Then, they are captured by the native rats who attempt to feed them to a giant witch doctor alligator known as King Gator. When he tried to devour Charlie, he lets out an enormous howl which impresses the gator (due to his denial to eat anybody with a singing baritone voice) and releases him from his cage and Anne-Marie's (but she develops an illness after she fell in the water). After he sang with King Gator and befriending him, Charlie takes Anne-Marie back to the church and meets a wounded Itchy as he learns from him Carface eliminated the casino and accuses him of "going soft" and caring about the girl. But Charlie protests out loud denying Itchy's accusations saying he's only using her to make money and harshly dump her in an orphanage, and doesn't care about her for real (when secretly, he does). Unfortunately, a distraught Anne-Marie overhears this and she runs off, sobbing into the storm only to be kidnapped by Carface shortly after as she’s heard hollering offscreen.
Charlie follows and enters the ship to rescue Anne-Marie, but he gets assaulted by Carface's thugs. Charlie tries to fight them all, but he becomes overpowered. He gives a distressful howl, which summons King Gator and assists by swimming towards Carface's ship eliminating it, rescuing Charlie and Anne-Marie in the process. During the fight between Charlie and Carface, King Gator head butts the wall causing Carface to fall into the water with King Gator, chasing after him until he is devoured off-screen. When Anne-Marie falls into the water, Charlie attempts to rescue her but when his watch falls and sinks deep in the water, Charlie decides to rescue Anne-Marie, pushing her out of the burning ship in the first place, but at a cost, it is too late to rescue his watch when it fills up with water and passes on as the ship sinks. Charlie is damned to hell now, but the HellHound (from Charlie’s nightmare) escorts him to Anne-Marie's new home where he tearfully owes her an apology for being callous to her. Outside the HellHound beckons Charlie, but a star from heaven eliminates the HellHound and enters the room revealing to be Annabelle, telling him Charlie can re-enter heaven now after he nobly sacrificed himself to save Anne-Marie’s life. He says goodbye to Anne-Marie and Itchy promising they will meet again someday and returns to heaven. After seeing Carface use his life clock to head back to earth and being chased away by an outraged Annabelle, Charlie assures the audience with a wink that "he'll be back."
Charlie is awaiting the arrival of the newcomers to enter heaven, one in particular that he's waiting on is Itchy (who passes on from choking to death on a chicken leg). Once he was reunited, Charlie welcomes Itchy and shows him around. Although Itchy takes an instant liking to heaven, Charlie, on the other hand, explains (in song) how boring heaven has gotten for him since his demise, and longs to be back on earth. A short time later, Carface (also in heaven) attempts to steal Gabriel's horn but he ends up dropping it down on earth somewhere in San Francisco, and later that evening, Annabelle announces to all the other heavenly dogs the bad news. Charlie seeing this as his only way out of heaven, convinces her to let him go and retrieve it, as Annabelle hesitantly concurs, she sends a reluctant Itchy to accompany him.
Once on earth, he drops his search for the horn and heads to a tavern for dogs much to Itchy's charging right away. But he quickly becomes displeased when he learns he’s a ghost and cannot interact with the living still. He meets Carface there and finds he can interact with the living with the use of a magic collar, and concurs to follow Carface to get one after he falls for a lovely Irish Setter named Sasha who he heard singing on stage and he is desperate to meet her. When they visit the shop, he and Itchy meet Red who gives them both a collar but he warns that they’ll fade by sundown the next day, but what Charlie doesn't know is that Red is actually a hellcat who plots to use him as a pun to get the horn, imprison all dogs, and rule the world.
Charlie and Itchy head back to the tavern, and after Charlie makes a first bad impression on Sasha, he ends up chasing her out of the bar and follows her to an abandoned backyard where Charlie finds she’s caring for an 8-year-old runaway named David. Charlie tries to prove to him and Sasha he's an angel by showing the two of them his angelic abilities, leading David to believe Charlie is his guardian angel and thinks he knows why he ran away, explaining he has a stepmother who he doesn't care for. Declining to head home, he reveals his ambition to become a street performer doing magic tricks. Charlie applauds him to pursue that dream and takes him to "Easy Street" much to Sasha's charging. On the way, they find Gabriel's horn is in the possession of law enforcement, and put in the lost and found. And after a comical mission to retrieve it, Charlie wanting to assist David still, places the horn in a lobster cage and kicks it into the lake much to Itchy and Annabelle's disappointment. They make it to "Easy Street" and began David's magic show, but after the performance goes wrong, they spend the rest of their time sitting out in the rain.
An unsatisfied David reveals his birth mother passed away, and his stepmother is expecting and he is afraid he'll be forgotten once the newborn arrives, which is why he ran away. So Charlie and Sasha assure him that he’s loved and convinces him to go back and make up with his parents, Charlie even shares his own experiences with being a runaway. Convinced, David decides to head home but only if Charlie takes him (and Charlie wraps one front leg around him after he hugs him), Charlie makes the promise knowing he couldn't keep it. Later, Charlie privately confides with Sasha about not really being a guardian angel and he’s unable to keep his promise to David and also expresses disappointment in losing Sasha. Charlie and Sasha spend their time together expressing their love for one another in song, but before they can manage to share a kiss, his collar, unfortunately, wears out, making him disappear, which leaves both David and Sasha depressed and perplexed. In a desperate attempt to keep his promise to David, he races to Red's shop and begs for another one, even going far as to trade in the horn for it. Red accepts the deal, but when Charlie has given the collar, it chokes and wraps around him as Red shows his true colors at last. Betrayed, Charlie tries to assault, but Red, having full control over the collar, left Charlie weak against him. Red orders him to get the horn which Charlie does, but he heads to the train station to meet up with David and Sasha at first, only to witness Carface kidnapping, and using him as a ransom to bring the horn.
Later, Charlie arrives on Alcatraz Island at long last, gives the agitated Red the horn, takes the captive David and departs. Red uses the horn to suck all dogs (including Annabelle) from heaven and into each cell which grants him tremendous power before the island itself sinks down into a giant whirlpool. Charlie, realizing his mistake, tells the others to get David home while he stays behind to fight Red, but he becomes overpowered. Instantly David, Sasha, and Itchy come around to assist Charlie and during an extremely short battle, Charlie notices how badly Red reacts to water when a sink faucet brakes and sprays water all on him. Once the horn was in his possession, Charlie goes on top of the prison building after he was being instructed to play the horn from Annabelle with Red following him close behind. With Red wasting his time, Charlie gets on top of a water tower and tricks him into making contact with the whirling water, knocking him back down. Suddenly, Red's lower half of his body begins to sink down into hell through a big crack in the floor, as he tries to resist, he is defeated as Charlie blows the horn soon enough, freeing all the heavenly dogs and damning Red to hell for good.
A frightened Carface comes out of hiding and tries to downplay his involvement, but he gets dragged down to hell by Red, after revealing that he sold his soul for his collar afterwards. Suddenly, Annabelle beckons Charlie and Itchy to heaven, leaving Charlie to say farewell to a depressed David (after asking him to let Sasha take him home), and declares his love to Sasha. After returning the horn when they reach heaven, Annabelle, enormously proud of Charlie for his brave deed, rewards him with not only a merit badge but a second chance to live on earth. Before they left, he says a heartfelt goodbye to Itchy who wants to remain in heaven and falls back down on earth. Once he was reunited with an overjoyed Sasha and David (who were nearly at his home), he and Sasha watch as David is happily greeted by his stepmother and father, and began to accept and see her as his "mom," and they walk into the house together with David asking if he could have pets. Outside, Sasha asked Charlie why he returned (and tells him not to fib), to which Charlie hints that he wants a relationship with her, they share a kiss and walks into the house together as a couple after David comes back out, and presents them with their own dog bowls, indicating that they are now his pets at last.
Charlie and Sasha are an on-again-off-again couple who have even had a first date together. They are more like frenemies as they are known to quarrel and disagree). Charlie lives in an old, rundown apartment, and are roommates with Itchy who is back on Earth instead of Heaven (and the reason why is revealed in S1E12 "Heaventh Inning Stretch"), and neither he nor Sasha lives with David (but still sees him sometimes in some episodes). He and Itchy are guardian angels and are every now and then assigned to angelic missions by Annabelle.
This time, the lead role applies to Carface instead of Charlie because this is an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, with Carface taking the place of Ebenezer Scrooge.
After having their Christmas party at the Flea Bite crashed and their presents were stolen by Carface and Killer, Charlie and Itchy decide to take matters into their own paws. Followed by so many failed attempts to get in Carface's shop, when they finally get in and demand their stuff back, they soon discover from Annabelle's demonic cousin Belladonna her plans of using a whistle (much like the one Carface used on the dogs at the party to steal their stuff, but only massive) to hypnotize ever dog in San Francisco into stealing from their homes and to get them kicked out and end up homeless, and lastly she chases Charlie and Itchy out of the shop with her minions. With no other option left for them, they turn to Annabelle who gives them a miracle dog tag to use and figure out a way to stop Belladonna's plot. So Charlie suggests trying to change Carface by scaring the "Dickens" out of him with using ideas from the story A Christmas Carol. With the miracle dog tag, Charlie disguises him, Itchy and Sasha as each of the 3 ghosts from the story making Carface the Scrooge archetype that they must convince to change.
After Itchy and Sasha's efforts seem to slowly work, Charlie sucks Carface into one more dream as the Ghost of Christmas Future (using a reference of The Mask and sings a Gospel-style song-and-dance to make Carface realize where his actions will take him eventually if he doesn't "clean up his act." Next, he shows Carface a vision of Timmy's house at 12:00 midnight on the same night Belladonna will blow the whistle. Carface witnesses Timmy suddenly waking up (hypnotized) and leaving through the doggy door with a present. A desperate Carface begs the "ghost" to tell him what he should do, to which Charlie tells him in a dark tone to "figure it out," and wakes him out of his dream.
After their efforts, Charlie, Itchy, and Sasha are at the Flea Bite hoping their efforts were enough, but as time goes by, they grow anxious and try to find the whistle themselves, but with no luck, they decide to do nothing more than just wait and trust in Carface to finally come around. After Carface manages to save Christmas, it began to snow, bringing joy to all of the puppies at the party and relief to Charlie and the gang after Annabelle informs them of Carface's decision. Suddenly Carface shows up dressed as Santa returning all of the puppies' stolen gifts, Charlie congratulates him for doing the right choice for once, and along with everyone else continues to celebrate Christmas at the party. As Annabelle ends the story with a "Merry Christmas" to the audience, Charlie is last seen with Itchy in heaven too wishing the same for the audience.
Charlie is Itchy's best friend and polar opposite. Despite how much trouble he puts Itchy in, Charlie deeply cares for him like a brother and always comes through for him. He does get aggravated by Itchy's goody two-shoes, and cowardly behavior, and tries to serve as an influence to him. In the first film their relationship was rather different, as Charlie treated Itchy more like his lackey than a best friend as Itchy would occasionally call him "boss," and was impatient with him at times, but he truly did care for him as a friend, like at the end of the film when he told Anne-Marie to take care of Itchy while he's gone.
At first sight, Charlie fell head over heels for Sasha, and wanting desperately to have her (even trusting Carface enough to follow him to Red's shop to retrieve a magic collar to get her attention), and although Sasha showed lack of interest in Charlie, he basically does all he can to impress and win her over, sometimes to no avail, but they are overall more like frenemies as they often argue and disagree.
Charlie used to be business partners and friends with Carface, but after Carface kills him, Charlie, feeling betrayed by this, becomes loathsome and vengeful of him, and wanted nothing more than to bring him down in any way. But in the second film, Charlie evidently lost all grudge, hatred, and even suspicion of Carface (but no less likes him still), especially with everyone already convinced that Carface "reformed," but Charlie was utterly surprised when Carface was rewarded with a merit badge despite what a horrible dog he was and still is. But initially, Charlie does not seem to mind Carface no matter how distrustful he really is, even trusting him at some points (as long as it benefits him that is), an example in the second film, when he follows Carface to meet Red at his shop to retrieve a magic collar so he could physically meet Sasha, and in the episode "Dr. Beagle and Mangy Hide" when he is invited by Carface to join him and Killer for some dog food and is tricked into eating it, unaware that it was mixed with a potion that turns him into a monster.
Charlie equally careless about Killer, but compared to Carface, finds Killer slightly easier to push around due to his clumsiness, like in the first film how he and Itchy humiliated him during the song "You Can't Keep a Good Dog Down."
Charlie tends to not take Annabelle seriously, he has little respect for her, and often times choose to neglect her guidance and rules despite that she is the Archangel dog of Heaven. He underestimates Annabelle and can even successfully trick her at times, like in the first film where he distracted Annabelle in an attempt to steal and wind his "life watch" from her, and in the second film when he convinced her to let him retrieve Gabriel's horn when it fell on Earth, when in reality he just wanted to leave from Heaven to live back on Earth.
At first, all Charlie cared about was Anne-Marie being his little money maker, with her amazing gift to talk to animals, only wanting to use her much like Carface did, but being the con artist he is, wanted to gain her trust first by appearing like a Robin Hood figure in her eyes, stating that he rescued her from Carface and his reasons for gambling is to "give money to the poor." And unlike Carface, he was more than willing to give her anything she wanted and to keep her happy as long as it gave him what he wanted out of her. But the more time Charlie spent with her, the more caring he became of her, affectionately calling her "squeaker." And near the end of the film, he willingly risked his life to save her from the burning casino ship, and after saying their final goodbyes, he even promised her that they will meet again someday.
Charlie has this "A boy and his dog" sort of relationship with David. He loves bonding and spending time with David (and vice versa), and enjoyed being his guardian angel although he wasn't. But regardless, Charlie deeply cared for David to the point of doing anything for him, like (in the second film) how he promised to take David home knowing he couldn't keep that promise, but desperately tried to keep that promise after his collar disappeared.
Nothing is known about the relationship between Charlie and his parents, but it obviously wasn't a very good one, ending with Charlie running away from home and was never seen by his parents again. And it is hinted that Charlie somewhat regrets that decision while explaining this to David (in the second film) in an attempt to convince him to return home.
- According to Annabelle's book, seen briefly during the first film, Charlie's breeding is mostly German Shepherd. He is also part Collie, part Great Dane, and part Retriever. The book also mentions his parents Burt R. Barkin and Loni A. Bowser, named after Burt Reynolds (Charlie's voice actor in that film) and Loni Anderson (Flo) who actually once were married.
- It is unknown what became of Charlie's parents after he runs away, but it is assumed that they eventually passed away, especially since Charlie appeared older in the first film. And Charlie reveals to David in the second film how he never saw his parents again after running away, so if they have already passed on way before the events of the first and second film then they should very well be shown in heaven along with Charlie.
- Charlie has a black spot on each cheek in the first film, but everywhere else, he doesn't.
- Charlie's birthday (September 13, 1937) is the same day that director Don Bluth was born.
|All Dogs Go to Heaven|
All Dogs Go to Heaven | All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 | All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series | An All Dogs Christmas Carol
Characters: Charlie B. Barkin | Itchy Itchiford | Carface Carruthers | Killer | Annabelle | Anne-Marie | Flo | King Gator | Harold | Kate | Sasha La Fleur | David | Red | Belladonna | Bess | Carface's Minions | Thom and Claire
Songs: You Can't Keep a Good Dog Down | Let Me Be Surprised | What's Mine Is Yours | Let's Make Music Together | Hallelujah | Love Survives | It's Too Heavenly Here | Count Me Out | It Feels So Good To Be Bad | On Easy Street | I Will Always Be With You | A Little Heaven | Be Your Own Dog | The Perfect Dog | Take the Easy Way Out | It's Gotta Come from the Heart | Itchin' and a-Twitchin' | When We Hear a Christmas Carol | Puppyhood | I Always Get Emotional at Christmas Time | Clean Up Your Act