Symphony in Slang (1951)
This sharp, six-and-a-half-minute cartoon from MGM has your classic heaven, with pearly gates and St. Peter checking off names in a golden book and handing out halos to entrants. And as fans of animation director Tex Avery know, that’s where any trace of normalcy ends in this rip-roaring cartoon.
Heaven Can Wait (1978)
You’ve either never seen this movie or you’ve seen it a million times. The depiction of heaven is decidedly low-key on all things holy. The afterlife doesn’t resemble the pearly gates so much as an airport waiting area, and instead of hosting hippified angels wearing tunics and sandals, it’s a partly cloudy sound stage filled with well-dressed functionaries, who deliver souls to heaven like Federal Express packages.
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
If Bill & Ted’s heaven is even close to the truth, we’ll be greeted by airline hostess-looking women and the most godawful (no offense, big fella) elevator-classical music. If our names are not on the “list” when we reach the gates, a poetic rendition of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” will get us in. Of course, the whole place is white, and there are pillars everywhere. It looks like a rich celebrity’s L.A. shag-palace. God forbid.
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Robin Williams is pretty much crushed by a car and finds himself in a joyful heaven that looks a bit like the planet in Avatar, combined with the New Zealand Lord of the Rings set, with big blue trees, and lots of lush countryside, a sort of Shangri-La for the CGI set. Anything that Williams wants to come true indeed comes true, including long-lost childhood pets bounding back into his gleeful existence. He risks it by going to hell to search for his wife, who committed suicide after his death.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.