Beverly Hills Chihuahua
A pampered pooch (voice of Drew Barrymore) is kidnapped by a Mexican dog-fighting ring while on a junket in the custody of her doting owner's (Jamie Lee Curtis) self-absorbed niece (Piper Perabo), escapes with the help of a protective ex-police dog (voice of Andy Garcia) and discovers life on the streets while the ardent Chihuahua (voice of George Lopez) she once spurned leads the search for her. Along with entertaining adventures, director Raja Gosnell's sprightly live-action canine quest offers lessons about ethnic prejudice and class distinctions while also portraying the personality-warping effects of materialism. Mild menace.A-I -- general patronage. (PG) 2008
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Full Review)
In a telling scene from the sprightly live-action canine caper "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" (Disney), Delgado (voice of Andy Garcia), a protective ex-police dog, explains to Chloe (voice of Drew Barrymore), the titular pampered pooch he's trying to help return home from Mexico, that coyotes like the one they're about to meet "sneak collarless dogs like us" across the U.S.-Mexican border.
As that analogy indicates, along with entertaining adventures, director Raja Gosnell's tale of a material girl who discovers the hardships of life on the streets covers more serious topics, such as ethnic prejudice and class distinctions. It also hints at the personality-warping effects of status-driven consumerism.
The turning point in Chloe's life comes when she's temporarily placed in the custody of her doting owner Viv's (Jamie Lee Curtis) self-absorbed niece, Rachel (Piper Perabo). Chloe, whose daily routine includes visits to the spa and play dates with a pack of equally smug purebreds, has no use for Rachel, who treats her like an ordinary animal.
Also coming in for Chloe's disdain is salt-of-the-earth Chihuahua Papi (voice of George Lopez), adopted from the pound by Viv's devoted landscaper, Sam (Manolo Cardona). Just as Chloe spurns Papi's poetically declared passion -- the dogs can converse with each other, but not with the people around them -- Rachel patronizingly starts giving Sam orders in pidgin Spanish, never pausing to discover that he speaks English perfectly.
Ever the party girl, Rachel needs no more than a friend's phone call to embark on an impromptu junket to Mexico. When Chloe, feeling more neglected than ever, escapes from Rachel's hotel room, she's promptly kidnapped by Vasquez (Jose Maria Yazpik), the evil leader of a dog-fighting ring.
Rescued by fellow captive Delgado, Chloe escapes with him and starts the long journey back to Rodeo Drive. As their down-and-out existence begins to alter Chloe's perspective, Sam and Papi join forces with the repentant Rachel in the effort to reclaim her.
A joking reference to dogs that are fixed and a pun about kicking some tail are the closest the film ever comes to being in the least worrisome for parents. Very young children may be frightened, though, by some of the snarling preliminaries to animal fights that, with one brief exception, never actually take place, as the film appropriately skirts the real-life horrors of canine combat.
The film contains mild menace.The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
These movies have been evaluated for artistic merit and moral suitability by the media reviewing division of Catholic News Service. The reviews include the CNS rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.
The classifications are as follows:
A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;
A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.
Note: Some movies previously were designated A-IV. Older films with this classification should be regarded as classified L.