A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like most movies featuring talking dogs (or animals of any kind, really), this upbeat adventure comedy will interest young pet lovers. The film doesn't have much in the way of iffy content except for some mild peril revolving around a dogfight promoter's mean mutt and a group of mountain lions that endanger the pup protagonist. Two dogs have a heartfelt romance, and two humans flirt. There are a few insults and some silly Mexican jokes (said by animals); e.g. "We're MexiCAN, not MexiCAN'T."
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What's the story?
Carried around in the latest Louis Vuitton dog purse and sporting a diamond-encrusted Harry Winston collar, Chloe the titular BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA (voiced by Drew Barrymore) is an ultra-pampered lap dog. When her owner, filthy-rich cosmetics maven Viv (Jamie Lee Curtis), goes on a business trip to Italy, she leaves Chloe in the care of her irresponsible young niece Rachel (Piper Perabo). During a "girls' weekend" trek to Mexico, Chloe leaves Rachel's hotel and is immediately dognapped into the seedy world of dog fighting. With the help of former police dog Delgado (Andy Garcia) Chloe escapes and attempts to return to Beverly Hills.
Is it any good?
The movie looks like fluff, but has a surprising amount of substance and style. Featuring a voice cast of mostly Latino stars -- from George Lopez as Chloe's courageous suitor Papi to Edward James Olmos as a mean attack dog named El Diablo -- Beverly Hills Chihuahua starts out feeling like a canine-focused episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and then morphs into a homeward-bound odyssey. As Chloe and Delgado try to cross the border and form an odd-couple friendship, he reclaims some of his former glory as a K-9 officer and she discovers her true "bark."
This talking-animal comedy even offers a perfectly timed lesson in Mexican dog heritage. Cornered by mountain lions, Delgado and Chloe are saved by a band of "tiny but mighty" Chihuahuas, whose leader, Monte (Placido Domingo), explains that the ancient breed used to be the chosen companions of the great Aztecs. They're not meant to be frivolously dressed lap dogs named FiFi but small warriors with a powerful bark.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the class and cultural issues the movie explores. At first, Chloe pretends not to like Papi. Why?
How did Chloe's troubles in Mexico open her eyes to how other dogs live? Is that an important message for people too?
What does Monte teach viewers about being proud of our heritage?
Discuss what made kids want to see this movie -- the story, or all the advertising for it.