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 the original, this talking-dog comedy will appeal strongly to young animal lovers. There's no questionable content, but there is one snobby French poodle who says a few mild insults like "idiot" and "peasant" to the chihuahuas, and one scene of cartoonish violence in which bank robbers get covered in sticky dough, as well as a flashback to Aztecs who fought with chihuahuas by their side. The main dogs from the first movie get married, kiss, and have babies, and two adults dance and share one kiss. Otherwise, this is a canine adventure the entire family can enjoy; plus, kids will learn all about the proud history of chihuahuas.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this sequel to the entertaining canine adventure Beverly Hills Chihuahua, posh chihuahua Chloe (Odette Yustman) and her suitor Papi (George Lopez) get married and four months later welcome a litter of five spunky puppies. While Chloe's owner Aunt Viv (Susan Blakely) and her niece Rachel (Erin Cahill) are in the Amazon on a business trip, Papi's owner Sam (Marcus Coloma) takes them to his parents' house. But all is not well with Sam's parents, who are facing eviction and foreclosure if they can't come up with $40,000 in a week. With the help of Papi's best friend (Ernie Hudson) and police dog Delgado (Miguel Ferrer), the dogs convince Sam and his parents to enter the lucrative Beverly Hills Dog Show, where the top prize is $50,000. Meanwhile, the puppies get into all sorts of doggy trouble.
Is it any good?
Kids have a thing for talking-animal movies that's hard for many adults to understand, but for a genre that can be abysmal (Yogi Bear, Marmaduke), this straight-to-DVD sequel is pretty entertaining. Of the original cast, only Lopez revisits his role, and it's a good thing, because much of this particular story rides on his comedy chops. Yustman (You Again) may not have a voice that's instantly recognizable like Drew Barrymore's, but it's still sweet and bubbly enough to work as Chloe. The new Sam is passable as well, and the new Rachel and Aunt Viv aren't in the movie enough to make audiences care they've been replaced.
The addition of the five puppies makes for an even younger-skewing humor, since trouble-making puppies are destined for sight gags and slapstick jokes, but they're obviously adorable and hard to resist. Once again there's a good bit of emphasis on the historical place of chihuahuas as the chosen pets of the Aztecs, but it works well within the context of a father teaching his pups to be proud of their heritage. This isn't a dog-tale for the ages, but it has heart. Parents should be warned, however, that children who watch this movie may ask incessantly for a chihuahua or two of their own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's message about standing by the people you love even in hard times. How do the various characters come together to help Sam's family?
Why does Sam think he's not good enough for Rachel? Is that similar to how Papi felt about Chloe in the first movie?
What does Papi teach his puppies about their rich cultural history? How does it inspire the puppies? Have your parents taught you about your family's history?