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  Publicity Stills of
"Beverly Hills Chihuahua"
(Courtesy of BVI)

Genre: Children/Comedy
Director: Raja Gosnell
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Piper Perabo, Jamie Lee Curtis, Andy Garcia, Placido Domingo, George Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Paul Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo, Luis Guzman, Manolo Cardona, Eugenio Derbez
RunTime: 1 hr 31 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.disney.com/chihuahua

Opening Day: 20 November 2008


Chloe (voice of Drew Barrymore), a diamond-clad, bootie wearing Beverly Hills Chihuahua enjoys her luxurious lifestyle so much, she hardly notices Papi (voice of George Lopez), a tough looking Chihuahua who happens to be head-over-paws for the pampered pooch. But when Chloe gets lost in the rough streets of Mexico with only a street-wise German Shepherd (voice of Andy Garcia) to help her find her way home, Papi heads south of the border -- joining forces with a motley crew: two humans (Piper Perabo, Manolo Cardona), a sly rat (voice of Cheech Marin) and a nervous iguana (voice of Paul Rodriguez) – to rescue his true love.

Movie Review:

Beverly Hills Chihuahua is perfect for any real life character animation fans everywhere. Even if you don't like the typically prissy, Hollywood high-street girl talk that dominates the show. And even if you don't really fancy the main human characters. Right off the bat, the secret to Beverly Hills Chihuahua that makes it different from any regular chick flick is the fact that the animals are given proper respect and are the real stars of the show and at the end of it, you'll feel like the team in charge has really put in the effort to make an enjoyable show almost anyone can catch.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua triumphs on three paw counts - firstly it gives the animals the animation and digital work they really deserve. For a film like this, with the animals involved at such a scale with so much script work, Chihuahua really aces the animation test. The animals are moving, talking and animated in such a way every word matters. At no point in the movie does it seem that like mouths move in 4 general directions for the entire vocabulary.This does wonders for the enjoyment of the film. Although as the film goes on, it becomes apparent that being an animal lover helps because the dogs do get a lot of screen time.

That brings us to the second point which makes Chihuahua a film worth catching. The animals receive quality scripting and are the focus of the film. Much screen play and time are devoted to the dogs and proper scripting and lines are given to really make the dogs the central point of the show. When courageous German shepherd dog Delgado, who accompanies Chloe on her journey in Mexico, shares his tale about how he lost his job in the police hound force, barking (not literally) at Chloe to not talk about it, the flashbacks and emotive lines drew many smiles and soft awws in the cinema at the same time. Chloe, voiced by Drew Barrymore, could actually be a wonderful rich-girl-turns-tough character if not for Barrymore's unfortunate, overly saccharine take on the voice, all the more surprising for a toughie like Barrymore - a rather slight annoyance.

Last but not least, the human characters really, really get out of the way. Chihuahua Papi, voiced by an excellent George Lopez, plays e role as the doggie version of the classic hot gardener persona made famous by a certain famous drama series, complemented by a charming Manolo Cardona, his human owner who plays his role with subtle charm. Chloe's human owner Jamie Lee Curtis, by virtue of her past roles and the sheer size of her filmography could have swallowed the film whole with her presence, is surprisingly enjoyable as a uppity single middle aged fashion designer whole throws her insatiable love and passion on a canine counterpart - she made a stereotype so believable. Piper Perabo, the young starlet playing Rachel, similarly meshes her youthful presence with a genuinely funny and unabashedly "unglam" barking scene we all see in the trailer.

The entertaining part about Chihuahua is how the dogs seem to be finally given a field day with scripts once for their human counterparts and quality character development to rival. However, that in itself may not be funny for animal lovers. It irked me some bits when the a rat fawns over a diamond necklace while Chihuahua Chloe demands her steak meal. Not only did it seem absurd, it could be potentially fatal doggie education for unknowing future pet owners, thrilled by the movie, starts feeding their newly purchased dogs with chocolate pies and oily human meals resulting in many a sick pet. However, Chihuahua scores brownie points with its corporate social responsibility message at the end, juxtaposed strangely on what seemed like a pocket beagle, on the importance of understanding the commitment and responsibility of being a real pet owner.

Although Chihuahua has it flaws and animal rights enthusiasts might hurl their popcorn at the screen at certain scenes, its safe to say that Disney tries to reach a large audience, many of whom just want an enjoyable film where fantasy, made out dialogues between dogs come to life. Chihuahua is ultimately a fun film to watch with your girlfriend, or for the girls night out, where things aren't taken too seriously and a sweet, happy ending with many cuddly animals round off the movie.

Movie Rating:

(Chihuahua draws you like you'd never imagine, and even for guys in ways they will never admit once outside the cinema)

Review by Daniel Lim


. Kungfu Panda (2008)

. Enchanted (2007)

. Underdog (2007)

. Eight Below (2006)

. The Shaggy Dog (2006)

. Benji (2004)

. The Fox and the Hound DVD (2007)

. Dumbo DVD (2007)

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