You're going to see a lot of people taking cheap shots at "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" today. People making jokes to the effect that this new home premiere is a dog and/or a real bitch to sit through.
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Which isn't entirely fair. Especially since this Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment sequel to "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" was never intended to be an important piece of cinematic history. Bur rather -- just like the 2008 road picture that proceeded it -- "BHC 2" is simply supposed to be a fun family flick. And if that's the yardstick that you'll be using to measure this Alex Zamm film by ... Well, then "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" delivers in spades.
Dog. Bitch. Spayed. Sorry, folks. I promise that this will be the last canine-related gag that I will be unleashing on you in today's article. I think. Anyway ...
The fun starts with "BHC 2" 's opening sequence, which is set inside of a church. For a moment or two, the audience is led to believe that it's Rachel (who was played by Piper Perabo in the original "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," and by Erin Cahill in this home premiere) and Sam Cortez (played by Manolo Cardona in "BHC 1" and by Marcus Coloma in "BHC 2") who are getting married. But as it turns out, it's Papi (voiced by George Lopez) and Chloe (originally voiced by Drew Barrymore, now voiced by Odette Yusman) who are tying the knot that day.
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Mind you, Rachel and Sam have been talking about marriage. But given that Rachel and her Aunt Viv (played by Jamie Lee Curtis in "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" and by Susan Blakely in "Chihuahua 2") are about to head off to the South American rain forest, any non-canine nuptials will have to wait for a bit.
But Papi & Chloe? They don't wait. At least when it comes to starting a family. Four months after they get married, these two Chihuahuas are the proud parents of five lively little pups: four daughters -- Rosa, Pep, Lala & Ali (all voiced by Emily Osment) and one son - Papi Jr. (voiced by Zachary Gordon).
And Papi ... He loves to tell his kids tales about the great Chihuahua warriors of the past. Which often gets the puppies in trouble. Especially when they encounter some of their snootier neighbors whenever Papi & Chloe's crew venture to visit one of Beverly Hills' more exclusive dog parks.
After giving viewers a sense of how the better half lives, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" 's action shifts to a less upscale part of town, as Sam takes Papi & Chloe's pack back to his parents' home. Where this dutiful son then learns that his folks have fallen behind on their mortgage. And unless the Cortezes come up with $40,000 before the end of the month, the bank will then take their house.
And if this happens, it's not just Sam's parents who will be out on the street. Papi's old pal Pedro (voiced by Ernie Hudson) will also lose his home. Which is why Chloe & Co. feel that that they have to do something in order to help here. So - when they learn that the Beverly Hills Dog Show awards a $50,000 prize for the 1st place winner - the Chihuahuas immediately decide to enter this competition. So that - if they win - these dogs can then help the Cortezes get out of debt.
Okay. I know. The main storyline of "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" already sounds pretty silly. Did I mention that this home premiere also features a sub-plot built around Delgado? Who's this Mexican police dog (voiced by Andy Garcia in "BHC 1" and by Miguel Ferrer in "BHC 2") that's desperately trying to reconnect with his two long lost sons? That part of this picture gets pretty sappy as well.
But to his credit, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" director Alex Zamm keeps things moving along at a good clip. With the real highlight of this production being the Beverly Hills Dog Show. Which haa a lot of fun with sending up many of the conventions of beauty pageants - from the talent portion of the program right through to the bathing suit competition.
In fact, it's this portion of "BHC 2" that is sure to amuse all of you Disney film & Disney Channel fans out there. Given that the snooty judge at the dog show is played by Phill Lewis, the character actor who's best known for playing Mr. Moseby on "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody " & "The Suite Life on Deck." And the male TV commentator? That's French Stewart, who played the title character in another Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release, 2003's "Inspector Gadget 2."
And speaking of that particular home premiere ... Keep a sharp eye out for Colleen Mansfield, the owner of Appoline, the spoiled poodle. Does this actress look familiar? She should. This is Elaine Hendrix. Who played G2 in "Inspector Gadget 2" as well as Meredith Blake, Dennis Quaid's scheming fiancée in Disney's 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap."
Now add to this the fact that Mr. Kroop (i.e. the banker who's out to foreclose on the Cortezes home) is being played by Brian Stepanek. Who's best known for his inspired comic performances as Arwin Hawkhauser, the Tipton Hotel's clumsy handyman on "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." Not to mention the tween star who's voicing Appoline. Which is Bridgit Mendler AKA Teddy Duncan on that Disney Channel hit, "Good Luck Charlie."
Then when you factor in "Beverly Hill Chihuhua 2" 's strong production values as well as its clever repurposing of several iconic LA buildings (EX: with Union Station becoming the bank that Mr. Kroop works at and the Disney Concert Hotel serving as that hoity-toity hall where the Beverly Hills Dog Show is held) ... Well, this home premiere - while it's not exactly "The King's Speech" - isn't a dog either.
More to the point, if you're one of these folks who enjoys watching movies with your pets, I'm pleased to report that "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" gets two paws up from the canine set.
Photo by Florence Doyle
As is evidenced by the photographs that Florence Doyle sent me this past weekend. Which clearly shows how this Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release held the attention of her two small dogs - Keyla & Bella - while Flo screened "BHC 2" for them on the 26th.
So if you're looking for something fun to watch with your family and/or your pets during the shortest month of the year, then why not spend 84 minutes of your life watching a cute little movie which then showcases one of the smaller breeds of dogs on this planet, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" ? The Blu-ray & DVD versions of which hits store shelves today.
Agreed... great write up. I have a feeling that the kids will like this one better than the first.
The only minus is the chemistry between Marcus and Erin is absent compared to Manolo and Piper. Then again... I doubt the kids will notice.
I was surprised that the titled didn't include the adult jokes that seem to almost always find themselves in kids titles. This was a really clean title and the only time it pushed the G limit was in the Aztec fighting sequence.
I though Disney was stopping all this Direct 2 DVD crap?