Who’s In It: Piper Perabo, Jamie Lee Curtis. Voices of Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia, George Lopez, Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez, Placido Domingo, Edward James Olmos, Lorett Devine, Luis Guzman
The Basics: A spoiled little rich Beverly Hills Chihuahua named Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) gets lost in Mexico and it’s up to the landscaper’s non-Hills Chihuahua named Papi (George Lopez), who also happens to be wildly in love with Chloe, to rescue her and prove his love. He does this with the help of a bunch of other valiant un-Chihuahuas. Think Lady and the Tramp minus the pedigree, gorgeous animation and bland Caucasian stiffness.
What’s The Deal: You know what this world needs more of besides movies with monkeys? Movies with talking dogs. But not just any movie with talking dogs. I saw Snow Dogs. It wasn’t good. But I’m on board for lighthearted, not-obnoxious, sweet-natured movies about talking dogs that trip up your expectations about the levels of awesome that a movie about talking dogs can attain. This is that movie. Look, I’m surprised, too. I went to see this figuring I was doomed. And I had no kids by my side to remind me of the target demographic. And I laughed. A lot.
What About All That Bizarre Singing And Dancing In The Trailer? It doesn’t exist in the movie. For some (me) that will be a disappointment. But if that’s what was keeping you from going, if that extra level of wacky un-reality was just too far for you to go, know that you’re safe in the knowledge that this is merely a movie where animals speak with the voices of Latino character actors. There’s also a gay pug. Not that they tell you that explicitly. But think about Jack from Will & Grace as a pug. Like that.
How Unexpectedly Moved You May Find Yourself: Um… you know… some. There’s a plot thread about dogs being forced to fight, Michael Vick-style, to the death. And when all those dogs are freed to help Chloe find her way back home and then, one by one, those dogs find loving homes of their own, I DEFY YOU NOT TO GET KIND OF CHOKED UP.
Refreshingly Free Of: “Who Let the Dogs Out.”