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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Animals > Live Action > Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Disney Blu-ray + DVD-Video) + Air Bud Special Edition (Disney DVD)

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Disney Blu-ray + DVD-Video) + Air Bud Special Edition (Disney DVD)


Picture: B+/B/B     Sound: B+/B/B     Extras: C-     Films: C-



If there is one thing that Disney is familiar with making its movies about dogs, sometimes they are animated, while other times they cross over to live-action films, here we have the newer Beverly Hills Chihuahua on Blu-ray and DVD as well as the older film Air Bud recently re-issued to DVD in a special edition that comes packaged with a dog tag to boot. 


Beverly Hills Chihuahua is flat out silly; it’s essentially what would happen if you took the film Clueless and Legally Blonde and converted that with dogs instead, this time Chihuahua’s.  The story is about a pampered dog named Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) and how she gets lost in Mexico while on vacation.  To her rescue though is Papi (voiced by George Lopez) who is on a mission to find her, but she also encounters a new friend in Delgado (Andy Garcia) who is her new protector in a strange new world. 


The results are highly mixed and truly bizarre, it will likely only entertain kids under the age of 10 while parents will be challenged to sit through a film that feels like a second rate version of Look Who’s Talking.  For this Blu-ray and DVD release Disney has issued a sizeable selection of extras including deleted scenes, a bloopers reel, an animated short, and feature commentary by director Raja Gosnell.  The Blu-ray has exclusive extras though including a segment on the voice talents for the film, an on-set featurette, more deleted scenes, and a BD Live segment that allows viewers to access online promotional materials. 


The supplements are not the only thing that separates the DVD from the Blu-ray; the technical aspects are night and day as well.  Both the Blu-ray and the DVD present the film in a 2.40 X 1 framed transfer with the Blu-ray boasting a detailed 1080p High Definition presentation.  The DVD is limited with a mediocre transfer that looks soft throughout with limited color depth and resolution; the Blu-ray on the other hand is rich with color and fidelity, which helps the film translate further and gives a more credible appearance to the silly nature of the film.  The Blu-ray edition also presents the films audio in an uncompressed (48 kHz/24bit) PCM 5.1 mix that puts the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD to shame.  The PCM mix is more pronounced and feels livelier and genuine, while the Dolby is far too compressed and forward sounding in nature.  The PCM is fuller, more engaging, and gives a life-like impression to the film, which again helps bring some energy to a film that hopes to find an audience on the format. 


Air Bud gets new treatment on DVD with an anamorphic transfer that puts the film into a 1.85 X 1 framing and also features a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, the previous DVD edition of the film was a bit more drab in nature and never helped translate the film, it’s sequels were straight to video and were full-frame features.  The original Air Bud though is the best in the series as the canine basketball champ who finds a new friend and makes a new buddy shortly after he runs away.  It’s a story about companionship even despite the unrealistic nature of the film, it was then ruined by numerous sequels that put the Golden Retriever into a variety of situations and also used other animals to portray various sporting figures. 


Along with the film and the dog tag we also get commentary from the voiced “Buddies” and the original trailer.



-   Nate Goss


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