Beverly Hills Chihuahua
On her way to Mexico on a vacation, a pampered Chihuahua named Chloe (voice of Drew Barrymore) gets lost. She then finds adventure — and trouble — with her new canine friends she recruits to help her get back home.
- Starring: Drew Barrymore, George Lopez, Piper Perabo and Jamie Lee Curtis
- Director(s): Raja Gosnell
- Producer(s): David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, John Jacobs
- Screenwriter(s): Analisa LaBianco, Jeffrey Bushell
- Distributor: Disney
- Animal Coordinator: Birds and Animals
- Release Date: Friday, October 03, 2008
Featured Animal Action
For all scenes in which dogs are seen performing mild action, such as sitting, lying, sniffing, being petted, running or walking, alone or with an actor, trainers stood nearby and used hand signals and verbal cues to get the dogs to perform the action. For scenes in which dogs hold objects in their mouths, the objects were not choking hazards and did not have sharp edges. All food and water consumed by the dogs was deemed safe for animal consumption. All of the dogs and the actors were introduced to each other before filming, and the actors were instructed on the proper handling of the dogs.
For scenes that show the dogs walking or running off-leash, trainers stood nearby and the area was secured. All streets were closed to traffic. All grounds were inspected for safety, and the terrain was easy to walk on. All rocks and props that the dogs stepped on were made secure. Dogs seen in water were well-rehearsed and accustomed to being in water, and trainers stood just off-camera. Whenever the dogs are shown riding in cars, trainers hid in the back of the car and the dogs were equipped with waist ties (safety lines).
For scenes in which dogs bark, whine, growl or snarl, a trainer cued them to "speak" and used various training tools (toys, treats) to achieve certain reactions. When the dogs' mouths move as if they are speaking, this was a special effect digitally added after filming. Whenever Chloe is being carried in the mouth of Delgado (voice of Andy Garcia) or El Diablo (voice of Edward James Olmos), a fake prop dog was used in combination with computer-generated imagery.
The booties that Chloe (voice of Drew Barrymore) wears were custom-made dog shoes lined on the bottom with nonstick rubber strips for safe footing. All of the dog's costumes were lightweight and custom-fit. For the scene in which Chloe wanders at night past a beach bonfire, the dog was carefully monitored and cued by off-camera trainers, and was kept a safe distance from the controlled fire.
For the scene in the dog pound, all the dogs were either locally owned or trained production dogs. They were cued to bark and walk to the front of their air-conditioned and comfortable kennels. When Diablo runs down the street chasing Chloe's scent, hot dogs were rubbed on the ground to get the dog to sniff. When Papi (voice of George Lopez) is seen digging holes in the yard, the holes were pre-dug and partly filled with loose potter's soil and the dog was cued to dig. When Rafa (voice of Eddie Sotelo) and another dog rest in sewer pipes, the dogs were placed in "down" positions and told to stay inside the concrete pipes, which were solidly secured. For the scene in which Sam (Manolo Cardona) and Rachel (Piper Perabo) wash the two dogs, the shampoo was dog-safe.
Aunt Viv (Jamie Lee Curtis) arrives at the spa carrying Chloe in her handbag. The handbag had a special reinforced handle and a Velcro closure. In the scenes with the dogs in the spa, dog-safe shampoo was used, the mud bath was special spa mud mixed with gelatin, the curling iron was unplugged, and the blow dryer blew only cool air. The dogs being groomed were held by well-rehearsed actors or trainers standing in for actors. The dogs on treadmills were attended to by trainers and given rest between takes.
For the scene in which Chloe swims in the pool, it was a hot day, and the off-camera trainer was in the cool water with her and had her on a monofilament leash. Her head and shoulders were supported by a floating ring. She was then cued to get out of the water, shake off and go back to her lounge chair. For the shot in which Papi jumps up and down behind the fence to see Chloe, he was placed on cushions on a box behind the fence and given a verbal command to jump a few times each take.
When awakened suddenly, Rachel appears to whack Chloe across the room. The dog was cued to speak, then the actress, using the support of a blanket, gently tossed the dog onto some padding placed next to the bed. The well-rehearsed dog landed on her feet and was rewarded with food.
Chloe and the girls arrive at a hotel room where Chloe is given canned dog food. Chloe places it in Rachel's shoe and is disciplined. Trainers rewarded the dog for performing the trick of moving the food. When scolded by the actress, the dog was cued to "limp" (a trained behavior). Later, Chloe is seen looking over the balcony, where a pot gets knocked over. The dog had a safety line around her waist and the trainer was on the ground behind her within arm's reach. The flower pot was a lightweight fake container with no soil, and was knocked over by a crew member.
The kidnapped dogs at the fight arena are seen in cages talking to each other as another dog is walked to a cage. The wooden cages were enclosed with wire mesh. For the scar on Delgado's face, groomers shaved some fur and applied nontoxic, nonirritating makeup. Chloe is dropped into the ring to fight Diablo. The ring floor was covered with canvas and fill dirt to allow for safe footing. The actor held the dog in his hand and moved his arm forward, just as the trainer called the dog to jump and go to her mark. The dog playing Diablo was then held by two trainers and called into the ring by a third. Both dogs appeared to stare at each other, when actually they were looking at their respective trainers, who were calling to them. "Chloe" was cued to back up to the door from which she entered, and trainers used brooms to gently brush on either side of her to get her to run in circles and look panicked. When Diablo appears to snatch Chloe's outfit off her, this scene was filmed in separate shots. The outfit was affixed to her with Velcro so that it would come off easily, and the Doberman pulled it off her. Without the Chihuahua present, the Doberman was also coaxed to bite and pull a stick with a leather end, and to bite the empty costume and tug on it. The rest of the scene's action was computer-generated.
When Delgado opens the cage with his mouth to escape and rescue Chloe, trainers cued the well-rehearsed dog to perform this trained behavior. The dog playing Delgado was given the command to jump at the door, which was rigged to swing open, and to knock over the man on the other side, who was actually a costumed trainer. Trainers released the caged dogs and cued them to run through the open door, over the stunt trainer lying on the ground and past the camera, where awaiting trainers retrieved and leashed the dogs.
When Diablo races after Chloe and the dogs who rescue her, the door to the arena slams in his face. This door was on a rope and pulley system, controlled by a trainer. A trainer called the Doberman to run to his mark and stop, far short of the door. The door never actually hit the dog. The dogs escape through a hole in the fence. The dogs were called through the hole, which was specially made with no sharp edges. Delgado jumps the fence with Chloe in his mouth. The dog playing Delgado was a trained police dog who knew how to jump the fence on command. He held a small coin purse in his mouth, which was digitally replaced with Chloe in post-production. For the shot in which the escaped dogs run free through a marketplace plaza, trainers held treats and whistled for them to come. The actors were rehearsed not to run in front of the running dogs. For the scene in which Chloe and Delgado watch the parade go past, both well-trained dogs were placed on their marks and were not startled by the movement. The noise of the parade was mimed, and sound was added in later so as not to scare the dogs.
Delgado pushes Chloe into a puddle. Trainers placed the dogs on their marks beside the puddle and then cued the dog playing Delgado to put his head down and gently nudge the other dog. The dog playing Chloe was then replaced with a water bottle for "Delgado" to nudge into the puddle and create a splash. For the shots of Chloe in the puddle, a trainer gently tossed the dog a few inches onto the ground in front of a green screen. Next, a trainer placed the dog into the puddle, which was made of filtered water and dye to make it look brown. The dog was dried off and rested after each take.
A Pomeranian and toy poodle are being walked into the hotel, and the poodle gets pulled up by its leash. The actress pulled the well-rehearsed dog (who was wearing a coat that doubled as a harness) into her arms using a flexible lead, reinforced with cable.
The scene in which Chloe fights over a dropped churro and Delgado rescues her was filmed in separate shots. Trainers placed "Chloe" on her mark, standing over the churro, while four other dogs were cued to "stay" and "speak." The dog playing Delgado was cued to run and pick up a bean bag (which was later digitally replaced with Chloe) and run off-camera. Trainers then released "Diablo" and cued him to run up the stairs — he was not actually chasing Delgado.
While being chased by Diablo, Delgado and Chloe run into a museum. Carpet and mats were placed on the museum floor for traction. For slippery areas, the dogs were well-prepared and well-rehearsed. Shots in which Delgado and Diablo are seen leaping from exhibit to exhibit were filmed using a green screen — the dogs were actually leaping onto wooden platforms lined with rubber mats hidden behind the display cases. The crew placed ceramic pieces on the floor to make it look as though the dogs had knocked them over. Trainers called the dogs to run up the steps and into the diorama set, where they were cued to "freeze." Trainers then cued "Diablo" to run past the diorama and be corralled by the guards, who were trainers in costume. When "Delgado" was cued to "jump" against the door, a hidden crew member actually opened it.
Delgado and Chloe hop in a truck heading to Puerto Vallarta. The steps to the back of the flatbed truck were made of weighted boxes secured together. When they dismounted, the dogs walked down on stabilized crates with padding on top. The truck never actually moved.
Delgado talks to a friend, who is training on a police obstacle course. The dogs in this scene were actual police dogs (with police handlers) who were familiar with the obstacles on the grass. A real policeman is seen wearing a bite suit, which one of the dogs was trained to attack. The dog playing Delgado remained outside the workout area.
Chloe and Delgado arrive at the train yard. The dogs were a safe distance from the trains, and trainers cued the dogs while jogging along the tracks. When Delgado lifts Chloe up onto the train, trainers cued the dog to put his head down near Chloe. For the next shot, she was replaced with a coin purse, which he was cued to grab and set down onto the train, and she was digitally added in later. Next, Delgado chases after the train. The dog was equipped with a waist tie attached to a cable that ran alongside the tracks so that he could not get too close to the moving train. For the shots of the dog trying to jump onto the train, a trainer in front of a green screen held the dog while a second trainer hid in a stationary boxcar. One trainer instructed the dog to place his front paws on the edge of the boxcar a few times to mimic struggling to get on board. Another trainer gently tugged his ear to mimic Chloe pulling him and cued him to jump (with a helpful boost from the trainer who held him). The image of Chloe pulling on his ear was computer-generated. When Diablo jumps onto the train, the camera filmed the dog from a low angle as he jumped onto a table on the train tracks. The boxcar was added later in post-production.
Delgado races into the train's dining car, leaping on seats and tables. A cable controlled by crew members was used to open the door of the dining car. Trainers called the extremely well-rehearsed dog to run and jump onto a seat next to the actors, then onto the dining table, leaping from one table to the next, jumping over low dividers between tables. The tablecloths were attached to the table tops, and there was no real food or silverware on the tables, only plastic plates and soft props. Beverages were in plastic glasses covered with plastic wrap.
Delgado jumps from the train, followed by Chloe, who lands on his head. Trainers cued the dog playing Delgado to jump a short distance onto the landing platform, which was anchored to the ground and covered by a nonskid mat. When Chloe "jumps" on his head, he was lying on the platform, which was covered by green screen material. A trainer gently pressed down on his head and ears to make it look like something landed on him. A trainer then placed Chloe on his head and cued her to stay, then jump away. Computer-generated imagery did the rest. Anytime the dogs are seen next to the moving train, they were actually filmed against a green screen and the train was digitally added later.
Delgado and Chloe are lost in the desert, where they encounter mountain lions and are saved by a huge gang of Chihuahuas. The dogs and mountain lions were filmed separately. Trainers cued the dogs to run under the overhanging rock and bark. Only about 20 dogs were used — the rest were added in digitally. When the Chihuahua army shows up to rescue Delgado and Chloe, the dogs were all on waist ties staked to the ground. They were rehearsed to wear these ties. One trainer wore a scary mask to entice the dogs to bark and seem upset. Later, when the dogs appear to be looking out over a cliff, the scene was actually filmed against a green screen.
Delgado crosses the river. For this scene, a Mexican police dog stood in as a stunt double. Four trainers hid in the water and another trainer was in a boat. Safety lines were attached to the dog. A trainer assisted the dog, who was a great swimmer, out of the boat and into the water, and the dog swam to another trainer. The water was just deep enough for the dog to swim in. The water quality was tested ahead of time and deemed good.
Delgado breaks free from his ties in the ranger station. The rope was pre-cut to break away when the dog pulled on it, while a special monofilament rig was attached to the rope. Once the trainer cued the dog to pull on the rope a few times, the prop master pulled on the monofilament to disconnect the rope. The desk was not attached to the floor and was lightweight, so it moved easily when the dog pulled on it.
Papi jumps out a car window when he sees the bad guy's van drive off. One trainer hiding in the car held the dog, and a second trainer called for the dog to jump out the window and onto a padded surface, which the well-rehearsed dog was trained to do. Papi attacks the bad guy, springing at him when he opens the door. A trainer standing in as a stunt double opened the door. On cue, "Papi" jumped out and landed on the trainer's chest, grabbing at a piece of food reward the trainer hid in his mouth. The trainer caught the dog as he landed on his chest and held him in place while acting hurt and stumbling backwards in a choreographed fall. Then a stuffed animal was attached to the actor's mouth. In this scene, it appears that the other bad guy drops Chloe onto the ground, but in fact the actor simply held her in one hand and lowered her out of the camera frame.
The dogs and the bad guys have a big showdown at a pyramid in the jungle. The pyramid was made of reinforced foam on a wooden frame. The steps were dry and the incline was easy for the Chihuahuas to handle. All dogs were rewarded with food. As one bad guy reaches for Chloe, she falls through the stone floor of the pyramid. A trainer held the dog playing Chloe as the bad guy reached for her. The trainer quickly pulled her out of the camera frame, making it appear that she fell. The dog was in a special harness-and-wire contraption and was placed over a shallow hole covered with foam rocks that were rigged to break away. When the hole opened, the dog's back end fell into the hole, with her front paws hanging over the padded edge. The rest of her "fall" was computer-generated. Chloe climbs up a tree overhanging the pyramid door to bark and rescue Papi. A trainer cued the extremely well-rehearsed dog to climb up the tree, while staying right below her, holding a blanket to catch her if she fell. Stunt pads were below. Camera angles made the tree look steeper than it was. A trainer waited at the top of the tree limb to reward her. When Chloe releases Papi from the cage, this was a trained behavior — the dog was cued to pull open the latch. When Diablo is seen menacing or fighting Papi, Delgado or Chloe, or chasing Papi and Chloe in the pyramid, each dog's action was filmed separately using a green screen. For the shot in which Delgado jumps over a statue to save Chloe and Papi, a table was placed on the far side of the statue, and trainers cued the dog to run along the table, jump over the statue and land on stunt pads on the floor. For the scene in which the chamber in the pyramid begins to cave in, fake rocks made of lightweight sponge material were dropped onto the dogs. Trainers placed the dog playing Delgado in a "down-stay" position underneath the spongy material to make it appear that he was trapped beneath rubble.
For the scene in which Delgado attacks the bad guy, the dog was cued to "jump" onto the actor and "get" the rubber prop gun from his hand. For the big dogfight in the pyramid, stuffed props were used for the dogs to shake and attack. When Delgado attacks Diablo, a trainer cued the dog playing Diablo to "fall down" on his side onto a pad. The dog playing Delgado actually knocked over a stuffed animal simulating Diablo. A stuffed prop dog was also strapped to "Diablo's" shoulder to simulate Chloe attacking him, and the dog enjoyed playfully trying to grab the prop. For the shot of Chloe being flung into the rocks, again, a stuffed animal was used, combined with computer-generated imagery. Trainers cued the dogs playing Delgado and Papi to sniff the stuffed prop, and then the real "Chloe" was brought in and cued to "play dead." Baby food was put on her face to encourage "Papi" to lick her, and she was then cued to "wake up."
Rat and Iguana
The rat and iguana were both computer-generated.
The mountain lions did not directly interact with the dogs and were attached to waist ties the entire time. To get the snarling effect, trainers gestured at the lions with pigeon feathers attached to a stick. A trainer in a green screen suit cued one of the mountain lions to look in different directions and swipe at a food pan. The lions, shot against a green screen, were then cued to look at where the Chihuahuas would be, and trot away.
The coyote in the boxcar was overseen by three trainers, held with a waist tie and neck leashes, and held by a trainer when the train started to move. The dogs did not directly interact with the coyote.
Pigeon and Grasshopper
Papi chases a pigeon across the yard. The dog was held on his mark by the trainer. A second trainer released the bird to land on a mark behind the dog, where it ate pigeon seed. After pecking the ground for awhile, the pigeon was called back to its roosting box by a third trainer. As the pigeon flew, Papi was cued to run to a waiting trainer, in the same direction as the bird.
Papi brings Chloe a grasshopper while she sunbathes. The trainer cued "Papi" to pick up a fake grasshopper with his mouth and to run to Chloe and drop the prop insect.