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Chihuahuas keep the cameras rolling in L.A.

Chihuahu What is it with Chihuahuas?

Only a few months ago, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2," a direct-to-DVD sequel to the hit Walt Disney film, was shooting all over the L.A. area.

Now comes "Chihuahua: The Movie," another direct-to-DVD film, which began shooting in downtown this week.

The bare-bones film, produced for less than $1 million, is not another Disney spin-off, but comes courtesy of Santa Clarita-based Laguna Productions, a 15-year-old company that  produces and distributes urban Latino films in Spanish and English with titles like "Welcome Back to the Barrio" and "Bulletfighter."

With "Chihuahua: The Movie," Laguna is clearly branching into new territory, featuring a mostly non-Latino cast with a story it hopes will have broad appeal.

The film tells the story of a cranky and recently divorced woman who is forced to rethink her priorities when she wakes up in the body of a loving Chihuahua named Bella (it's actually a he and his real name is Peanut) who visits sick children in a hospital where she (he) is a therapy dog.

"It's a cute wholesome, family film,'' said Liz Lohof, a producer of the low-budget film, which will shoot at a restaurant on Melrose Avenue today before moving production to various locales in Van Nuys and the Culver City area.

So why another Chihuahua movie? "The cuteness of the breed and its popularity in film -- that's definitely a factor,'' Lohof said.

-- Richard Verrier

Comments () | Archives (8)

Remember all those articles about how the animal shelters are full of chihuahuas? How the Legally Blonde movie and Paris Hilton created an explosion of impulse-bought pet chihuahuas, and consequently a glut of them in shelters and rescue groups? You know how chihuahuas account for 40% of dogs in LA shelters? You know how many of them are being put to sleep every day? Maybe someone should make a film about THAT. All these movies do is encourage kids and their ignorant parents to spend hundreds of dollars on chihuahua puppies that were probably bred in poor conditions in a puppy mill somewhere, only to realize that they're not the perfect toy pet and do have real needs, and abandon them or turn them in to a shelter to make them someone else's problem. Please realize these are living beings, and you're treating them as disposable props.

Meanwhile hundreds of real-life Chihuahuas are abandoned in animal shelters throughout the state.

The idiot makers of this film are obviously motivated by nothing but money and meanwhile they set in motion the scenerio for irresponsible acquiring of these poor animals who will disposed of when it becomes inconvenient for the addle-headed owners. We need to boycott the movie. No curing stupidity....

The dogs are adorable I have been a fan of large dogs my entire life and not really into owning the little dogs. My boss brought some home from a neighbor's litter. Guess what? I was taking care of them and yes now those tiny beady puppy eyes have captured my heart. It is sad > I visit the local shelter near my work at lunch sometimes and it's filled with pit bulls, dalmations, and chihuahuas :(. I wish I had the money and facility to build an animal santuary. I love dog movies too so, please don't knock them. I love watching them when I'm blue and the pets crawl up on the bed and watch them too.

Please boycott this film!!! this only means more Chi's will have to be put to sleep!! Boycott This Film!!!

the location shooting at the restaurant on melrose shouldn't be hard to find, and then picket. perhaps this production company might want to shoot a public service announcement on the plight of dogs flooding the kennels of los angeles, and put this p.s.a before their movie, let their audience see what is going on in real life.

First of all, I am an animal LOVING vegan with 3 dogs and 2 cats of my own. This film is about a "therapy dog" which is a much different angle than the cute little wise cracking Chihuahuas of Legally Blond or Beverley Hills Chihuahua. What if the filmmakers include a PSA with it about responsible pet ownership? Or that if you do go out and get a pet, you should visit your local animal shelter and adopt. And to that matter, how do you know they won't? My point is, why stop at picketing animal movies??? Why don't you picket ALL movies. The problem isn't with the movies or the filmmakers, it's with the parents who don't know how to say no to their kids or explain that the dog they see in the movie is a highly trained dog that has worked for years to learn how to do those things. Don't attack a wholesome Family oriented film because it happens to have a Chihuahua in it. We have far to few of those types of movies coming out. I don't see people throwing their arms up in the air and picketing the SAW movies. Makes no sense at all.

Don't knock this movie, I am a thirty-something mother of two teens. We had to put our family dog to sleep because of a tumor last December. Who which was not a chihuahua. My family was so crushed we could not have the heart to go and buy another pet. Just this past July my son found at our local fitness gym a stray chihuahua and he brought it home. We have loved this dog since, and is now part of our family also. In reality the mother always is the one to feed it and take it for walks, or to do it's potty training but in the end it is really a family effort to care for your pet. I am always for a Pet Lovers Movie and will knock off a SAW, or killing other people movie anyday!


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Photos: L.A.’s busiest filming sites