As Beverly Hills Chihuahua's place at the top of the box office proves, people have children–And rather than bring those sleeping children to an R-rated movie, during which they will inevitably wake up and start crying, drowning out pivotal dialogue and/or shattering the atmosphere of a tense scene, forcing the parents to steer their noisy cumbersome strollers through a theater full of palpable rage, parents sometimes want to bring their children to see something the children will appreciate, like talking dogs that also happen to be stereotypes. Fair enough. But what does Beverly Hills Chihuahua's success mean for America?
Obviously, it means Beverly Hills Chihuahua Does The Macarena, or Beverly Hills Chihuahua Dos, or Beverly Hills Chihuahua Gone Loco, or a sequel of some kind. Movies with live-action talking animals that do even remotely well, always get sequels. But more than that, a successful movie about talking animals/stereotypes who sometimes engage in musical numbers paves the way for future successful movies about talking animals/stereotypes who sometimes engage in musical numbers. We might never have had the opportunity to see hundreds of CGI chihuahuas dance atop Aztec ruins to the tune of "Oh, Chihuahua," if a movie featuring dozens of CGI kangaroos rapping in the outback hadn't been #1 at the box office five years ago. That's right: without Kangaroo Jack, that cinematic pioneer of the awful, live-action, talking animal/stereotype genre, Beverly Hills Chihuahua might never have happened.
The only question that remains (besides "Why does this keep happening?"), is what live-action talking, singing animal/stereotype will be the subject of the next hit movie? A Russian bear cub who runs away from the circus to join The Warped Tour? A family of redneck squirrels that break into "On The Road Again" while hitching a ride to the big city? A snobby French poodle who gets really into le hip-hop? Only time will tell.