Chestnut Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Even though she is an orphan, there is nothing in the world Sally Ann (Makenzie Vega) wants more than a dog. She and her sister Ray (Abigail Breslin) pray for one each day, so when a pup is abandoned on the road outside the institution where they live, the girls are sure it is heaven sent. Suspecting the nuns who provide their care may not see the situation with the same appreciation, the pair decides to keep their miracle to themselves.
But the arrival of Chestnut (the name they give their pet) is only the beginning of providence smiling upon them. A couple of days later, Matt and Laura Tomley (Justin Louis and Christine Tucci) decide to adopt the siblings. The only problem with the kindly couple’s offer is that Matt is terribly allergic to animals with fur, and the New York apartment where they live doesn’t allow dogs. Given the circumstances, the youngsters choose not to tell their new parents about the pooch they have carefully packed in their luggage.
Once in the Big Apple, the sisters’ new life consists mostly of getting acquainted with the Tomleys and keeping Chestnut’s existence a secret. The first task is just a matter of trusting the abundant love the couple is trying to share. The second is a growing concern because the mutt is a Great Dane. Getting bigger and bigger with each passing day, the challenge of hiding, feeding, walking and toilet-training the horse-sized canine takes all the creative ingenuity the two posses.
The situation reaches epic proportions when the dog sniffs out a couple of thieves who have been breaking into homes in the Manhattan area. Unfortunately, his stealthy motives are misunderstood amidst the property damage and flying food that ensue.
While the plot and slapstick antics are as predictable and silly as the cute kids and puppy on the cover indicates, the sentiment in the film is still in the right place. Only a few moments of mild peril may present concerns for young viewers (especially when an animal is injured). With charming performances from the child cast and the dog, Chestnut‘s message of the warmth and importance of belonging is sure to paw its way into the hearts of family audiences.
Starring Makenzie Vega, Abigail Breslin. Updated April 9, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Chestnut rated G? Chestnut is rated G by the MPAA
In this predictable story of orphans with puppy love, the plot revolves around the silly antics of keeping a dog a secret. Some humor is derived from efforts to and discussions about potty training a dog. A child narrowly escapes being hit by a fast moving vehicle. Thieves break into various homes and steal personal belongings. They are portrayed in a comical fashion, except for a scene where they threaten a dog with a letter opener. The animal is injured and some blood is shown. Slapstick humor includes flying food, a woman hanging from a ceiling fan and some pratfalls. Alcohol is drunk at celebrations.
Page last updated April 9, 2009
Chestnut Parents' Guide
Out of fear of losing the dog, the girls keep his existence a secret. Are they justified in their lie? What is it that eventually motivates them to confess? What things should be considered in the decision to get a pet?
The most recent home video release of Chestnut movie is April 2, 2007. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 3 April 2007 (Canada only)
Chestnut releases to DVD (in Canada only) in a full screen presentation. The disc includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, and trailers for other Disney titles. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound) and French, with French and Spanish subtitles.