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  Publicity Stills of "Alvin and the Chipmunks"
(Courtesy from 20th Century Fox)

Genre: CG Animation/Comedy
Director: Tim Hill
Cast: Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson, Jane Lynch, Justin Long, Jesse McCartney
RunTime: 1 hr 32 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG
Official Website: www.alvinandthechipmunksmovie.com

Opening Day: 13 December 2007



ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, a global treasure that has delighted three generations of fans, comes to the big screen for the first time. The live-action/CGI motion picture event brings together the celebrated history of its beloved characters – Dave Seville and singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore – adding a new comic sensibility and edge. The squeaky-voiced trio and Dave Seville made recording, broadcasting and merchandising history – selling 43 million albums, winning several Grammys®, and headlining an animated prime time series, numerous TV specials, and a top-rated Saturday morning series seen in over 100 countries and translated into 40 languages.

Movie Review:

Way back in 2004, Fox has announced they were going ahead with a brand-new CG “Alvin And the Chipmunks” movie. Fast forward 3 years later, aided by Rhythm & Hues, the rodents finally gets a new paint of coat digitally.

If you have been an avid fan of the squeaky-voiced Chipmunks since the 80’s or earlier, this story is basically a no-brainer, lifted from parts of the original animation series and chronicles how David Seville first met and adopted the sensational singing Chipmunks.

In this live version, Dave is played by Jason Lee (voice of the recent “Underdog” and aka Earl Hickey), in the tradition of the animation series, Lee is the Chipmunks’ guardian and manager and yes, the signature “A-L-V-I-N” scream fest is retained. Nothing changes much here which is a good thing for the older generation, Alvin still donned a red cap, a sweater with a capital ‘A’ and cheeky as ever, Simon the bespectacled, smarty one and the adorable innocent with an insatiable appetite is Theodore.

One major difference is the selection of songs, to blend with the current pop-culture, the trio even sang Daniel Powter’s Bad Day and a remix version of the classic, Witchdoctor. It’s liked watching Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake strutting on stage but in the form of Chipmunks.

I learnt from the Internet that the recording of the voices was playback at a fast speed to obtain the high octave squeaky pitch and it was done by the late Chipmunks’ creator Ross Bagdasarian Sr. So I’m surprise to learn that Alvin is now voiced by tadaaa…Justin Long (“Die Hard 4”) and Theodore by pop star Jesse McCartney. I mean you can get Tom Cruise to voice any one of them and no one can tell a difference.

Honestly, you can’t expect director Tim Hill (writer of several “Spongebob Squarepants” episodes and “Garfield 2”) to go out of the box with this one. It’s a classic, working formula that need not be tweaked much.

The singing Chipmunks will thrill the kids and also the adults, the ladies especially will be smitten by the adorable Theodore. But Fox, please don’t go too far and introduce the Chipettes.

One trivia thing to note, if you pay close attention, there’s constant shots of Dave Seville’s house unit number, 1958. The year when the Chipmunks was first created.

Movie Rating:

(For old times sake, watch this!)

Review by
Linus Tee


. Underdog (2007)

. Garfield 2 (2007)

. The Spongebob Squarepant Movie (2005)

. Garfield (2004)


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