“A L V I N ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Struggling songwriter Dave Seville (Jason Lee) opens his home to a talented trio of chipmunks named Alvin, Simon and Theodore, they become overnight music sensations. But when a greedy record producer (David Cross) tries to exploit the ‘boys’, Dave must use a little human ingenuity and a lot of ‘munk mischief to get his furry family back before it’s too late!”
“Alvin and the Chipmunks” is rated PG for some mild rude humor.
Surprisingly, David Cross steals the show as Ian Hawke, the Chipmunks’ producer. His tongue in cheek performance instantly sets the tone for the story and shows you that they’re not taking themselves too seriously. Jason Lee is OK as Dave Seville, but when he yells “Alvin!” it’s rather weak. I’ve yelled at my kids with more convincing exasperation. Finally, Justin Long manages to save his dignity as the voice of Alvin. He’s unrecognizable in the role, yet he’s able to add touches of his humor here and there.
They do a good job with the Chipmunks’ music in the film. Somehow they manage to update the Witch Doctor song and make kids get into it. You also get modern renditions of their “Christmas Don’t Be Late” song.
As you know, the Chipmunks are completely CGI in this movie. There’s nothing remarkable about it on the technical side, but they do manage to bring the characters to life with the animation. The ‘Munks have distinct personalities and each have moments to stand out.
If you have kids then they’ll most likely enjoy “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” and you probably won’t go out of your mind while watching it. But if you don’t have any kids to entertain, there’s not enough here to make it worth your while checking it out.
This DVD is rather light on the bonus features. There’s one featurette on the history of the Chipmunks which was particularly interesting. Ross Bagdasarian Jr. hosts it and it’s rather shocking to realize he was the voice of Dave and the other Chipmunks from the TV show. The featurette on the making of the music is also quite interesting. You see how they have to basically sing is slow motion so the lyrics match the music on the songs. You get greater appreciation for the technological challenge of creating the songs. Rounding things out is a preview of “Horton Hears A Who.”