‘Chipmunks’ scamper back onto the small screen

In Alvin and the Chipmunks, everybody’s favorite troublemakers wreak havoc on the big screen. The film topped the DVD charts when it was released on April 1.By Jess Royko

“ALVIIIIN!!!” No chipmunk feature is complete without hearing that one line shouted over and over again. If your childhood consisted of reruns of the animated series Alvin and the Chipmunks, then you’ll understand exactly what makes this one line so great.

Alvin and the Chipmunks, featuring Jason Lee (My Name is Earl), a movie based on the popular musical group and animated series, was released on DVD on April 1. While this film may have been aimed at a younger audience, any age group can easily find this movie quite enjoyable. Viewers will be pleasantly surprised at the overall delivery of this film.

The movie opens up with the chipmunks singing Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” and it easily transitions into how these chipmunks are relocated from their forest to the streets of Los Angeles. Dave Seville (Lee) is a struggling songwriter who unknowingly brings home these three chipmunks. After Dave gets over the initial shock of talking chipmunks, he realizes their musical potential and begins to hone their singing abilities. Soon the chipmunks find themselves caught up in a world they weren’t quite prepared for.

The film helps bring these classic chipmunks into the modern world. Fans will get to enjoy the crazy antics of their three favorite chipmunks: Alvin (Justin Long), the troublemaker; Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), the smart one; and Theodore (Jesse McCartney), the goofy one.

With those well-executed harmonies, it is easy to enjoy this movie with the classic catchy tunes like “The Witch Doctor” and “The Chipmunk Song.” The film includes many cute scenes, such as when Alvin is bathing in the dishwasher. The one scene where the chipmunks are performing at a concert in flashy silver suits takes away from the feel of the original, but overall, the movie does a fair job in bringing a classic cartoon to life.

Despite the nice execution, this film still follows a predictable plot: The main characters get noticed, and they rise to fame only to realize in the end that it is not really what they wanted. Although the movie doesn’t parallel the animated series, it does give viewers a new twist on an old favorite.

The actors do a fine job with their performances and even though Lee’s version of Dave’s “Alviiiin” does not quite live up to the one heard in the television series, it is still fairly decent.

The DVD includes just a few special features: “The Witch Doctor” music video, Hitting the Harmony feature and Chipmunk History. The harmony feature basically describes just how those squeaky chipmunk voices were created. While this feature is interesting, it fails in comparison to the Chipmunk History. This short documentary-style feature traces the creation and evolution of the chipmunks.

Alvin and the Chipmunks is amusing and enjoyable to audiences of all ages. If you were a fan of the show, then this movie gives off that nostalgic feeling, allowing you to reminisce about your very own memories of the chipmunks. Although this movie is by no means a must buy, it is most definitely worth picking up a copy at the local Blockbuster and enjoying a laugh. Whether you are an old fan looking to bring out that inner child or you just want to see a cute comedy, these three adorable, mischievous chipmunks are sure to keep a smile on your face.

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