animated movie Alvin and the Chipmunks © Fox

Reviews for Alvin and the Chipmunks

2.57 stars / 7 ratings
lupercal's avatar
KF Animation Editor
Reviews: 517

lupercal's Review

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posted: Aug 31, 2010
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upgraded this to two stars.

This is tiresome and precitable. Yes, there are cute, nice bits, and it's kinda cute and bits of it work, but in the first five minutes I figured out the last five minutes. Unless you are under 10 years old or are plain dumb, I'd give it a miss. It's not plain BAD, but it's plain PLAIN.

Loop

Inkwolf's avatar
KF Animation Editor
Reviews: 202

Inkwolf's Review

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posted: Aug 14, 2008
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All of the remake movies based on old cartoons blend a combination of the following elements:

1. Bland, trite 'new' background story.
2. Travesties of the original work.
3. Just enough nostalgia to sell the turkey.

While Alvin and the Chipmunks is a little guilty of all these sins, there is so much fun and energy in the film that you really can't complain. Especially considering the quality of the source material. Okay, so I was never a fan of the cheesy cartoon.

As for the travesties--oops, trendy remakes--of the original Chipmunks music, it's not so bad. Disney slaughters their own classic tunes far worse every day. Hey, seriously-- nobody can be more sentimental about the Chipmunks' Christmas song than I am. (Wipes away a tear of nostalgia as she remembers her little brother at the school Christmas concert as a child, wearing Chipmunk ears and singing, "Me, I want a Hula Hoop" in a squeaky solo.) But it's truly well done, as is the remake of the Witch Doctor song. The music is all listenable, and instead of making you wince and long for the old music, you may find that the remakes actually improve on the original versions. (That's a trick some other musical performers should learn.)

The plot isn't anything you haven't seen before, though you have probably never seen the familiar story elements play out quite like this. Curmudgeon finds himself saddled with a trio of orphans, only to grow to love them. Chipmunks discover that the glamour of fame and wealth is no substitute for the love and discipline of a good home. Of course, most disillusioned performers don't get locked in cat carriers...

The film isn't intellectually challenging or ground-breaking. But it's warm, it's funny, and it's got a beat you can dance to. Thumbs up!

June's avatar
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Reviews: 2

June's Review

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posted: Jan 07, 2008
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Is the live-action movie Alvin and the Chipmunks best movie ever? The short answer is no, and i did not expect it to be one. Personally I do not like 3D animations very much, and the new character design did not please me either. Where did Alvin's hat go?
However, I had to watch it. I almost felt it was my duty. Aside all that, few minutes into the movie, I actually started to like it! Although the characters had new looks, I felt it still had the spirit of the old shows. The storyline was predictable but decent, the jokes were not as horrible as I imagined it to be, and the songs(although I was hoping for more original songs) were amazing as usual.
I know what you're thinking. I expected it to be such a horrible movie, that the actual movie looked better. That might be the case, but it is worth watching if you're a chipmunks fan.

CW's avatar
Reviewing Ninja
Reviews: 51

CW's Review

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posted: Jan 04, 2008
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I suppose you could consider me a long time fan of the Chipmunks. When they hopped on the country bandwagon, I was there. When they sang a Christmas duet with Jaci Velasquez, I was there. When they covered the Macarena... okay, maybe I missed a few albums, but that's what eBay is for, right?

Given my fond memories of the Chipmunks, I was initially resistant towards seeing the movie. And for that, I must say: shame. Shame on me. Shame, shame, shame.

The movie begins with our favourite trio of singing chipmunks storing nuts for the winter. If you can suspend your disbelief that they already seem to be aware of top 40 radio while living in the Sierra Lake Tree Farm (they must be tuned in to the same station that all those dancing penguins in Antarctica listen to), then you probably won't have a problem with this film, especially since it's been established on their various albums that they have the ability to summon floods and both steal and pilot rockets. Surely listening to music out in the woods isn't beyond their abilities.

Anyway, after they lose their nuts, the Chipmunks find themselves transported to the big city, as their tree is farmed and turned into a Christmas tree. There, they hitch a ride in a stolen muffin basket carried by one Dave Seville. He's a down and out songwriter whose latest song was rejected (and it seriously needed work, lyrically), and who seems to be on the verge of giving up.

That very evening, he discovers his three furry stowaways and banishes them out of his house as soon as he finds out they can talk. Then he welcomes them back into his house when he finds out they can sing as well.

The movie may have overdone the whole commercialization of the Chipmunks, but I think it's a lot more realistic than the reaction the human race showed towards dancing penguins. When we see miracles of nature, the first thing we think isn't, "We need to save the environment even if it bankrupts an entire industry". It's, "I wonder how much money we can milk this for?"

Enter the money milker, Lou Pearlman Ian Hawke. While he'd already rejected one of Seville's songs, he's more than willing to sign the Chipmunks even though they sing a song that Seville had written.

And come to think of it, I would wonder why the Chipmunks need a songwriter, when they have a seemingly infinite repertoire of adult contemporary hits. But as I said, suspension of disbelief.

While signed with JETT Records, the Chipmunks sing brand new songs, and the songs themselves aren't too bad. They're typical of the kind of R&B/pop that has been popular among teenagers since the mid 90's, but they fit the movie well and are fun to listen to. Longtime fans may or may not enjoy the new direction the Chipmunks have taken with their music, but they're good if you feel like you just want to listen to something that's entirely bubblegum.

I found very little in this movie to complain about, and when I watched it a second time, it helped me get rid of a headache, an upset stomach (I consumed too much popcorn with awful artificial butter before Alvin), and a small bout of depression that had been inspired by I Am Legend. If this movie can cure what ails me the second time I watched it, then I imagine that the third time I watch this movie, I may just transcend time and space. You never know. But I promise that I will continue to review movies if I'm still able to do so after I transcend.
-edited January 14, 2008

Original review:
I loved this movie so much that I'm posting this via PSP in a hotel room while on vacation, until I get access to a computer so I can replace this with an actual review. For now, I will say that I bought the soundtrack as soon as I left the theatre. Full recommendation of both!

------
Re-edit, July 16 2008:

Okay, after thinking about the painfully awkward Chipmunk Song sequence off and on for a half a year, I'm going to dock a half a star from my original score. It's not a four star movie, but it's definitely no less than a three and a half star movie.