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Inkwolf's Review of Alvin and the Chipmunks

rated it: posted: Aug 14, 2008
Reviews: 202 | KF Animation Editor
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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!

animated movie Alvin and the Chipmunks © Fox
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Alvin and the Chipmunks
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