Directed by Betty Thomas
Voices by Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler
“Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate trash we have very little reason to be interested in them”
Alvin and the Chipmunks is an animated music group created by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. in 1958. The group consists of three singing animated anthropomorphic chipmunks: Alvin, the troublemaker, who quickly became the star of the group; Simon, the tall, bespectacled intellectual; and Theodore, the chubby impressionable one. The trio is managed by their human father David. They became part of pop culture history with the hit single “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” from 1958. Who doesn’t love this song? So, they have been “reimagined” and are now on their second film (the first in 2007). So, is this a surprising cinematic gem?
The film opens as The Chipmunks are performing at a major charity concert. Alvin (Justin Long) is putting on a “big show” if not an almost dangerous show with scary climbs and whatnot. Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) are used to this and just try to keep up with their parts. Their manager Dave (Jason Lee) looks on, afraid of what is going to happen next. And what happens next? Of course, there is an accident and a huge billboard falls down on Dave.
While Dave recovers in the hospital, the chipmunks are sent to an aunt to watch. However, her hapless son injures her and then it is Toby’s responsibility to watch the young chipmunks.
The Chipmunks make it to school under Toby’s tutelage, but school is a nightmare for little furry creatures that are only about 10 inches tall. They are relentlessly bullied.
If that wasn’t enough, scorned manager Ian (David Cross) has been approached by The Chipettes, the female version of The Chipmunks. He immediately hatches a plan to have The Chipettes win in the big upcoming Battle of the Bands and totally steal the thunder away from The Chipmunks.
What is to become of the protagonists in the woeful tale of The Chipmunks and The Chipettes?
Let’s get one thing straight right away: this is solidly a kid’s flick. Not to say that you won’t find a least the first part of the film as an adult enjoyable. But, this isn’t a Pixar flick made for parents and kids alike, this one is for the kiddos.
One problem I had with this film is that there isn’t enough of The Chipmunks performing. At their heart, The Chipmunks main strength is musical performances. Take that away, and you aren’t left with very much.
So, this isn’t a Pixar quality film. Not by a long shot. But for the young ones in your family, Chipmunks wiggling and dancing might be just enough.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel is presented in a anamorphic widescreen. The level of detail is impressive and these furry little critters look pretty good in high definition. Black levels are respectable and the color palette is vibrant.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The dialogue is crystal clear and well mixed with the musical score. This is a solid presentation that compliments the fine transfer of the film well.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel is presented in a blu ray amaray case with cute picture of Alvin and company on the cover.
A number of bonus features await your discovery. First up: Munking History: 50 Years of Chipmunk Mischief, Mayhem and Music is a quick catch up on the history of these pop culture icons.
Meet the Chipettes is exactly what it sounds like it would be about. Rockin’ Rising Stars is a look at the band Honor Society that is featured in the movie. Music Mania is a making of short about the Battle of the Bands segment in the film.
The Chipmunks: Behind the Squeaking is a look at “life” with the Chipmunks. Meet the Stuffies is about the stuffed animals in the film. Shake Your Groove Thing with Rosero is a look at the dancers that provided the choreography in the film. Munk Music Machine helps you jump to the musical numbers in the film.
Music in a Nutshell: Song Trivia is exactly what it sounds like: trivia. Music Videos are you guessed it: music videos.
There is also a digital copy and standard definition transfer of the film available in this set.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Movie 5/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 7/10
Overall (not an average) 9/10