Paramount // 1983 // 173 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard // September 25th, 2008
Watch out, 'cause here they come!
Fourteen episodes, apparently selected at random, make up Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Alvinnn!!! Edition.
* "The Curse of the Lontiki": Alvin attempts to win a surfing contest, but falls foul of an ancient curse.
* "Mr. Fabulous": Theodore, not the smartest pencil in the case, foolishly signs up to wrestle Ivan the Terrible.
* "Unidentified Flying Chipmunk": Alvin, having recently watched E.T, dresses Theodore up as an alien. Unwanted probing ensues.
* "A Horse of Course": The Chipmunks get their own racehorse.
* "New Improved Simon": Alvin helps Simon to win the heart of a girl by giving him a makeover.
* "Snow Job": When Johnny Colorado, a big-shot star, throws a celebrity ski contest, Alvin desperately tries to enter.
* "Maids in Japan": When their tour of Japan flops, the Chipmunks decide to take in the local culture to try to win over their hosts.
* "Every Chipmunk Tells a Story": The tale of how Dave's piano was broken is retold from three very different perspectives.
* "Romancing Miss Stone": Alvin develops a schoolboy crush on his teacher.
* "3 Alarm Fire": The boys decide that being firemen would be good for a jape. How wrong they are.
* "Alvin's Oldest Fan": Alvin learns the value of true fans.
* "Chip Off the Old Tooth": When Theodore is too scared to go to the dentist, Simon and Alvin decide to help him out.
* "Whatever Happened to Dave Seville?": The Chipmunks thwart Dave's appearance at an awards show.
* "Cadet's Regrets": The Chipmunks enroll in the cadets, with predictably chaotic results.
Anyone of a certain age is sure to know and, with little prompting, be able to perform the theme tune to Alvin and the Chipmunks. While surfing this wave of nostalgia, said people will likely recount how great the show was and how, as youngsters, they would race home from school to watch the adventures of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.
I myself remember the Chipmunks fondly, having watched it religiously as a child. But the strange thing is, apart from the Chipmunks singing a few tunes and Dave yelling, "Alvinnn!!!," I honestly couldn't tell you what happened on the show. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Alvinnn!!! Edition reveals why my memory is so fuzzy, and, as hard as it is to admit, there's no escaping one simple, yet painful truth: the Chipmunks suck. The high-pitched singing (at least an octave higher than I recall), the crappy animation, and the rudimentary plots all add up to a totally underwhelming walk down memory lane.
It's strange how, freed of my childish innocence, Alvin and the Chipmunks just totally failed to register with me. I soon found myself preoccupied by how large these anthropomorphic Chimpunks actually are. Closer to a midget than a dwarf in size, these rodents are huge. One can only feel pity for their mother.
The 14 episodes that make up this two-disc "Collector's Set" show a real lack of creativity. After nearly three hours I'd seen the Chipmunks go skiing, get a crush on their teacher, and even be on the receiving end of some government-funded experiments. But honestly, even at ten minutes a pop, the episodes are torture. Throw in cheesy renditions of "Footloose," "Holding out for a Hero," and "Bad to the Bone," and I was ready to call in the exterminators.
The disc's 1.33:1 transfer is pretty woeful. Colors are dull, while the image frequently suffers from scratches and dirt. The mono soundtrack is an improvement on the picture quality, but still hardly noteworthy. It is at least clear, with no serious flaws.
Though my reunion with the Chipmunks didn't go quite the way I'd planned, I've got to give them some credit. To still be going, some fifty-plus years after their creation, is an impressive feat.
There's also a chance that, just as they entertained me as a child, Alvin and the Chipmunks may still play well to the younger members of the family.
They may only be fifty, but I'd recommend the Chipmunks consider early retirement.
Review content copyright © 2008 Paul Pritchard; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 173 Minutes
Release Year: 1983
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site