Case Number 10194: Small Claims Court

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: TRICK OR TREASON

Paramount // 1988 // 66 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 20th, 2006

The Charge

What is the penalty for a treasonous singing chipmunk?

The Case

First off, I don't know what's up with the title of this disc. It's taken from the full-length episode of the same name, but as far as I can tell, there is no treason to be found. Maybe Lynne Stewart did a voice of one of the girl chipmunks? Anyway, here are five assorted episodes from the antiquated Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon, all tied together with a very, very loose theme of scary monsters and other Halloween-related themes. For a few of these episodes, it's a real stretch.

* "Trick or Treason"
Alvin is desperate to join the "Monster Club," a group of cool teenagers who do crazy stuff and have fun. Thing is, there's a hefty initiation required to join, and Alvin won't be able to skate by solely on his fame as a platinum-selling singing chipmunk in a one piece. Meanwhile, Theodore befriends a deformed kid named Pumpkinhead (seriously).

* "Babysitter Fright Night"
When Dave takes off for the evening, he leaves the chipmunks with a bizarre babysitter who may or may not be an ex-female power-lifter from the Eastern Bloc. The Chipmunks don't like her one bit, and plan to send her running into the night -- but she may not be the horrendous monster they think she is.

* "Theodore's Life as a Dog"
Simon and Theodore decide the play a trick on Alvin, by making him believe Theodore has turned into some sort of a "were-dog." Unending joy and hilarity ensue.

* "Nightmare on Seville Street"
When the Chipmunks watch a scary movie, they drive Dave crazy with their incessant anxiety.

* "No Chipmunk is an Island"
The Chipmunks fantasize about what their life would be like if they were on their own, leading into three vignettes. Eventually, they realize that they are happier when together. Smashing!

I don't know if there are Chipmunks fans out there that are clamoring for a proper release of the series, but if there are, they're probably fed up with these sporadic, half-assed collections. These supposedly "themed" releases are really just a hodgepodge of episodes that happen to feature an aspect or two related to the overall motif (e.g. Halloween). So on one hand it's a screw job aimed at inhaling money, but on the other, this show is pretty lame and continued exposure to those infernal high-pitched musical numbers could drive nuns to drink.

Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 65

Perp Profile
Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 66 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* Official Site
http://www.chipmunks.com