Paramount // 2009 // 66 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // March 5th, 2009
"I touched the real Easter Bunny!"
This latest compilation of Alvin and the Chipmunks offers a brand new Easter-themed episode, which will undoubtedly cause parents to snag this disc as an Easter basket item for the child in their life who absolutely loves the obnoxious little critters with the high-pitched voices. To make the package longer than 22 minutes, four additional 11-minute stories have been thrown in to sweeten the deal. The five tales included are:
"The Easter Chipmunk": Obviously, this is the full-length Easter episode. The Chipmunks meet The Easter Bunny, and initially they're absolutely thrilled. However, Alvin starts to get greedy and runs with some very thin evidence. Alvin becomes convinced that The Easter Bunny has no right to be the star of Easter, and that the holiday should be led by an Easter Chipmunk. Alvin begins a television campaign to convince the public that Easter should be given back to the Chipmunks, and drags a reluctant Simon and Theodore into the escapade with him. There's also a bunny who sounds just like Jack Nicholson attempting to stop the chipmunks from interfering. Yes, he eventually spews out the phrase, "You can't handle the truth!" In this episode, we learn that Dave is perhaps the dumbest human being on the planet. We see him reading a book. He sets the book down next to him and says, "I think I'll watch some television. No, maybe not. I should be setting a better example for the kids. Where on earth did I put that book?"
"Snow Wrong": The local elementary school is putting on an adaptation of Snow White, and all the kids are desperate to get one of the two leading roles. Alvin lands the role of Prince Charming, and a sweet-natured girl named Brittany gets the title part. Unfortunately, a well-connected diva uses her father's influence to steal the part away from Brittany, despite the diva's considerable lack of acting talent. Can the school play possibly be salvaged, or will it be torn apart by the selfish lead actress?
"Special Kind of Champion": Alvin is having a tough time with athletics. He just can't manage to succeed at any sports, and his physical education teacher is getting rather concerned. One day, the teacher comes up with a suggestion: why doesn't Alvin try coaching instead of playing? Alvin is initially enthusiastic about the idea, and has dreams of coaching the next Carl Lewis. Alvin is crushed when he learns that he will be coaching a Special Olympics athlete. "I wanted to coach someone good," he complains. Slowly but surely, Alvin makes friends with his new pupil, and learns some lessons about tolerance. Adults will roll their eyes at the agonizing preachiness of this outing, but I realize the lessons being taught are valuable for kids.
"Thinking Cap Trap": Simon dreams of being a contestant on a "Family Feud"-style show, but agonizes over the fact that his family is simply too unintelligent to give him a shot at winning. After a while, Simon gets sick and tired of helping his dumb siblings figure out everything. So, he comes up with a scheme: An invention that will give each family member a five-day intelligence boost. Things work out marvelously at first, and Simon gives the game show producers a call. Alas, when the day of the show recording arrives, things go terribly wrong.
"Luck O' the Chipmunks": There's a new kid in school named Mickey. He's from Ireland, and he knows how to perform magic tricks. Mickey and Theodore quickly become friends, but Mickey can't seem to make friends with anyone else. In a desperate attempt to keep the only friend he has, Mickey promises to introduce Theodore to a leprechaun. Some unfortunate Irish stereotypes (which are typically confused with some Scottish stereotypes) are on display here, but otherwise this is a very typical tale with some messages about the dangers of telling lies.
I've been unimpressed with the A/V qualities of most of the Alvin and the Chipmunks DVDs, and this one is no exception. Color bleeding is evident throughout, along with an image that looks rather washed-out at times. The usual scratches and flecks are onhand, too. The 2.0 audio is mostly okay, but most of the songs sound surprisingly terrible, as if they were taken from a worn-out cassette tape. No extras are included on the disc.
Beyond that, I'm not sure what really needs to be said about this Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Mystery of the Easter Chipmunk. If you like the modern incarnation of the Chipmunks, you'll probably like the disc. Personally, I found it to be a typically tiresome and unimaginative 66 minutes of Chipmunkiness.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 66 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated