‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Special Edition DVD Review
‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ became a surprise box office hit in 2007 with a total worldwide gross of $260 million dollars. A lot has to do with the popularity of the Chipmunks themselves from over the years when ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ was an animated cartoon. I grew up watching the animated cartoon while it was on the air and it was rather enjoyable at the time. When I first heard that the cartoon was being translated to a big screen adaptation, I was a bit leery. This film could have gone towards terribly bad based on how Hollywood has ruined many television shows to film adaptations.
The story of the ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ film stays true to its cartoon origins with struggling songwriter David Seville (Jason Lee) meets the Chipmunks Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Jesse McCartney), and Theodore (Mathew Gray). The Chipmunks are in the forest singing Daniel Powter’s song “Bad Day” when their tree starts being cut down. The trio is on the way to Jett Records and this is where David Seville is trying to get a record deal with producer Ian Hawke (David Cross). The chipmunks find their way into a basket of muffins that David ends up taking with him as he is booted out of Jett Records.
Once the chipmunks make themselves known to David, he thinks that he is seeing things since in the real world; animals can’t have conversations with humans. David would kick the chipmunks out of his apartment, only for them to return and show him what they are really made of. Things are different in this world as the three chipmunks are actually musicians that can talk, sing, and dance. Word gets out that David has a set of singing chipmunks so Ian decides that he is going to take the claim to fame with the chipmunks as his product. The story is simple as that and very easy for all ages to follow.
The chipmunks take center stage of the film in terms of performance and entertainment. Long, McCartney, and Gray do a fantastic job with the voiceovers. Yes, sometimes I think that just about anybody could have done the voiceovers due to the sound effects added to the dialogue to give the chipmunks their voice. Lee and Cross do a good job in secondary roles as they battle it out over the trio. Both Lee and Cross don’t overpower the screen time and they allow the chipmunks to do their thing. Then there is Cameron Richardson that plays David’s girlfriend. I feel like the writers really skimped out on her and didn’t write much for her to even warrant a screen appearance.
‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ succeeds very well on the story front and this is what helps keep the viewer entertained for the full 90 minutes. There are jokes and laughter throughout the entire film and Jason Lee helps pull a lot of the comedy along. This is a great family film that everyone could sit down and enjoy without having to worry about the film catering towards one central genre. With a sequel in the works, I really do hope that the same cast returns to keep the magic alive.
The print is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are vibrant and very well done to match CGI chipmunks within the film. It no way does this film look like a cut and past job with the chipmunks. Details are very good and there is depth to the image. The nice mix of brightness and vibrant colors is where ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ excels in. The print is rather clean throughout without an blemishes.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. This is a film where the soundtrack sounds very good taking advantage of the entire soundfield with the various songs played in the background and anytime the chipmunks sang. Bass is rather deep; there is a nice dynamic range of sound across all speakers. Dialogue is very clear and well balanced through the center channel.
This new Special Edition of ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ contains a plethora of special features on two discs and a digital copy of the film.
- Deleted Scenes
- Music Videos
- Behind the Nuts Munkumentary
- The Dudes Behind the Munks Featurette
- Get Munked Featurette
- Chipmunks Live on Tour! Featurette
- Interactive Chipmunk Funk Mixer
- Digital Copy
Before you know it, ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ is over with in 90 minutes and you wonder where the time went. I recommend the film to every one of all ages as this is a nice fun filled adventure for the whole family to enjoy. With good video and excellent audio, the DVD really shines besting out even some higher budget releases in terms of quality.