Alvin and the Chipmunks (film)
|Alvin and the Chipmunks|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Hill|
Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.
|Written by||Jon Vitti
Matthew Gray Gubler
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Cinematography||Peter Lyons Collister|
|Editing by||Peter Berger|
|Studio||Fox 2000 Pictures
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||December 14, 2007|
|Running time||91 minutes|
|Followed by||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)|
Alvin and the Chipmunks is a 2007 American live-action/CGI holiday family comedy and musical film starring Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson, Jane Lynch and the voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney. The film features Alvin and the Chipmunks and is based on the animated series of the same name. It was directed by Tim Hill, distributed by 20th Century Fox and produced by Regency Enterprises and Bagdasarian Productions.
The film was panned by critics as one of the worst films of the year but was a major financial success: on a budget of $55-$60 million, it made $217 million in North America and $361 million at the box office worldwide, and was the seventh-best selling DVD of 2008, earning over $101 million.
The story begins in the back of a hill, located in a forest during the winter. The tree that the chipmunks Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), Simon (voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (voiced by Jesse McCartney) live in is cut down and driven to Los Angeles to become a Christmas tree. Once in LA, the Chipmunks meet struggling songwriter David Seville (Jason Lee) who had his latest song rejected by JETT Records executive Ian Hawke (David Cross) who was Dave's college roommate. Dave once had a relationship with his next door neighbor, Claire Wilson (Cameron Richardson). She broke up with him because she felt he was too busy, irresponsible and he had no time for her.
After winding up at Dave's interview, the Chipmunks hop into his basket and follow him home. Once at home, Dave discovers the Chipmunks, and is accidentally knocked unconscious. Upon waking, he kicks them out until hearing them sing "Only You (And You Alone)". Dave then makes a deal with them; they sing the songs he writes, and in exchange he provides food and shelter for them. However, all does not go well, as Dave's job presentation is ruined by their coloring on it, and when Alvin tries to set the mood for his dinner with Claire, things become weird and she rejects him after he tells her that "My life is being sabotaged by talking chipmunks". To make it up to Dave, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore go to Ian in an attempt to record a song and get a record deal.
Once the Chipmunks sing Dave's song to Ian, Ian signs them to the label and rehires Dave the next day. After a few singles, the Chipmunks become wildly popular. When Dave expresses concern for their well-being and insists that the Chipmunks are "kids" who don't need so much craziness in their lives, Ian convinces the Chipmunks that Dave is holding them back.
Eventually, Dave and the Chipmunks have an argument and, in anger, Dave tells them that if they like "Uncle Ian" so much, they should just go live with him. They become enchanted with Ian at first, but once they set off on a coast-to-coast tour, Ian takes advantage of their naivete, changing their image and working them constantly. Meanwhile, Dave misses the chipmunks and he wishes they would come back home. He calls Ian to see if he can talk to them but Ian refuses, and then conceals Dave's motives from the boys.
Later, the Chipmunks are wearing out, and it is all over the news. Dave, infuriated by what Ian has done to the three, decides to take matters into his own hands by infiltrating their concert at the Los Angeles Orpheum Theater.
Just before the big concert, a doctor says that the Chipmunks can't sing because their voices have given out. Ian declines to hand out refunds and orders the Chipmunks to lip sync. With Claire's help, Dave sneaks into the concert, but is grabbed by the security guards. When the Chipmunks see Dave being taken away, they realize they've been tricked, decide that they've had enough of Ian, reveal that they were lip-syncing and run amok, ruining the concert. They are soon caught by Ian just when Dave is about to rescue them. He locks them up in a cage and prepares to take them to Paris. Dave tries to convince Ian to let the boys go but Ian refuses. Ian then leaves in his limo with the boys and Dave chases them but the boys have already escaped to Dave's car. Dave immediately pulls over and admits that he loves them like his own family. Meanwhile, Ian looks in the cage and is shocked to see the boys have replaced themselves with merchandising dolls.
Sometime later, when the boys are fully accepted as part of the family, they invite Claire over for dinner again. Alvin accidentally causes a short circuit in an attempt to open a bottle of champagne. Dave is trying not to say it, but the short circuit causes a blackout in the kitchen. Dave can hold it in no longer and says it, letting out his trademark yell "ALLLLVINNN!!", to which Alvin responds with "Okay!".
An epilogue shows Ian (now unemployed and broke) with three squirrels trying to make them sing but fails to do so.
The end credits show several of The Chipmunks' past albums.
- Jason Lee as David Seville
- David Cross as Ian Hawke
- Cameron Richardson as Claire Wilson
- Jane Lynch as Gail
- Justin Long as Alvin (speaking voice)
- Matthew Gray Gubler as Simon (speaking voice)
- Jesse McCartney as Theodore (speaking voice)
- Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. as Alvin (singing voice)
- Steve Vining as Simon (singing voice)
- Janice Karman as Theodore (singing voice)
The film received generally negative reviews from film critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 27% of 100 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.4 out of 10. The site's general consensus is that "Though cutely rendered, Alvin and the Chipmunks suffers from bland potty humor and a rehashed kids' movie formula." Among the site's notable critics, 22% gave the film a positive write-up, based on a sample of 23. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from film critics, the film is considered to have "generally unfavorable reviews" with a rating score of 39 based on 23 reviews.
Variety magazine called the film a "harmless and frequently humorous trifle that might be a potent B.O. performer, if only by default, during a holiday season surprisingly short on kidpics" and noted that "homevid prospects are huge"; the home video prediction later proved to be accurate. Roger Ebert gave it two stars out of four, saying it is "about as good as a movie with these characters can probably be...at some level, the movie may even be doing something satirical about rock stars and the hype machine." The critics for The Guardian and The Observer were split, with Philip French saying its a "film that kids will love and adults will find tolerable" and Peter Bradshaw giving it one star out of five and calling it a "thoroughly brain-dead semi-animated family comedy".
Alvin and the Chipmunks was released in North America on December 14, 2007. Despite negative reviews, the film grossed $44,307,417 in 3,475 theaters its opening weekend averaging to about $12,750 per venue, and placing second at the box office behind I Am Legend, with nearly sold out showings. According to Box Office Guru, the first weekend was twice as much as Fox originally expected. Its second weekend was $28,179,556, behind National Treasure: Book of Secrets and I Am Legend. On its third weekend, it surpassed I Am Legend for #2 at the box office, still behind National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
The film closed on Thursday June 5, 2008, making $217,326,974 domestically and $144,004,149 overseas for a total of $361,331,123 worldwide, making it a huge commercial success considering the film's modest $55 million budget. The sustained box-office success of the film surprised 20th Century Fox; Elizabeth Gabler of Fox 2000 told the Los Angeles Times "I look at the numbers every day, and we just laugh." Given its budget, Alvin was far more profitable than either I Am Legend or National Treasure: Book of Secrets. According to MTV, it also became the highest-grossing talking animal/live-action cartoon adaptation until its sequel. It is also 20th Century Fox's highest grossing film domestically to be released in 2007.
Alvin and the Chipmunks was released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 1, 2008. The DVD release is presented on a flipper disc featuring both full screen (1.33:1 aspect ratio) and widescreen formats (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish and French Dolby Surround with English and Spanish subtitles. Special features include a preview of Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who!, a history of The Chipmunks, and an explanation of how the singing is created. The Wal-Mart edition includes a bonus exclusive music CD. The K-Mart edition includes a free junior novel of the movie. The Best Buy edition includes 3 mini plush toys of Alvin, Simon and Theodore in a collectible box.
The Blu-ray release is presented in widescreen format on a 25GB single-layer disc authored in AVC (MPEG 4) compression with English 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital plus English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and French subtitles. Bonus content includes the same features as the standard release, several trailers, and a digital copy for download.
In some DVDs, instead of an Inside Look at Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who!, the DVD has a Get Munk'd featurette, it's when the dancers of the movie will teach the viewers the action to the song "The Witch Doctor". The film sold a total of six million copies in 2008 grossing $101 million in DVD sales making it the seventh best selling DVD in 2008.
- 2008 Kids' Choice Awards: Favorite Movie (winner)
- 2008 Young Artist Awards: Best Family Feature Film (Fantasy or Musical) (nominee)
- 2008 BMI Film & TV Awards: BMI Film Music Award (winner)
- Main article: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The soundtrack was released November 20, 2007, three weeks before the film's opening and contains new versions of old songs such as "Witch Doctor" and "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas, Don't Be Late)" (as made famous by David Seville and The Chipmunks), cover versions of songs such as "Bad Day" (as made famous by Daniel Powter) and "Funkytown" (as made famous by Lipps Inc.) and new songs such as "Coast 2 Coast", "Get You Goin'" and "Get Munk'd". The second track on the album is "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)", a remake version, without Jason Lee as the voice of Dave. However, the seventh track, the rock version of the song features Jason Lee as the voice of Dave.
- Main article: Alvin and the Chipmunks (video game)
The video game for this film was released December 4, 2007 for the Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, and the PC, just ten days before the film was released. It was written and produced by DeeTown Entertainment.
- Main article: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
A sequel was released on December 23, 2009 in the USA, December 21 in the UK and was also released on December 26 in Australia. With the exception of Cameron Richardson and Jane Lynch, all of the primary cast members returned for the sequel and the film also re-introduced the Chipettes.
- 1.0 1.1 Alvin & The Chipmunks To Meet Chipettes in Sequel?. MTV Movie Blog. Retrieved on 18 January 2008.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) from Box Office Mojo
- Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007). IGN Entertainment. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2009-12-25.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks (Cream of the Crop). IGN Entertainment. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2009-12-25.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-12-25.
- Review of Alvin and the Chipmunks by Variety magazine
- Review of Alvin and the Chipmunks by Roger Ebert
- Alvin And The Chipmunks Reviews from The Guardian and The Observer
- 9.0 9.1 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) - Weekend Box Office Results. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2007-12-16.
- 10.0 10.1 "'Alvin's' broad appeal pays off" Los Angeles Times, 3 January 2008.
- 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 
- Official Website
- Alvin and the Chipmunks at The Internet Movie Database
- Alvin and the Chipmunks at Box Office Mojo
|Films directed by Tim Hill|
|1990s||Muppets from Space (1999)|
|2000s||Max Keeble's Big Move (2001) · Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006) · Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)|