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Alvin and the Chipmunks (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Alvin and the Chipmunks2007.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTim Hill
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story byJon Vitti
Based onAlvin and the Chipmunks
by Ross Bagdasarian Sr.
Starring
Music byChristopher Lennertz
CinematographyPeter Lyons Collister
Edited byPeter Berger
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • December 14, 2007 (2007-12-14)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[1]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$60 million[2]
Box office$361.3 million[2]

Alvin and the Chipmunks is a 2007 American live action/computer animated musical comedy film directed by Tim Hill. Based on the characters of the same name created by Ross Bagdasarian Sr., the film stars Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney, with Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson, and Jane Lynch in supporting roles.

It was released worldwide on December 14, 2007, by 20th Century Fox and produced by Fox 2000 Pictures and Regency Enterprises. Alvin and the Chipmunks grossed $217 million in North America and $361 million at the box office worldwide on a budget of $60 million[3][2] and was the seventh-best-selling DVD of 2008, earning over $101 million. Despite this, the film received generally unfavorable reviews from critics.

Alvin and the Chipmunks is the first live action/animated film starring Alvin and the Chipmunks since Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks was released in 2003, as that film features puppetry used for the Chipmunks and this film features computer animation used for them. The film was followed by three sequels: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, released on December 23, 2009; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, released on December 16, 2011; and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, released on December 18, 2015,[4] all of which also received negative reviews from critics.

Plot

A tree that three young chipmunk brothers Alvin, Simon, and Theodore live in is cut down and driven to Los Angeles after JETT Records purchases it as a Christmas tree. There, struggling songwriter and composer David Seville has his latest demo rejected by JETT Records' calm and nice chief executive, Ian Hawke, his college roommate, who suggests that Dave give up writing songs. The Chipmunks hop into a basket of muffins that Dave stole from one of Ian's coworkers, and follow Dave home. Once there, Dave discovers the Chipmunks and kicks them out, only to hear them sing "Only You (And You Alone)" and "Funkytown." Dave then makes a deal with the Chipmunks to sing songs he writes in exchange for shelter. Unfortunately, when Dave tries to present the Chipmunks to Ian, they fail to sing due to stage fright. The day worsens as Dave is dismissed from his advertising job due to the Chipmunks having ruined his presentation. While hosting dinner with former girlfriend Claire, Dave struggles to hide the Chipmunks after Alvin attempts to create a romantic atmosphere, making Claire uncomfortable and causing her to leave. To make it up to him, the Chipmunks sing Dave's song to Ian, prompting Ian to sign a record deal.

The Chipmunks quickly become an international success. When Dave expresses concern for their well-being and insists that the Chipmunks are simply kids, Ian convinces them that Dave is holding them back. After a misunderstanding, the Chipmunks choose to live with Ian, who was revealed to be an evil thief who wants to keep the Chipmunks forever. Once there, he spoils them with candy and toys. Once they set off on a nationwide coast-to-coast tour, Ian takes advantage of their naïveté by overworking them constantly. Frustrated by what Ian has done to the Chipmunks, Dave decides to infiltrate their concert to reunite with them. Before their tour can begin, a veterinarian explains to Ian that the Chipmunks' voices have worn due to exhaustion and suggests that they take a long rest, but as Ian doesn't want to cancel the concert and give refunds, he advises the Chipmunks to lip-sync. With Claire's help, Dave is allowed into the concert; the Chipmunks see Dave and decide to ruin the show. Ian locks the Chipmunks in a cage and prepares to take them on their world tour, escaping in his limousine with Dave in pursuit, but the Chipmunks have already escaped to Dave's car, replacing themselves with fakes in which Ian discovers in shock. Dave happily admits that he loves them like his own family. Meanwhile, Ian discovers that the Chipmunks have escaped, costing him his wealth, fortune, and career.

Cast

Production

Initial development

Ross Bagdasarian Jr., the son of Alvin and the Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian Sr. who revived the franchise after his father's death, dreamed of making a live-action Alvin film since 1997, "and the dream has had many nightmare moments."[5] On September 17, 2004, Fox 2000 Pictures, 20th Century Fox Animation and Bagdasarian Productions announced they would collaborate to create a live-action computer-generated film starring Alvin and the Chipmunks.[6] On April 17, 2005, The Simpsons writer Jon Vitti was revealed to be writing the screenplay.[7] On January 24, 2007, it was announced Tim Hill was in talks with Fox to direct the film.[8] Chevy Chase was original considered for the role of David Seville.[9] On March 7, 2007, Jason Lee joined the project to play David Seville,[10] and Cameron Richardson signed on March 21.[11] David was a more clean-cut character for Lee than his past roles, which he appreciated.[12]

Bagdasarian and his wife, Janice Karman, had always voiced the chipmunks since they revived the franchise; however, for the film, they were replaced by younger, more well-known actors for marketing reasons.[13] For recording, the chipmunk voice actors spoke their lines slowly to be sped up to normal speed in post-production; McCartney described it as a "tedious process," where "it could take 40 takes for one line." He was such an Alvin and the Chipmunks fan that he even owned the album Chipmunk Punk (1980), and studied 1980s Alvin cartoons for his role in the film.[14]

Filming

Principal photography began on March 28, 2007,[15] making it the first film to be produced under the leadership of Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison.[16] Seville's house was built on Sunset Gower Studios and contains references to Bagdasarian Sr.'s life. The set pieces included an upright piano he used to write his songs and a flower visual he painted; the house's address number includes 1958, the year he created the chipmunk characters; and the house design is based on a cottage built in 1919, the year Bagdasarian Sr. was born.[12] In shots where Lee interacted with the chipmunks, the actor rehearsed with small stuffed animals indicating where the chipmunks would be; the animals were then removed when it was time to shoot, and he used his memory of where the animals were.[17]

CGI animation

The chipmunks were animated by Rhythm and Hues Studios, a company that previously animated creatures for projects such as Mouse Hunt (1997); The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005); and Babe (1995), which garnered Rhythm & Hues an Academy Award.[17] As with all of its past projects, Rhythm & Hues used its own software for animating Alvin and the Chipmunks, such as Voodoo and Icy, which was used for placing the CGI into live-action shots;[17] although Autodesk programs like Flame and Maya were used.[18]

According to Bagdasarian Jr., getting the look of the chipmunks suited for a live-action setting while maintaining the essence of the cartoon designs was challenging, and it took until September 10, 2006 for the artists to get it right.[19] Hill instructed the artists to make the chipmunks look realistic, but not entirely like chipmunks.[17] In addition to observing real chipmunks offered by Universal Studios, Rhythm and Hues studied all versions of the chipmunk characters from past Alvin media for conceiving, fur-texturing, and animating designs for the film.[17] Human dancers were referenced for animating the dance movements of the chipmunks, and YouTube videos of famous guitarists playing the guitar influenced how Alvin's guitar-playing was animated.[17] High-dynamic-range images of sets were also used for lighting the chipmunks to fit the live-action shots.[17] The most difficult part of integrating the CGI critters in the live-action shots was match moving for instances when they climb on Seville's head.[17] For scenes where the chipmunks interacted with props, some of them were live-action props while others, such as a paper airplane, were produced and animated with computers.[17]

Release

The first poster for Alvin and the Chipmunks was revealed online on July 4, 2007.[20] Later that month, Fox launched the official website for Alvin and the Chipmunks with only a trailer and synopsis;[21] Several games were added later on.[22] In an August 2007 survey of 750 American teens ran by eCRUSH and OTX, Alvin and the Chipmunks, alongside Saw IV, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Mama's Boy, Fred Claus, I Am Legend, and Enchanted, were the most anticipated films of the 2007 fall and winter seasons in the group.[23]

Internationally, Alvin and the Chipmunks was released in Jamaica and the Lesser Antilles on December 12, 2007;[24][25] Greece, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, and Singapore on December 13, 2007;[26][27][28][29][30] Iceland, Romania, and Turkey on December 14, 2007;[31][32][33] Bahrain, Belgium, France, Jordan, Oman, South Korea, and Switzerland on December 19, 2007;[34][35][36][37][38][39][40] Chile, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Lebanon, Kuwait, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Slovakia, Thailand, Ukraine, and the UAE on December 20, 2007;[41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53] Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Spain, the UK and Venezuela on December 21, 2007;[54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61] Ecuador on December 22, 2007;[62] Africa and Taiwan on December 28, 2007;[63][64][65][66][67] Colombia, New Zealand, and Peru on January 1, 2008;[68][69][70] Argentina, Australia, and Bolivia on January 3, 2008;[71][72][73] Brazil, Central America, and Uruguay on January 4, 2008;[74][75][76] Egypt on January 9, 2008;[77] Serbia and Montenegro on January 10, 2008;[78] Poland on January 11, 2008;[79] the Philippines on January 16, 2008;[80] Croatia and Slovakia on January 17, 2008;[81][82] India, Indonesia, and Italy on January 18, 2008;[83][84][85] the Dominican Republic on January 24, 2008;[86] Denmark and Sweden on February 1, 2008;[87][88] the Netherlands on February 6, 2008;[89] Finland and Norway on February 8, 2008;[90][91] Slovenia on February 14, 2008;[92] Vietnam on March 14, 2008;[93] and Japan on September 13, 2008.[94]

Reception

Predictions

Months before its release, bloggers predicted Alvin and the Chipmunks to be terrible due to the involvement of the director of Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006);[95][96] the writers of the Ice Age films, Robots (2005) and Big Momma's House 2 (2006);[96] and the poor quality of previous live-action adaptations of old cartoons.[95]

Critical reviews

Rotten Tomatoes reported that "critics say this may be the weakest vehicle for the helium-voiced rodents yet," elaborating, "the pundits say despite a few laughs, this is pretty bland stuff: dated, weakly constructed, and lacking in three-dimensional characters of the human or CGI variety."[97] As of November 2016, the film holds a score of 28% of 109 critical reviews being fresh,[98] and has a normalized rating of 39/100 based on 23 professional reviews.[99] However, it had a far more favorable audience reception, as indicated by its CinemaScore grade of an A.[100] Alvin and the Chipmunks is an "occasionally rancid but mostly just dull film that isn’t as excruciating as Garfield: The Movie," concluded Creative Loafing;[101] and Total Film summarized it consists of "trite family values, mediocre CGI and a shallow anti-exploitation message."[102] News & Review summarized Alvin and the Chipmunks as "disposable junk that’ll probably be forgotten in a month,"[103] but Philip French wrote that "kids will love it and I found it tolerable."[104]

Critics called its plot "predictable,"[105][106] "pencil-thin,"[102] "over-familiar,"[107] "paper-thin,"[108] "strictly by-the-numbers,"[109] "airplane fodder,"[110] and in "formulaic Disney Channel territory."[111] Jeff Vice wrote, "Even at a relatively scant 92 minutes, the film feels a little padded. And again, relying on lowest common-denominator humor is a sure sign of desperation on the part of the three credited screenwriters."[112] Explained the Daily Mirror, "things like storyline and character development are barely in evidence with the whole point of the movie being to keep the chipmunks on screen."[113] The most common censure was the film's satire on commercialism, which was hypocritical due to being bombarded with popular brands, including the chipmunks themselves.[114][115][108][116][117][118][119][107] Explained Burr, the film's message "is torn between the glitz that sells and the homilies that endure."[120] Slant Magazine, somewhat enjoyed Alvin of the Chipmunks for being "intermittently cute," and "you may even appreciate it as a music-industry satire;"[121] and The Globe and Mail writer Stephen Cole called its non-musical segments "pretty funny and absolutely adult-friendly" while more annoyed by the chipmunks singing.[122] The Toronto Star also thought the unoriginal plot was made up for by endless "entertaining antics,"[106] and a San Francisco Chronicle critic found "a few funny moments" in the mostly "soulless" content, such as a joke making fun of lip-syncing in live performances.[116] Anna Smith also highlighted its "cartoonish visual comedy," and "the ’munks themselves are pretty cute: their nimbly choreographed version of Funky Town is a hoot, and chubby Theodore is bound to elicit “aahhs” as he snuggles up to Dave after having nightmares."[107] Los Angeles Times was also favorable towards the film's "sweetness."[123]

Several film reviewers praised Cross' performance as the villain.[124][110]
Several film reviewers praised Cross' performance as the villain.[124][110]

Explained Ty Burr, "the script leans heavily on the pranks and big-eyed cuteness of the li'l guys and leaves the live actors with unfunny dialogue and nothing to do."[120] According to The New York Times, "its animated protagonists are egregiously eclipsed by the live-action characters."[110] Chicago Reader criticized the "cardboard" characters of David Seville and Ian Hawke.[114] Some critics disliked Lee's under-acting,[125][126][112][127] particularly his underwhelming yelling of the word "Alvin!"[128][115][124][123] In Premiere's view, "Jason Lee makes for a sympathetic Dave, yet there's an almost somnambulistic quality to his performance;"[128] and Vice wrote that Lee's "rather 'cartoony' acting style here leaves a lot to be desired."[112] However, Lee's acting did have some supporters for working as a likable protagonist,[113][107][129] such as Time Out, a source that thought his "wry approach lends an edge to some of the script’s wittier moments."[117] Some reviewers praised Cross' performance,[124][110][130][116][113][125] such as Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic who called the villain the highlight of the film: "Cross is hilarious in everything he does, but he's surprisingly effective in a kids comedy. His villainy is so broad that it's never really scary, and he's so funny that you never tire of seeing him on-screen."[105] However, one reviewer, Tim Robey, admitted to being annoyed by Cross in the film.[119] Premiere called Richardson "sufficiently adorable and winsome, though the film's purity makes it difficult to imagine any sort of romantic entanglement."[128] Wrote Roger Ebert, "Jason Lee and David Cross manfully play roles that require them, as actors, to relate with empty space that would later be filled with CGI."[131]

As stated in a review from The Philadelphia Inquirer, "the values and the CGI are good."[132] Some critics praised the chipmunk protagonists,[114][115] Vice writing they were "integrated pretty well into the live-action elements."[112] The A.V. Club, stated "the manic Chipmunks wear out their welcome pretty quickly,"[126] some critics described the animation as "too bland"[124] and "adequate yet underwhelming,"[133] and Slant Magazine criticized the "static" compositing of CGI animals into live-action shots.[121] Cole also commented on the shot composition, "you've got regulation-height dancers and musicians backing a singing group the size of kids' mittens."[122] "As rendered here by the average-looking CGI effects, the characters are underwhelming in their appeal, lacking the charm of their previous animated incarnations," summarized The Hollywood Reporter.[129] Some reviewers, including Ebert, also panned the lack of distinction between the chipmunks.[131][132] However, Variety thought there was a "persuasive interaction of human and digital co-stars."[125]

Critic Roger Moore praised Alvin and the Chipmunks for the interactions between David Seville and the chipmunks, and references to previous Alvin media.[134] Wade Major appreciated its "momentary burst of nostalgia" from the presentation of how "Christmas Don't Be Late" was created.[111] CinemaBlend was very favorable, calling it "easily their best [film], getting back to where it all began: a down on his luck musician and three singing chipmunks."[135] Goodykoontz opined that "the songs are catchy, and some of the videos and marketing that Ian devises to sell more product are funny (or at least cute). They don't quite rise to the level of corporate satire, but this isn't really the audience for that, anyway."[105] Premiere called it unique from other family films for being "sweet, innocent fare that's strictly for the kiddies," elaborating, "the film contains a healthy dose of uplifting lessons on what it means to be a family. At times funny, and even occasionally witty, Alvin and the Chipmunks is a lively, entertaining romp that will certainly bring smiles to the young ones this holiday season."[128]

Response towards Cross

Negative fan responses as well as a joke about Cross' involvement in Alvin and the Chipmunks made in a blog by Patton Oswalt (pictured) influenced Cross to write on his blog about why he worked on the film.
Negative fan responses as well as a joke about Cross' involvement in Alvin and the Chipmunks made in a blog by Patton Oswalt (pictured) influenced Cross to write on his blog about why he worked on the film.

Cross' appearance in Alvin and the Chipmunks was negatively received by fans of the comedian, The New York Observer reporting blog comments that called him a "smug, condescending asshole" and "a huge prick."[136] On December 10, 2007, comedian Patton Oswalt published a writing on his MySpace blog titled "Godawful/Thank God," where he revealed he and Brian Posehn were approached for the part of Ian for Alvin and the Chipmunks; he made the following remark in the post: "We both threw the script across the room in disgust. David Cross caught it."[137]

All of this prompted Cross to publicly discuss his involvement with the film on his website The Bob and Davider on December 31, 2007.[138] He explained that he actually was offered the role before the casting team approached Oswalt and Posehn, but rejected. He got the offer again after six months of failing to find acting work and having a down payment on a cottage in the middle of Sullivan County, New York due; this time, he accepted the role out of desperation.[138] He also admitted in the post he never saw the film, and hoped that his post "hopefully lessens some of the sense that I'm some kind of whore sell-out who doesn't care about anything but making money."[138] The post only garnered more bad comments on blog stories about it: a Defamer reader commented that it was "the shittiest fucking defense since the Nuremberg trials," an A.V. Club user stated that "he's digging his own grave, professionally," and a Stereogum reader thought he "wouldn’t mind if [Cross] dies."[136]

Oswalt responded to the post via The A.V. Club on January 2, 2008. He revealed that the comment towards Cross was nothing more than a "snide, private in-joke between us" that referenced a comment Cross made at a party in New York in March 2006; Cross had just received the script for Failure to Launch and stated, "Man, they sent me that script, and I read ten pages and threw it across the room." He called blog comments that responded to Cross' writing "very entertaining," but also concluded, "I don't care what any of my friends – or, for that matter, enemies – does to pay the bills. I think my role in this is finished, so it's up to someone else to mention your massive cash donations to Operation Rescue, or your upcoming tour with Toby Keith."[137]

When it came to responses from professional writers towards Cross' behavior in the debacle, Jeff Bergstrom of BrooklynVegan opined that "no explanation was needed; a person needs work. And to be honest, I found his 5 part response to be a mega-invaluable resource for learning what Cross has been up to these days."[139] Gawker stated the post "will effectively quash any burgeoning feud between two of our favorite comedians—especially since Cross demonstrated the above-referenced respect for his Pixar-blessed peer by not noting Oswalt's longtime involvement in King of Queens."[140] C. Robert Cargill, on the other hand, thought that while Cross gave "pretty good reasons" in his post, "he forgot that he could drop some really biting sarcasm in the place of a 1000-word diatribe" and "lost" in responding to Oswalt.[141]

Playlist was very harsh, calling Cross' post an "extremely lengthy and tedious defense" and that "at least Jason Lee had the good sense to take the pay check and shut the fuck up."[142] Writing for The A.V. Club, Steve Hyden called Cross' blog post a "snide, dishonest, and largely unsuccessful attempt" to deflect the harsh responses thrown at him. He cited similar public statements Cross made when involved in previous projects, such as when he discussed being in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Bombshell" with Time Out Chicago; he elaborated, "Even at his funniest Cross is distant, cold, untouchable; he either can't admit to the occasional lame moment in his own life or he honestly believes he's above the foibles the rest of us idiots are guilty of every day."[143]

A week after Cross published on his blog, The New York Observer interviewed him and reported that he "seemed genuinely hurt by the criticism he was being subjected to online." Cross stated while being interviewed:[136]

There’s no small part of people wanting to call you on your shit. And I think some of it’s deserved on my part, but I also think a lot of it isn’t. I think a lot of it is lazy and not really thoughtful. Look, do I really think that Lobsterboy103 thinks that I’m ‘evil’? Of course not … But it’s just the Internet, you know. It’s tippity-tappity-tippity-tap … [here he mimics simian typing] … Done. Hit send.

In 2014, Flavorwire named Oswalt's snide remark in the MySpace blog the 30th harshest comedian-on-comedian insult of all time.[144]

Accolades

Fox submitted Alvin and the Chipmunks to the Academy Awards for a Best Animated Feature before the film had a theatrical run required for the award;[145] it wasn't nominated. Upon the announcement of the submitted films, Brad Brevet of ComingSoon.net question the submission of a live-action/animated film like Alvin: "I mean, why wouldn’t Transformers then be considered animated?"[146] While the Movieguide Awards named Alvin and the Chipmunks the third best family film of 2007,[147] PopMatters called it the second worst film of the year.[148] It was also named one of 2007's worst pictures by science fiction writer John Varley.[149] In 2011, Entertainment Weekly ranked Alvin and the Chipmunks the third worst live-action/animation hybrid film of all-time.[150] In terms of lists regarding the worst talking animal films of all time, both Complex and Screen Rant named it eleventh worst.[151][152] In 2013, it was ranked by GamesRadar the 48th worst Christmas movie ever.[153] In 2016, Box Office Prophets ranked it the fifth worst live-action film based on a cartoon.[154] The film also won a Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie, a BMI Film & TV Award for Film Music, and was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Family Feature Film (Fantasy or Musical).

Box office

Alvin and the Chipmunks was released in North America on December 14, 2007. The film grossed $44.3 million 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.[155] Its second weekend was $28.2 million, 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, but still ranked behind National Treasure: Book of Secrets. The film closed on Thursday June 5, 2008, making $217.3 million in the US and $144 million overseas for a total of $361.3 million worldwide.[155] The sustained box-office success surprised the studio; Elizabeth Gabler of Fox 2000 told the Los Angeles Times, "I look at the numbers every day, and we just laugh". Given its $60 million budget, Alvin was far more profitable than either I Am Legend or National Treasure: Book of Secrets.[156] According to MTV, it also became the highest-grossing talking animal/cartoon adaptation until its sequel. It is also 20th Century Fox's highest-grossing film in the US to be released in 2007.[3]

Home media

Alvin and the Chipmunks was released on DVD in North America, Greece, and Mexico on April 1, 2008;[157][158][159][160] Hong Kong on April 10, 2008;[161] the United Kingdom on April 14, 2008;[162] and Taiwan on November 24, 2008.[163] On Blu-ray, the film was issued in the United States on April 1, 2008;[164] Portugal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom on April 14, 2008,[165][166][167] Germany on April 25, 2008;[168] Australia on June 18, 2008;[169] Norway and Sweden on July 2, 2008;[170][171] South Korea on July 7, 2008;[172] Brazil on July 10, 2008;[173] Finland on July 11, 2008;[174] Hong Kong on July 18, 2008;[175] Taiwan on August 8, 2008;[176] France on November 19, 2008;[177] Denmark on December 19, 2009;[178] Canada on March 29, 2011;[179] Mexico on October 16, 2011;[180] and Spain on November 16, 2011.[181] Also on April 1, 2008, a Blu-ray "gift set" that included dolls of all the three chipmunks alongside the movie was released.[182] On Amazon Prime, the film was originally released in standard definition on March 30, 2010[183] before being issued in HD on September 18, 2012;[184] and it was made available on Movies Anywhere on October 12, 2017.[185]

Various home collections of Alvin and the Chipmunks films have been released by Fox, all of which at least have the first film. Blu-ray sets including both Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Squeakquel (2009) were released in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2010,[186] France on April 23, 2010,[187] Germany on May 7, 2010,[188] Sweden on May 12, 2010,[189] Australia on June 2, 2010 (an edition that came with a Digital file of both films),[190] and North America on March 5, 2013.[191][192][193] Blu-ray sets that feature the first two Alvin films plus Chipwrecked (2011) were released in Finland on March 23, 2012,[194] the United Kingdom on April 2, 2012 (which came with digital files of all films),[195] Germany on April 20, 2012,[196] Australia on May 30, 2012,[197] Sweden on June 13, 2012,[198] the United States on March 5, 2013,[199] Mexico on the same day,[200] and Canada on October 8, 2013.[201] A collection of the trilogy was released on the iTunes Store on December 11, 2012.[202] Blu-rays including all four Alvin films, including The Road Chip (2015), were released in Hong Kong on April 14, 2016,[203] Finland on June 6, 2016,[204] Sweden on June 7, 2016,[205] the United States on October 4, 2016,[206] and Canada on February 7, 2017.[207] Sets of the four films were also released as DVDs in Hong Kong on April 14, 2016,[208] Taiwan on May 13, 2016,[209] and the United States on February 7, 2017;[210] and as an iTunes collection on March 4, 2016.[211]

Not counting releases that include sequels, Fox released three three-film sets in the United States that included Alvin and the Chipmunks: a Kids and Family Blu-ray set that also featured Ice Age (2002) and Night at the Museum (2008), released on June 24, 2008;[212] a Family 3-Pack where Alvin came with Ice Age and its sequel, The Meltdown (2006), released to Blu-ray on November 18, 2008;[213] and a Triple Feature DVD where Alvin came with Flicka (2006), and Space Chimps (2008) released on April 6, 2010.[214] Fox also issued a Blu-ray collection featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks, Marmaduke (2010), and Home Alone (1990).[215] On March 30, 2018, Fox released an iTunes Store collection featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks, Ice Age, Horton Hears a Who! (2008), Rio (2011), and The Book of Life (2014).[216]

Soundtrack

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedNovember 20, 2007 (2007-11-20)
GenrePop, rock, hip hop, dance, Christmas
Length48:17
LabelRazor & Tie
ProducerAli Dee Theodore
The Chipmunks chronology
Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks
(2004)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2007)
Christmas with The Chipmunks (2008 reissue)
(2008)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Sampler

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 Lee as the voice of Dave. The soundtrack is the first album to be released in three years by Bagdasarian Productions, and is the group's 43rd album overall. Four songs from the album have charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of over one million copies.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2/5 stars[217]

In December 2007, the album debuted at #133 on the Billboard 200. In its second week of sales, the album jumped to #67 on the chart.

The album's highest peak was #5 on the Billboard 200, making it the group's highest on the chart album since Chipmunks in Low Places (which peaked at #21). Following Alvin and the Chipmunk's DVD release, the soundtrack went back into the top ten from number 16 to number five with a 111% sales increase; it sold 51,000 copies of what was its 18th week on the chart,[218] and was the issue's greatest gainer.[219]

The album has been certified Platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 1,000,000 copies in the United States. By doing this, the album has become the group's first RIAA-certified album since Chipmunks in Low Places (which also went Platinum). Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack has become the Chipmunks' third Platinum album and sixth RIAA-certified album total.

Songs

Four songs from the album managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 during the month of December 2007. By doing this, it became the group's first charting songs in 47 years ("Alvin for President" became the last charting single for the group; it peaked at #95 in 1960). Despite this feat, none of the songs were released as singles or ever solicited to mainstream radio (although it is possible that kid-oriented radio stations, such as Radio Disney, might have played them anyway) and charted solely because of high digital downloads caused by the anticipation of the group's film, Alvin and the Chipmunks.

The four songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 (and with the chart peaks included and the songs' Hot Digital Songs peaks) were:

Song Chart Position
"Witch Doctor (2007 Version)" (featuring Chris Classic) US Billboard Hot 100 62
"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) (2007 Version)" 66
"Bad Day" 67
"Funkytown" 86
"Witch Doctor (2007 Version)" (featuring Chris Classic) US Hot Digital Songs 16
"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) (2007 Version)" 28
"Bad Day" 51

Track listing

A soundtrack sampler was released along with the DVD of the film in a two pack sold exclusively at Walmart.[220] This features five songs produced exclusively for the soundtrack.

Track listing[221] All songs performed by The Chipmunks except noted
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Bad Day"Daniel Powter3:47
2."The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) DeeTown OG Mix"Ross Bagdasarian2:34
3."Follow Me Now (featuring Jason Gleed1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:07
4."How We Roll"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:54
5."Witch Doctor (featuring Chris Classic)"Ross Bagdasarian3:03
6."Come Get It (featuring Rebecca Jones1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:34
7."The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) DeeTown Rock Mix"Ross Bagdasarian2:14
8."Funkytown"Steve Greenberg3:34
9."Get You Goin'"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:16
10."Coast 2 Coast"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.2:47
11."Mess Around"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:20
12."Only You (And You Alone)"Buck Ram, Ande Rand2:50
13."Ain't No Party (featuring Rebecca Jones and Chris Classic1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.2:43
14."Get Munk'd (featuring Al D1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:01
Bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
15."Witch Doctor Classic Version2"Ross Bagdasarian2:15
16."The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) Classic Version3"Ross Bagdasarian2:17
Soundtrack CD Sampler
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."How We Roll"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:54
2."Get You Goin'"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:16
3."Get Munk'd (featuring Al D)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:01
4."Ain't No Party (featuring Rebecca Jones and Chris Classic)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.2:41
5."Mess Around"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.3:20
  • 1Denotes original song
  • 2Performed by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. as David Seville. This version is technically without the Chipmunks.
  • 3Featuring Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. as David Seville (speaking only) and the singing voice for Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

Personnel

  • Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. — lead guitars and the spoken voice of Dave on track 2 and the sung vocal of Alvin
  • Steve Vining — bass on track 8 and the sung vocal of Simon
  • Janice Karman — the sung vocal of Theodore
  • Jason Lee — spoken voiceover on track 7 (as "David Seville")
  • Justin Long - spoken voiceover on tracks 7 (as "Alvin")
  • Matthew Gray Gubler — spoken voiceover on tracks 7 (as "Simon")
  • Jesse McCartney — spoken voiceover on tracks 7 (as "Theodore")
  • Jason Gleed — guest vocals and rhythm guitars
  • Chris Classic — secondary guest lead vocals
  • Rebecca Jones — tertiary guest lead vocals
  • Ali Dee Theodore — keyboards, bass (except track 8) and drum programming
  • Alana Da Fonseca — uncharacterized backing vocals
  • Joey Katsaros — manipulation of original concept album samples and uncharacterized backing vocals
  • Zach Danzinger — live drums and uncharacterized backing vocals
  • Vinny Alfieri — uncharacterized backing vocals
  • Andy Richards — string synthesizer on track 4, piano on track 8
  • Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. — piano on track 15, the singing voice of Dave on track 15, and the spoken voice of Dave, as well as singing voices for Alvin, Simon, and Theodore on track 16
  • Aaron Sandlofer —keyboards, bass, guitar, drums & uncharacterized backing vocals

Charts

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Certification Sales
United States Billboard 200 5 Platinum[222] 1,000,000+

Score album

The film's original score was composed and conducted by Christopher Lennertz, a fan of the Chipmunks since childhood.[223] La-La Land Records released a limited edition album on September 19, 2008.

  1. Main Title (1:07)
  2. I'm Late (:40)
  3. Ever? (2:07)
  4. Dave's Theme (:48)
  5. No More Nuts/Storing Food for the Winter (4:43)
  6. Rescue the Gear/Toaster Waffles (1:44)
  7. Leave Me Alone (2:17)
  8. I'll Clean Out My Office (1:35)
  9. Are You Awake? (1:13)
  10. Christmas Morning (4:09)
  11. Live with Uncle Ian (2:36)
  12. Dinner! (2:07)
  13. Dave Remembers/Missing the Boys (1:08)
  14. Get Them! (1:03)
  15. Dave's Phone Call (1:06)
  16. Theodore's Nightmare (1:05)
  17. I Want to Go Home (1:28)
  18. Alvin!!!/You'll Never Take Us Alive (4:09)

Marketing

Video game

The video game for this film was released December 4, 2007 for the Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, and the PC. It was written and produced by DeeTown Entertainment.

Sequels

A sequel, titled Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, was released on December 23, 2009. Zachary Levi joined the cast to replace Jason Lee due to his small role and because of his role on My Name Is Earl; the main cast members reprised their roles for the sequel and the film also re-introduced the Chipettes. A third film, titled Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, was released on December 16, 2011. A fourth film, titled Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, was released on December 18, 2015.

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External links

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