Note: I had this movie in my Netflix Queue back when I first saw a poster for the inexplicable and inexplicably popular “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie. I can’t always be on the ball, okay?
The thing about children is that they tend not to call many of the odder moments in fiction into question. Everything is new to them, after all; they haven’t got a good grip on what “normal” is. Everything may as well be “normal”.
This sort of thing crossed my mind as I watched “The Chipmunk Adventure” for the first time as an adult. I kept in mind the fact that my sister and I rented this movie over and over one summer. And it actually scared me a little that I did not realize as a kid that whole swathes of the plot make no damn sense at all. (Not to mention that, somehow, I was able to take an hour of those squeaky voices without having my ears bleed.)
That said, this is probably the best Chipmunks movie ever. If only because it does not have any coprophagy-based humor.
The Best Parts:
5 minutes in – These might just be the most 80’s villains ever.
8 minutes in – “Holy s**t!!! Giant talking Chipmunks!!!”
(I tell ya, this particular brand of Furry Confusion will never stop being funny.)
9 minutes in – Wait, what? (Note: every time I say something like that, it is for a plot point that I did not realize did not make sense as a child).
12 minutes in – Yay product placement! In an animated film no less!
14 minutes in – Wait, what? And how did they make those dolls so fast?
19 minutes in – What?!
21 minutes in – Dude! I’m not even Mexican and this is offending the hell out of me! 😦
24 minutes in – I recently visited Bermuda during a family reunion and this depiction is 100% accurate!
28 minutes in – Time to point out that most of the songs in the movie would be really nice — if it weren’t for the ear-bleeding vocals.
32 minutes in – I’m not even Greek and this is offending the hell out of me!
But Ross Bagdasarian Jr. IS Greek. I’ll have to chalk this up to the Slater Loophole. (To quickly paraphrase, it isn’t racism if you’re making fun of your *own* ethnicity; it’s bitter self-depreciation instead.)
34 minutes in – This is probably the one reason why my sister and I watched this movie over and over.
35 minutes in – “This is the skin of a killer!” 😄
37 minutes in – OK, I get it. Those guys are bad.
38 minutes in – Obscure in-joke!
40 minutes in – You’re in Egypt? I never would have guessed!
42 minutes in – I’m not even Egyptian and this is offending the hell out of me!
Also, just WHAT does he want with the Chipettes?
44 minutes in – Wait… how? Better yet, *why?*
45 minutes in – “We liked ‘Indiana Jones’!”
46 minutes in – And now for the infamous “Getting’ Lucky” scene. Just… WHAAAAT???
50 minutes in – I’m not even Wacky Wayside Tribe-ian and this is offending the hell out of me!
53 minutes in – Antarctica is really f-ing big.
54 minutes in – This here song could easily be among the most devastating and out-of-nowhere emotional gut-punches in the history of animated films (and here I am thinking of “Jessie’s Song” in “Toy Story 2”, “Bright Eyes” in “Watership Down”, ect.) At least, it *could* be, if it weren’t for a couple of uncomfortable things:
First off, the baby Emperor Penguin would probably miss his *father* more. (For the record, this has always been one of the few things in “Bloom County” that rings false for me, although the rest of the strip is fantastic.)
More importantly: WHERE IS THE CHIPETTE’S MOM?!? WHO IS THE CHIPETTE’S MOM?!? We know that Alvin and his brothers have a biological mother out there (thanks to the emotional gut-punch that was “A Chipmunk Reunion”), but what of Britney and her sisters?
1 hour in – Has there ever been a more convoluted plan?
1 hour, 2 minutes in – I don’t even know what’s going on anymore.
1 hour, 5 minutes in – Wait a gorram minute — those creepy stalker guys were the GOOD GUYS?!?
1 hour, 7 minutes in – Evidence of simpler times.
1 hour, 9 minutes in – I’ve got a headache by now. How about you?
1 hour, 11 minutes in – “First of all, you have to explain what in the ninth level of traitors and murderers has been going on in this movie?”
1 hour, 12 minutes in – Glen Keane?!?
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“How MUCH you wanna BET we can OUT ROCK-N-ROLL YOU???” – Brittany, heralding the best scene in the movie
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Sharks will always be accompanied by deep bass. If I were a shark, and I were somehow aware of human music, I would probably say that John Williams has a lot to answer for.
* – Eagles are more interested in eating apples than eating chubby, squeaky-voiced, humanoid chipmunks.
* – Egypt is the Lost World.
* – Baby Emperor Penguins are a traditional Egyptian engagement gift.
* – Emperor Penguins live in little igloos full of repurposed My Little Pony playset furniture and they understand the concept of volley fire. Plus they’re anatomically capable of throwing things.
* – People tend not to notice large squeaky-voiced humanoid chipmunks.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? The Chipmunks, I guess?
Good Soundtrack? Yes, if you can endure the squeaky voices.
Hot Guys? Humanoid chipmunks, if that’s your thing. Hey, I’m a “Secret of N.I.M.H.” fangirl, and although I’m not one of Those “N.I.M.H.” Fans, it’s still not like I’m in any position to judge you.
Pretty Scenery? Yes.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? Yes. Glean Keane worked on this! If you do not know who he is, you are no longer allowed to read this website until you find out.
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when your ears start bleeding..
Head Movie Potential? Dude… there’s talking humanoid chipmunks!
Danny after sucking helium for an hour.
A Bagdasarian Productions Film released by the Samuel Goldwin Company in 1987. Written by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman and directed by Karman.
Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman, and Dodie Goodman.
Mutant Reviewers from Hell – “I just love the sheer ‘screw you, logic, I do what I want!’ inanity of it all.”