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Alvin and the Chipmunks

Released: 2007

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 1 hr 30 min

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Tim Hill

Starring: Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson, Jane Lynch, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney

A live-action/CGI holiday comedy and musical film, based on the animated series of the same name.

The movie still manages to charm us.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 8 years ago

Director Tim Hill, the director of three really bad kids' movies, GARFIELD: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES, MAX KEEBLE'S BIG MOVE and MUPPETS FROM SPACE, tries again to tickle our children's funny bones with ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, a live-action, Christmas movie. And, although the film's production values and its live-action actors' performances are almost uniformly awful, the movie still manages to charm us, solely because of the inherent cuteness of its CGI stars, the famous singing chipmunks.

So how long has it been since Alvin, Simon and Theodore started singing their high pitched melodies ("The Christmas Song" and "The Witch Doctor") to us. A half a century as it turns out. In the end of the movie, we see all of the many record albums by the melodious chipmunks.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS can best be thought of as an extended rock video, as these three lovable animals sing their hearts out for us. The script by THE SIMPSONS MOVIE's Jon Vitti and SNOW DAYS' Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi gives lots of funny lines to the film's three CGI stars, Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), Simon (voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (voiced by Jesse McCartney).

The material given to the live-action adults is pretty lame, however. Jason Lee plays Dave, a song writer down on his luck until the chipmunks come to live with him. David Cross overacts with a vengeance as Ian, Dave's music producer. And Cameron Richardson smiles nicely as Claire, Dave's girlfriend.

Still, if you ignore everyone but the chipmunks, the movie is cute. The cinematography is chintzy and the human acting lame, but it is hard not to smile from ear-to-ear when Alvin, Simon and Theodore are hamming it up ("Last one to the door is road kill!") or singing their little hearts out for us.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS runs a little long at 1:30. It is rated PG for "some mild rude humor" and would be acceptable for all ages.

My nephew William, age 13, and his sister Liana, age 11, were in complete agreement on the film. They laughed hard and gave it ****.