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 Post subject: Alvin and the Chipmunks
PostPosted: April 12th, 2010, 5:23 pm 
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I don't ever remember anyone in the GB community mentioning Alvin in the Chipmunks in any of its incarnations, but we've talked about plenty of other '80s cartoons, so I figured it was worth putting this out here.

When I was growing up, Alvin and the Chipmunks was constantly being repeated on CBBC, and I continued to watch it into my teens when a few seasons of the show were bought by Channel 5. The cartoon is sadly no longer shown on any channel - not even cable! :o - but the three feature length animations have all had recent airings, and of course, the movies have given these characters a whole new lease of life. :D

I was expecting to hate the first movie, and actually refused to watch it for a while. But then I did watch it, and I liked it a lot. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel came out on DVD today (in this country); though I wasn't expecting it to be bad, I was prepared for the possibility, but I went out this morning to buy the DVD anyway because I couldn't wait to find out. Happily, I liked the sequel a lot too. 'Love' may be too strong a word to desrcibe how I feel about either of the movies, but I do love those characters,* and as a fan of the '80s cartoon (in which I am of course including 1990's Chipmunks go to the Movies), I thoroughly approve of what has been done with them here.

If I wanted to, I could now list all of my opinions on the '80s cartoon series, both movies and what I know about the original stuff that Ross Bagdasarian Sr. did in the 1950s. But before I do anything so geeky (me geeky?! :P), I'd like to know whether anyone else is even remotely interested.

*Actually, I love Alvin more than I care to admit. :roll:

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PostPosted: April 13th, 2010, 1:38 am 
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here just for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkr7qW03BlU


I was a fan of the cartoon more. I only remember the one were the boy meet Mr T and the back story of were the ci-ets cam from. There was also one that had the Chipmunks mom.

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PostPosted: April 13th, 2010, 9:06 pm 
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I watched them back in the mid to early 80's when Ross Jr.s revivial happened, and then caught up again in the late 80's when my youngest brothers started watching reruns on one of the local stations.

I even wrote some rather embarassing, but fun, stories with them as grown ups back around that time. I think my favorite was a four-parter where they have to go to a Central American banana republic to retrieve one of Simon's crashed satellites. It was influenced by the Carl Barks stories I'd just started to read about that time, but niether Unca Carl nor Ross Bagdasarian would have included the gunplay or the naked mud dance.

I think I'm getting a little off point, aren't it?

I think, this being when RGB was still on the air, I enjoyed it because the Chipmunks were similar archetypes to Venkman, Egon, and Ray. Simon seemed to get just a little bit of Winston's voice of common sense, but not much--if he'd talked Alvin out of his schemes too often, there wouldn't have been a show, right?

Then there's the Chipettes. It amused me greatly that when Ruby-Spears, who produced the Chipmunk cartoons in the 80's, did the original Ninja Turtles cartoon, they had a character named Irma who was basically a human dead ringer for Jeanette.

I guess it's neat that the Chipmunks have more or less stuck around for all of these years, but it still makes me cringe listening to them rap. The price of staying semirelevant, I guess.

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PostPosted: April 16th, 2010, 7:23 am 
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Fritz wrote:
Then there's the Chipettes...


They really added something to the show. I didn't much like Chipette-only episodes - I wanted to see the Chipmunks! - but my favourites were always the six of them doing stuff together. As soon as the credits started rolling the first time we watched the first movie, I turned to my brother and said they should make a sequel featuring the Chipettes. Now they have - and they have done it so well!

It's very interesting to hear Janice Karman talking about them on the DVD. She has obviously been asked whether they're just female versions of the Chipmunks, and goes on to say very much what my brother and I decided when we were thinking of ways in which the Chipettes differed from their male counterparts (yeah, we actually bothered to do that once :roll: ). Most alike are Alvin and Brittany, Janice and I happen to agree.

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I guess it's neat that the Chipmunks have more or less stuck around for all of these years, but it still makes me cringe listening to them rap. The price of staying semirelevant, I guess.


I think there's a rapping track or two on the soundtrack, but it doesn't sound so bad, and you don't hear a whole lot of Chipmunk rapping in the movie, if any (I guess I'll have to watch it again and see!). It opens with them singing Daniel Powter's 'Bad Day', which is why it got a laugh out of me in the first few seconds (the first laugh of many!). As for The Squeakquel, it is such fun to see the Chipettes doing Beyonce and Katy Perry. :D

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PostPosted: April 16th, 2010, 11:49 pm 
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I've always liked the chipmunks. "Please Christmas Don't Be Late" is still one of my favorite Christmas songs. I used to have the records of their songs!

I haven't seen the sequal but I liked the first live action movie, it didn't stray too far from the cartoon so it was enjoyable.

Their character likenesses to Peter Ray and Egon were also a point of fascination to me also.

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PostPosted: April 17th, 2010, 7:49 am 
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One thing I forgot to mention: I think it was a really, really good move making them look like real chipmunks for the movie, as opposed to short humans with rodent teeth. Of course I loved the cartoon, but as a general rule I like chipmunks to look like chipmunks; they are more attractive in the movie (shallow as that sounds!), and it's good for visual comedy too. Like when Alvin joins the school football team. :P I happen to know that the first ever picture of them, for the original 'Christmas Don't be Late' release, were cartoon caricatures of real chipmunks. The problem was, they looked a bit vicious and scary!

They recorded a hip new version of the Christmas song for the movie, but that was fine - it was all tongue-in-cheek and just for fun, and I happen to think the new version sounds pretty good. And I am afraid I absolutely love the ultra-modern-up-to-date version of 'Witch Doctor'.

jason knetge wrote:
...There was also one that had the Chipmunks mom.


There were two! In one episode, the boys decide to go looking for their mother, and they find her easily enough. I can't remember how they knew where she would be, but after a trek into the woods there she was - and then most of the episode was taken up with the emotional turmoil that ensued (well, turmoil by the Chipmunks' standards, anyway!). Meanwhile, Dave was worried the boys were leaving him forever and got the Chipettes to take him to them... Brittany and the woods didn't mix well (we do find out in the Chipettes' origin episode that they started life as domestic pets, so fair enough)... but I don't really remember too much else about it.

In a later season, their mother came to visit, and her attempts to live in a civilised household caused some contention with Dave. The resolution was that Theodore somehow got himself trapped in a fire, and they had to work together to rescue him... but anyway, that one was whole lot more light-hearted and fun, as the Chipmunks should be. :D

And ghostdiva, it doesn't sound like you love the Chipmunks quite as much as I do, but I would recommend that you watch The Squeakquel when you get the chance. It may not make your day, like it did mine, but if you liked the first movie I think you'll enjoy it. :)

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PostPosted: September 4th, 2014, 7:37 pm 
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Well, apparently a new show for the Chipmunks is certain. I make no predictions as to how much I think I'll like it - I gave that up around the mid-late 00s, when I thought I'd like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and hate Alvin and the Chipmunks. But of course, one never can help having thoughts about such things.

I have learnt to trust Ross Bagdasarian Sr. and Janice Karman for the most part, but to know that they can slip up (that hideous and senseless puppet thing called Little Alvin and the Mini-Monks is evidence of this. :shock:) The title change, from The Chipmunks and Chipettes to ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, is clearly ridiculous. :roll: I'm not crazy about the designs; I think they're too much in the middle of human and animal, which makes them look pretty freaky - but if it's a good show, I'm sure I'll get used to the look. I'm chuffed that Ross and Janice will be providing the voices, and will be very interested to see the show (I am pretty confident it will air in this country sometime next year).

I am now going to give my thoughts on Chipwrecked, which I'm sure will be of no interest to anybody. :P Despite trying to stay away from preconceptions, I was afraid this movie was going to be terrible, when the trailers were showing a lot of not much happening and Ian Hawk being there when his story was clearly finished. Now, David Cross was great and a necessary part of both the first two films, so I'm saying nothing against the actor or the character. He just doesn't work in Chipwrecked, so I was right about that, and there are a lot of other things wrong with it too - but I do enjoy it, because it has the classic sextet all hanging out together, and it could have been a lot worse.

The attempt to make Simon and Jeanette's relationship more interesting is pretty pathetic, while the interaction between Alvin and Brittany went from highly satisfying bickering to a massively disappointing missed opportunity, when Brittany is supposed to be comforting Alvin and says all the wrong things (let's plumb those depths in future, shall we?!). The quiet progression of Theodore and Eleanor's relationship, on the other hand, started out just right in The Squeakquel and continues on the right track in Chipwrecked.

'Alvittany' was actually the first cartoon couple I ever shipped for. Kylie and Eduardo's relationship has certain similarities, of course, in that it's love/hate. How interesting that both pairings are getting a new lease of life about now, at least to some extent.

Hard-core fans out there seem to be fond of saying which Chipette (it seems to be all girls) they are most like. Well, I'm an Eleanor - and I must be a hard-core fan because I wrote a fanfiction last year (I really and truly won't be offended if no one here reads it :P).

Looking back at my previous comments, I seem to have said I prefer the design of the Chipmunks in the movies. I'm not sure I'd still say the same thing... :| I don't know, I probably like them equally. And I didn't mention The Alvin Show either. Well, I think that was wonderful - so, even if this new show isn't so great, there's already plenty for me to love from over the years. ;)

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PostPosted: September 6th, 2014, 11:30 am 
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I guess the new designs could be worse. It's interesting how much they've been experimenting with the "mix" of human and animal characteristics lately; the movie designs were much more animal than the classic version; the new ones are, on the whole, more human looking...indeed, except for the little button noses, and the tails, you could be forgiven for not noticing they were supposedly woodland creatures.

(Some of the terrible stories I mentioned above had the Sevilles and Millers as surviving members of a very rare, almost extinct species of sapient chipmunks...I even had some kind of bullshit zoological designation, Eutimias Ultima, or something like that)

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PostPosted: March 9th, 2015, 10:32 am 
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Well, they're now saying that the new show will air at the end of March - and that's in the US, of course. I don't think we'll have wait too much longer in the UK. There are now a couple of preview videos on Youtube: here and here.

Some fans are absolutely thrilled with these, as the comments will attest. As for me... well, maybe I'm turning into one of those fans who find things wrong in anything new. :P Here are my gripes.

1. The 'Who's Your Daddy?' episode clip (link 2) looks like just the kind of thing they did back in 80s, except more simplistic and overstated.

2. Same thing goes for the Alvin and Brittany stuff (link 1), especially the overstated side of things. What ever happened to subtlety?!

3. The voices. They are done by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman, which is wonderful, but someone messed up on the pitching. Alvin sounds too close to Simon; Theodore sounds more like Brittany should sound, and Brittany's too deep (yes, deep!) as well. That's how it sounds to me, anyway, but I'm possibly getting a little picky there and uber-geeky to notice. :roll:

4. Eleanor is too thin. I noticed that first, and then it occurred to me that Theodore should probably be a little fuller as well.

5. With 6-7 minutes of footage, I haven't yet got used to the designs. I'm fine with them looking very nearly human (well, that's what I grew up with), and fine with them looking pretty much like chipmunks, but these children of the two I'm afraid I find rather disturbing! The ears, the hands and the body shapes look very wrong (to me) with the teeth, the tails and the T-zones. The noses epitomise my problem with the designs; too chipmunk to be human and too human to be chipmunk! :shock:

Anyway, that's what struck me from these videos. Maybe the show will be okay for me after all, and even if it's not, lots of people are really excited and a new generation can enjoy these characters (such as kids who were being born eight years ago when the first movie came out). Basic characterisation seems fine, and I daresay it'll at least have its moments, so I can't grumble too much. Well, not until I've seen a few full episodes, anyway. ;)

Edit: Looks like the 'Who's Your Daddy?' clip got removed because of copyright.

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PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 8:31 am 
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Well, after four pairs of episodes of the absurdly titled Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks, I'm considering giving up.

The ideas are there, but the problem is that Janice Karman did them all (brilliantly) about twenty years ago and now can't seem to recapture the magic, despite her daughter Vanessa or her son Michael co-writing. I only noticed one episode crediting someone else as the writer, and the idea was badly pulled off and the dialogue badly written.

It's really nice that Vanessa and Michael are involved, and Vanessa voicing Eleanor was a good idea. Of course it's good for voice variety, and she's doing the best job that she can. Unfortunately, Eleanor's characterisation has arguably suffered the most. What happened to her mature attitude, good sense and self-confidence? She isn't even being particularly kind-hearted, as one might expect from an oversimplification of that character. She's just being what you might call a typical girl, and sometimes a complete baby.

Oversimplification, I said! That's my main objection. All the characters are oversimplified and shallow. Theodore and Jeanette are both idiots. Alvin can't seem to find his hidden depths, and at times he actually bullies Theodore. Okay, in the '80s he sometimes took advantage of him a little, but he also protected him like a lioness and never let things go too far. Simon isn't given anything to do but stomp around getting annoyed at Alvin. Brittany is Brittany without the heart.

If others are enjoying it, of course that's great. A few fans on DeviantArt have been geeking out over last week's 'Alvittany moment'. Personally, I don't consider it much of a moment. He gave her a couple of kisses on the cheek to thank her for something, and she told him to stop. They had way deeper moments than that in the '80s! Fans are also saying they hope there are Eleadore and Simonette moments to come. There are plenty more episodes waiting to air, but at the moment it's not looking likely. The other two pairs have hardly interacted at all so far.

Okay, rant over. :P

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PostPosted: May 8th, 2015, 11:10 am 
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I haven't seen this yet, and Wikipedia says it hasn't even been shown in the States yet , but I feel bad that it's turning out to be a disappointment. I wonder why it hasn't made it here--maybe Nickelodeon's a little disappointed in it too.

I guess we'll see.

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