Alvin and the Chipmunks (film)

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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
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 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, Jesse McCartney, Cameron Richardson, David Cross, and Jason Lee.

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. 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]

Plot[edit]

A tree that 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 the company's executive, Ian Hawke, his former roommate, suggesting Dave give up writing songs.

The Chipmunks hop into a basket of muffins Dave stole from one of Ian's coworkers and follow him home. Once there, he discovers the Chipmunks and kicks them out, only to hear them sing "Only You (And You Alone)." He then makes a deal with them 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 romantic atmosphere, making her uncomfortable and causing her to leave. To make it up to him, the Chipmunks sing Dave's song to Ian, persuading him to sign a record deal.

The Chipmunks 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, they choose to live with Ian where they are spoiled with sweets and toys. Once they set off on a nationwide coast-to-coast tour, he takes advantage of their naïvete, working 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 vet 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 them in a cage and prepares to take them on their world tour, escaping in his limo with Dave in pursuit, but the Chipmunks have already escaped to Dave's car; he happily admits that he loves them like his own family. Meanwhile, Ian is shocked to see that the Chipmunks have replaced themselves with their merchandising dolls.

In a mid-credits scene, Ian, now unemployed, tries to make three squirrels sing "Deck the Halls" but fails. After this, a text says, "This film is dedicated to Ross Bagdasarian Sr., who was crazy enough to invent three singing chipmunks nearly 50 years ago."

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 28% based on 109 reviews, with a rating average of 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Though cutely rendered, Alvin and the Chipmunks suffers from bland potty humor and a rehashed kids' movie formula."[5] 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.[6] Joe Leydon of Variety 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";[7] the home video prediction later proved to be accurate. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times 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."[8] The critics for The Guardian and The Observer were split, with Philip French saying it is 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".[9]

Box office[edit]

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.[10] 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.[10] The sustained box-office success 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."[11] Given its $60 million budget, Alvin was far more profitable than either I Am Legend or National Treasure: Book of Secrets.[11] 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[edit]

Alvin and the Chipmunks was released for DVD and Blu-ray on April 1, 2008. The DVD release is presented on a double-sided 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.[12] The Wal-Mart edition includes a bonus exclusive music CD.[12] The Kmart edition includes a free junior novel of the film.[12] The Best Buy edition includes 3 mini plush toys of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore in a collectible box.[12]

Awards[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

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[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2/5 stars[13]

In December 2007, the album debuted at #133 on the Billboard 200. In its second week of sales, however, 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).

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[edit]

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[edit]

A soundtrack sampler was released along with the DVD of the film in a two pack sold exclusively at Walmart.[14] This features five songs produced exclusively for the soundtrack.

Track listing[15] All songs performed by The Chipmunks except noted
No.TitleWriter(s)Performing Artist(s)Length
1."Bad Day"Daniel PowterThe Chipmunks3:47
2."The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) DeeTown OG Mix"Ross BagdasarianThe Chipmunks2:34
3."Follow Me Now (featuring Jason Gleed1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks3:07
4."How We Roll"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks3:54
5."Witch Doctor (featuring Chris Classic)"Ross BagdasarianThe Chipmunks3:03
6."Come Get It (featuring Rebecca Jones1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks3:34
7."The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) DeeTown Rock Mix"Ross BagdasarianThe Chipmunks2:14
8."Funkytown"Steve GreenbergThe Chipmunks3:34
9."Get You Goin'"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks3:16
10."Coast 2 Coast"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks2:47
11."Mess Around"1"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks3:20
12."Only You (And You Alone)"Buck Ram, Ande RandThe Chipmunks2:50
13."Ain't No Party (featuring Rebecca Jones and Chris Classic1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks2:43
14."Get Munk'd (featuring Al D1)"The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.The Chipmunks3:01
Bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Performing Artist(s)Length
15."Witch Doctor Classic Version2"Ross BagdasarianThe Chipmunks2:15
16."The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) Classic Version3"Ross BagdasarianThe Chipmunks2:17
  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Certification Sales
United States Billboard 200 5 Platinum[16] 1,000,000+

Score album[edit]

The film's original score was composed and conducted by Christopher Lennertz, a fan of the Chipmunks since childhood.[17] 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[edit]

Video game[edit]

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.

Sequels[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Alvin & The Chipmunks To Meet Chipettes in Sequel?". MTV Movie Blog. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  4. ^ Kit, Borys (December 18, 2014). "'Alvin and the Chipmunks 4' Finds a Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  5. ^ "Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  6. ^ "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Metacritic. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  7. ^ Leydon, Joe (December 13, 2007). "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Variety. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 14, 2007). "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "Alvin And The Chipmunks Reviews". from The Guardian and The Observer
  10. ^ a b "Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
  11. ^ a b "'Alvin's' broad appeal pays off" Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c d "Alvin and the Chipmunks [DVD] [Eng/Fre/Spa] [2007]". Best Buy.
  13. ^ Alvin and the Chipmunks at AllMusic
  14. ^ "Customer Reviews". Walmart.
  15. ^ Alvin And The Chipmunks - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Amazon.com
  16. ^ Billboard.com - Find Music Business News Reports and RIAA Ratings
  17. ^ "A Note From The Composer," liner notes, score album, La-La Land Records LLLCD 1077

External links[edit]