|Origin||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Genres||Pop, rock, dance, children Christmas|
|Labels||Liberty, RCA, Chipmunk, Atlantic|
|Associated acts||Alvin and the Chipmunks|
The Chipettes are a fictional group of three female anthropomorphic chipmunk singers—Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor—first appearing on the cartoon series Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1983. In this and related materials, the Chipettes served as female featured characters in their own right, starring in numerous episodes. The title of the show was changed from Alvin and the Chipmunks to simply The Chipmunks in 1988 to reflect this. In the cartoon series and the accompanying feature films, all three of the Chipettes were voiced by their creator, Janice Karman, the wife of Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. (son of Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., the creator of The Chipmunks). Karman also wrote and voiced the Chipettes' dialogue on their studio albums, while studio singers such as Susan Boyd, Shelby Daniel, and Katherine Coon provided their singing voices. In ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks, Eleanor is voiced by Vanessa Chambers, the daughter of Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and Janice Karman.
The first character designs for the Chipettes were drafted by Corny Cole for their 1983 debut. These were later revamped by Sandra Berez for The Chipmunk Adventure and the later seasons of the show.
The origins of the Chipettes can be traced to the 1982 Alvin and the Chipmunks album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood (RCA, 1981). On this album, Alvin sings a duet with a female character billed as Charlene the Chipette. Charlene is featured on the song "You're the One That I Want" from the soundtrack of the motion picture Grease. Charlene was depicted on the album cover as having a long, golden blonde ponytail, and seems to have been the basis for the later character of Brittany. She may have made a visual appearance in 1990, in Rockin' with the Chipmunks, where she danced and lip-synced in the music video for "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John. Brittany had a similar appearance (but her eye color is different) on the inside cover of the 1995 album When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk.
Like the Chipmunks, the Chipettes were originally created for the musical medium, and later crossed over into cartoons. According to their creator, Janice Karman, she and Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., "...had been doing the albums at that point... We couldn't do the girl songs. I wanted to do female chipmunks that have counter personalities to the Chipmunks so we could do some girl tunes."
Bagdasarian also added in reference to the Chipettes characters, "It enables you to deal with issues that girls are going through that boys wouldn't necessarily be dealing with... We had a baby girl at the time. We wanted to let her know she can be president, or a soccer champion, or whatever... With the Chipettes we can handle those sorts of things."
It is worth noting, however, that the Chipettes of the cartoon series (Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor) appeared on the small screen before appearing on any albums. Their first appearance on the Chipmunks album was on 1984's Songs From Our TV Shows which was released on March 4, 1984, nearly seven months after the Chipettes debuted on the first episode of the Alvin and the Chipmunks television series on September 17, 1983.
Although the Chipettes featured prominently on many Alvin and the Chipmunks albums, they received equal billing with the Chipmunks only on 1988's Born to Rock.
The Chipettes appear in the 2009 film Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. In the movie, Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Amy Poehler voice the Chipettes. “There has been a lot of talk about it,” noted Janice Karman, one of the film’s producers. “A lot of people have been asking about the little girls." Applegate, Faris, and Poehler reprised their respective roles in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which was released on December 16, 2011. The Chipettes are set to appear in the fourth movie.
With the exception of 1987's "The Chipmunk Adventure" soundtrack (LP) and 1988's "Born to Rock", the discography of The Chipettes consists of featured appearances on Alvin and the Chipmunks recordings.
- 1982: The Chipmunks Go Hollywood
- 1984: Songs from Our TV Shows
- 1987: The Chipmunk Adventure
- 1988: The Chipmunks and The Chipettes: Born to Rock
- 1988: Solid Gold Chipmunks
- 1990: Rockin' Through the Decades
- 1991: The Chipmunks Rock the House
- 1992: Chipmunks in Low Places
- 1994: Here's Looking at Me!
- 1994: A Very Merry Chipmunk
- 1995: When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk
- 1996: Club Chipmunk: The Dance Mixes
- 1998: The A-Files: Alien Songs
- 2004: Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks
- 2009: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- 2011: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked: Music from the Motion Picture
- 1994: "I Don't Want To Be Alone For Christmas (Unless I'm Alone With You)"
- 1996: "Macarena"
- "Put Your Records On"
- "Hot n Cold"
- "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
- "So What"
- "The Song" (feat. Queensberry)
- "No One" (feat. Charice)
- "Whip My Tail"
- "We No Speak Americano"/"Conga" (feat. Barnetta Dafonseca)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks (1983–1990) - TV series
- Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Amazing Computer (1985) - Stage Show
- The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)
- Rockin' Through the Decades (1990)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000)
- Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks (2004)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011)
- ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks (2015-present) - TV series
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015)
- "'Alvin And The Chipmunks' Producers Reveal 'Squeakuel' Details -- And The Chipettes Are In!". 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
- "'Justin Long Confirms 'Chipmunks' Sequel, But Will The Chipettes Be In It?'". 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
- Regarding the first and subsequent appearances of the Chipettes on television — http://www.tv.com/alvin-and-the-chipmunks/show/2827/episode.html
- Regarding Janice Karman as the primary voice actress for the Chipettes — http://www.tv.com/alvin-and-the-chipmunks/show/2827/cast.html?tag=tabs;cast
- Regarding the history of the Chipettes on The Chipmunks TV series and in the Chipmunk Adventure — http://www.chipmunks.com/history.php
- Regarding the Chipettes creation for the musical medium and their discography — http://www.roctober.com/roctober/chipmunks.html
- Janice Karman and Ross Bagdasarian Jr. on their inspiration for creating the Chipettes — http://www.mediavillage.com/jmentr/2006/09/11/Jacki-09-11-06/
- Janice Karman on the possibility of the Chipettes appearing in a sequel to the recent Alvin and the Chipmunks film — http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/01/09/alvin-the-chipmunks-to-meet-chipettes-in-sequel/
- Regarding the fictional character history of the Chipettes as outlined in various episodes of the television series — http://www.tv.com/alvin-and-the-chipmunks/show/2827/episode_guide.html