Alvin and the Chipmunks (film)
Alvin and the Chipmunks is a 2007 American 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.
|Alvin and the Chipmunks|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Hill|
|Story by||Jon Vitti|
|Based on||Alvin and the Chipmunks|
by Ross Bagdasarian
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Cinematography||Peter Lyons Collister|
|Edited by||Peter Berger|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$361 million|
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 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.
The 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, the Chipmunks meet the struggling songwriter and composer, David Seville, who has had his latest song rejected by the company's chief executive, Ian Hawke, his former college roommate and best friend, who claims that there is "no sense in writing songs that no one is ever going to sing." Dave also once had a relationship with his next door neighbor, Claire Wilson.
In the process of escaping the JETT building, the Chipmunks hop into a basket of muffins Dave stole from one of Ian's coworkers, and follow him home. Once there, Dave discovers the Chipmunks and kicks them out, only to hear them sing "Only You (And You Alone)." He then makes a deal with them; they sing the songs he writes, and he provides food and shelter for them. Unfortunately, when Dave tries to present the Chipmunks to Ian, they fail to sing to him on account of stage fright. The day worsens as Dave is dismissed as the Chipmunks ruin his job presentation by having drawn on it, thus getting him fired from his job. When Alvin tries to set the mood for Dave's dinner with Claire, things become peculiar, and she rejects Dave after he tells her about the Chipmunks. To make it up to Dave, the Chipmunks go to Ian in an attempt to obtain a record deal.
Once the Chipmunks sing Dave's song to Ian, Ian signs them to the label, and he calls Dave the next day. After a few singles, the Chipmunks become an international success. When Dave expresses concern for their well-being and insists that the Chipmunks are "children" who do not need so much craziness in their lives, Ian convinces the Chipmunks that Dave is holding them back. After a misunderstanding with Dave, they go to live with Ian. They are enchanted with Ian at first, but once they set off on a nationwide coast-to-coast tour, he takes advantage of their naïvete, changing their image and working them constantly. Meanwhile, Dave misses the Chipmunks, and he wishes that they would return. He calls Ian and asks to talk to them, but Ian declines, and then conceals Dave's motives from the Chipmunks, saying that he sent Dave tickets, but that Dave sent them back. Later, the fact that the Chipmunks are becoming worn out is all over the news. Frustrated by what Ian has done to the Chipmunks, Dave decides to take matters himself by infiltrating their concert to reunite with them.
On the night before the big concert that is to transition the coast-to-coast tour into a world tour, a vet explains to Ian that the Chipmunks' voices have worn down due to exhaustion, and suggests that they should take a lengthy rest. Rather than cancel the concert and hand out refunds, Ian advises the Chipmunks to lip sync. With Claire's help, Dave is allowed into the concert, but he is ejected by security. Witnessing the commotion, the Chipmunks realize that they've been tricked, and, deciding that they have had enough of Ian, they stall the concert. Ian locks them in a cage and prepares to take them for the world tour. Dave tries to convince Ian to let the Chipmunks go, but Ian refuses. Ian then leaves in his limo with the Chipmunks, and Dave chases them, but the Chipmunks have already escaped to Dave's car. Dave immediately pulls over and admits that he loves them like his own family. Meanwhile, Ian looks in the cage and is shocked to see that the Chipmunks have replaced themselves with international merchandising dolls.
Later that night, the Chipmunks are fully accepted as part of the family, and they invite Claire over for dinner again. Alvin accidentally creates a short circuit after having difficulty popping the cork of a champagne bottle. Though Dave decides not to say his catchphrase, the short circuit causes a blackout in the kitchen. As a result, Dave can no longer prevent it.
In a mid-credits scene, Ian, now unemployed, tries to make three squirrels sing "Deck the Halls" but fails. After this, a message says, "This film is dedicated to Ross Bagdasarian Sr., who was crazy enough to invent three singing chipmunks nearly 50 years ago."
- Justin Long as Alvin Seville
- Matthew Gray Gubler as Simon Seville
- Jesse McCartney as Theodore Seville
- Jason Lee as Dave Seville, a struggling songwriter and father figure to Alvin, Simon and Theodore
- David Cross as Ian Hawke, an executive at JETT Records
- Cameron Richardson as Claire Wilson, Dave's ex-girlfriend
- Jane Lynch as Gail, Dave's advertising boss
- Kevin Symons as Ted
- Frank Maharajh as Barry
- Veronica Alicino as Amy
- Beth Riesgraf as Mother in Store
- Adriane Lenox as Vet
- Erin Chambers as Press Coordinator
- Oliver Muirhead as Butler
- Don Tiffany as Engineer
- Lorne Greene as Director
- Greg Siebel as Photographer
- Jayden Lund as Security Guard
- Chris Classic as DJ
- Adam Riancho as French Doll
- Axel Alba as Spanish Doll
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." 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. 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"; 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." 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".
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. 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. 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." Given its $60 million budget, Alvin was far more profitable than either I Am Legend or National Treasure: Book of Secrets. 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.
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. The Wal-Mart edition includes a bonus exclusive music CD. The Kmart edition includes a free junior novel of the film. The Best Buy edition includes 3 mini plush toys of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore in a collectible box.
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||November 20, 2007|
|Genre||Pop, rock, hip hop, dance, Christmas|
|Label||Razor & Tie|
|Producer||Ali Dee Theodore|
|The Chipmunks chronology|
|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.
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.
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:
|"Witch Doctor (2007 Version)" (featuring Chris Classic)||US Billboard Hot 100||62|
|"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) (2007 Version)"||66|
|"Witch Doctor (2007 Version)" (featuring Chris Classic)||US Hot Digital Songs||16|
|"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) (2007 Version)"||28|
A soundtrack sampler was released along with the DVD of the film in a two pack sold exclusively at Walmart. This features five songs produced exclusively for the soundtrack.
|Track listing All songs performed by The Chipmunks except noted|
|1.||"Bad Day"||Daniel Powter||The Chipmunks||3:47|
|2.||"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) DeeTown OG Mix"||Ross Bagdasarian||The Chipmunks||2:34|
|3.||"Follow Me Now (featuring Jason Gleed1)"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:07|
|4.||"How We Roll"1"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:54|
|5.||"Witch Doctor (featuring Chris Classic)"||Ross Bagdasarian||The Chipmunks||3:03|
|6.||"Come Get It (featuring Rebecca Jones1)"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:34|
|7.||"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) DeeTown Rock Mix"||Ross Bagdasarian||The Chipmunks||2:14|
|8.||"Funkytown"||Steve Greenberg||The Chipmunks||3:34|
|9.||"Get You Goin'"1"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:16|
|10.||"Coast 2 Coast"1"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||2:47|
|11.||"Mess Around"1"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:20|
|12.||"Only You (And You Alone)"||Buck Ram, Ande Rand||The Chipmunks||2:50|
|13.||"Ain't No Party (featuring Rebecca Jones and Chris Classic1)"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||2:43|
|14.||"Get Munk'd (featuring Al D1)"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:01|
|15.||"Witch Doctor Classic Version2"||Ross Bagdasarian||The Chipmunks||2:15|
|16.||"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) Classic Version3"||Ross Bagdasarian||The Chipmunks||2:17|
|Soundtrack CD Sampler|
|1.||"How We Roll"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:54|
|2.||"Get You Goin'"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:16|
|3.||"Get Munk'd (featuring Al D)"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:01|
|4.||"Ain't No Party (featuring Rebecca Jones and Chris Classic)"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||2:41|
|5.||"Mess Around"||The DeeTown Syndicate for DeeTown Entertainment, Inc.||The Chipmunks||3:20|
- 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.
- 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
|United States Billboard 200||5||Platinum||1,000,000+|
- Main Title (1:07)
- I'm Late (:40)
- Ever? (2:07)
- Dave's Theme (:48)
- No More Nuts/Storing Food for the Winter (4:43)
- Rescue the Gear/Toaster Waffles (1:44)
- Leave Me Alone (2:17)
- I'll Clean Out My Office (1:35)
- Are You Awake? (1:13)
- Christmas Morning (4:09)
- Live with Uncle Ian (2:36)
- Dinner! (2:07)
- Dave Remembers/Missing the Boys (1:08)
- Get Them! (1:03)
- Dave's Phone Call (1:06)
- Theodore's Nightmare (1:05)
- I Want to Go Home (1:28)
- Alvin!!!/You'll Never Take Us Alive (4:09)
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.
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.
- "Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- "Alvin & The Chipmunks To Meet Chipettes in Sequel?". MTV Movie Blog. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- Kit, Borys (December 18, 2014). "'Alvin and the Chipmunks 4' Finds a Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- "Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Metacritic. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
- Leydon, Joe (December 13, 2007). "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Variety. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Ebert, Roger (December 14, 2007). "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- "Alvin And The Chipmunks Reviews". from The Guardian and The Observer
- "Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
- "'Alvin's' broad appeal pays off" Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2008.
- "Alvin and the Chipmunks [DVD] [Eng/Fre/Spa] ". Best Buy.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks at AllMusic
- "Customer Reviews". Walmart.
- Alvin And The Chipmunks - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Amazon.com
- Billboard.com - Find Music Business News Reports and RIAA Ratings
- "A Note From The Composer," liner notes, score album, La-La Land Records LLLCD 1077
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