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Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel,” which is being released on DVD on March 30, is a great addition to the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise that began with a novelty record in the ‘50s and that included animated TV series in the ‘60s and the ‘80s. I predict that the success of the two modern Alvin movies will prompt another series within the next few years.
“Squeakquel” is a good example of well-loved characters overcoming predictable plots by acting true to form in the same way that Scooby-Doo is so popular despite the theme song of his original series telling us more than 40 years ago “we know you’ll catch that villain.” The primary appeal of the chipmunks is their high-pitched squeaky covers of popular music from genres that range from disco to heavy metal.
We also enjoy watching the hyper and mischievous trouble-maker Alvin, his studious and nerdy glasses-wearing brother Simon, and their sweet and innocent sibling Theodore try to extricate themselves from messes that often result from Alvin’s antics.
The plot of “Squeakquel” is that the same CGI versions of Alvin and his brothers that the 2007 big-screen movie introduced are enjoying the rock star status that they achieved in the first film; they are also facing the challenges associated with being eight-inch tall rodents in a high school full of full-sized human teens. They additionally meet their female counterparts known as The Chipettes.
Alvin predictably becomes one of the popular kids, excludes his brothers, and learns ultimately about the value of friendship and family. All of this occurs in the context of a battle of the bands contest that awards the winning group $25,000 for their school’s art program.
A subplot involves Zachary Levi of “Chuck” playing a slacker relative of the Chipmunks’ human guardian and manager Dave Seville; Levi’s Toby must step to care for the chipmunks after Dave is injured. He also learns important lessons about family and responsibility.
The film does mix a great deal of fun into the lesson learning; it opens with the furry dudes rocking out with a group of young musicians and includes some great segments of the chipmunks watching the “Animal Planet” series “Meerkat Manor.” Watching these little rodents scurry about the real world is equally entertaining.
The numerous special features include “Munking History,” which chronicles the chipmunks’ career, and a segment on the battle of the bands contest that discusses the young rising stars against whom Alvin and the boys compete.
I am eager to hear from other fans of Alvin and his bros; my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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