1 hour, 30 minutes
PG Parental Guidance Suggested.
for some mild rude humor.
DVD Features: Closed Caption; Chip-Chip-Hooray! Chimpmunk History featurette; Hitting the Harmony Chipmunk music featurette; Sneak peek at Horton Hears a Who!
Jason Lee ... Dave
David Cross ... Ian
Cameron Richardson ... Claire
Jane Lynch ... Gail
Justin Long ... Alvin
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Simon
Jesse McCartney ... Theodore
Jason Lee (TV's "My Name Is Earl") plays Dave Seville, a haggard ad man who longs to be a professional songwriter. His efforts are constantly thwarted by his old school buddy, Ian (David Cross "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") a sleazy recording Late one night exec. One day, three computer generated singing, dancing, and hi-jinxing chipmunks find their way into Dave's home and make a mess. When Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, the talking chipmunks are confronted, they reveal their ability to harmonize. The desperate songsmith is wowed and he lets them stay in his house on the condition that they help him sell his songs. So he writes a Christmas song for them in the hopes of hitting the big-time.
Late one night the chipmunks go over to Ian's house and sing him the song. When Ian hears the sound of these fun-loving singing creatures, he works fast and twelve hours later it is playing on the radio at the supermarket. And before long the chipmunks are superstars. The conflict arises with Ian's desire to exploit the chipmunks and turn them into overworked, overpaid, pampered rock stars. Dave, meanwhile, understands that the little guys need structure in their lives, though he strongly resists their attempts to call their relationship with him a "family."
The story written by Jon Vitti ("The Simpsons Movie") and directed by Tim Hill ("Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties") barely makes sense and most of the jokes are easy and careless. Jason Lee is completely lost, stumbling around, whiplashing back and forth between mild-mannered and manic. His main job is to yell "Al-viiin!" as often as possible. He's given a romantic interest in Claire (Cameron Richardson "National Lampoon's Dorm Daze"), a photographer who lives in his apartment complex, yet she's possibly the single least interesting romantic interest in the history of movies. But at least there's only one fart and poop joke in its brief 90 minute running time.
The movie has a surprisingly wholesome message, but for adults, the movie all but ignores reality, and for no real reason. Still the little animated rodents are cute and younger kids will be entertained.