Alvin and the Chipmunks (film)

Alvin and the Chipmunks (film)

Infobox Film
name = Alvin and the Chipmunks

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Tim Hill
producer = Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.
Janice Karman
Steve Waterman
writer = Jon Vitti
starring = Jason Lee
David Cross
Cameron Richardson
Jane Lynch
Justin Long
Matthew Gray Gubler
Jesse McCartney
music = Christopher Lennertz
Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.
Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.
Janice Karman
Daniel Powter (song)
Lipps, Inc. (song)
cinematography = Peter Lyons Collister
editing = Peter Berger
distributor = 20th Century Fox
released = December 14, 2007
runtime = 91 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $60,000,000
gross = $359,350,661
preceded_by = "Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks"
followed_by = "Alvin and the Chipmunks Deux"
website =
amg_id = 1:387020
imdb_id = 0952640

"Alvin and the Chipmunks" is a 2007 live-action/CGI comedy film starring Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson, Jane Lynch and the voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney. The film is based on the popular musical group and animated series of the same name. It was directed by Tim Hill who is an animator of SpongeBob SquarePants, and distributed by 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises and Bagdasarian Productions. The film was panned by critics, but was a huge financial success, being made on a modest budget of $60 million, it made nearly $220 million in North America alone and nearly $360 million worldwide, and sold 5.6 million DVD's. [ [ Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) - Box Office Mojo] ] .

Plot synopsis

The story begins in a hill backdrop in a forest during the winter. Three singing chipmunks named Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), Simon (voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (voiced by Jesse McCartney) are singing Daniel Powter's "Bad Day". Alvin complains about the food storage when he accidentally empties their stock. He then complains about his own tough life to struggle for his survival and even calls their tree a "stupid, stupid tree". Then the tree shakes; Theodore thinks that Alvin has "made the tree angry." However, the tree is chopped down (with the trio in it), netted down to a truck, and driven to Los Angeles to become a Christmas tree. Meanwhile, struggling songwriter David "Dave" Seville (played by Jason Lee), is late for his meeting at JETT Records. Dave submits his song but is rejected by executive Ian Hawke (played by David Cross), who says he hates Dave's latest song. During Dave's meeting, the chipmunks and the tree wind up in the lobby of JETT records; the trio manages to escape and get into Dave's car via a muffin basket he is carrying. When Dave gets home, he dumps the muffin basket in the garbage can and throws all his music equipment out the door. The chipmunks set about raiding his cupboards while Dave watches television. When Dave discovers them, there's a scuffle, and Alvin finally causes Dave to lose consciousness by dropping a glass jar onto his head.

When Dave wakes up, he realizes that "squirrels" can talk, but Alvin corrects him that they're chipmunks. Dave then forces them to leave his house after they introduce themselves. Dave hears the chipmunks singing The Platters' "Only You". After realizing that the trio can also sing, Alvin replies "that's not singing, this is singing", and they sing Lipps, Inc.'s "Funkytown". Enjoying their singing, Dave brings them back inside. Dave proposes a deal: if they sing his songs, they get to stay with him. Alvin then reminds him about his music equipment outside; frantically, Dave runs out in the pouring rain to retrieve the equipment.

Dave puts them to bed in an armchair; while the chipmunks sleep, their snores accumulate into a song, sparking Dave's inspiration. He writes Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s The Chipmunk Song. When Dave awakens the next morning, the chipmunks are trying to catch waffles shot out of the toaster, but when Simon tries to catch one, it drops right in front of him and he doesn't see it. Realizing Simon is nearsighted, Dave finds a tiny pair of round-framed glasses from a decorative Santa and gives them to Simon. With his new glasses, Simon can now see perfectly. The chipmunks then sing Dave's song successfully.

Dave returns to JETT records and shows Ian his surprise: the three chipmunks with his jingle in the background. Though the chipmunks sang the song perfectly earlier, they get stage fright and refuse to sing; Ian thinks Dave is crazy and leaves. While Dave drives the chipmunks home, they admit their stage fright. When Dave finally gets to his job, he begins presenting his advertising pitch about the "Goodable Energy Bar" commercial, but Simon calls him on his cell-phone: Alvin and Theodore are inside the vacuum cleaner and the house is flooding because Simon doesn't know how to turn off the sink faucet. Dave says he'll deal with the problems later and hangs up; however, when he begins his presentation, he discovers that the chipmunks have drawn all over his presentation boards. Dave decides to clean out his office, as he knows that he is fired.

Dave is furious when he gets home. As he sits the trio down for a talk (after finding Alvin taking a shower in the dishwasher), Theodore elbows onto the phone's answering machine button. A message plays that reminds Dave that he has a dinner date with his crush, Claire Wilson (played by Cameron Richardson), and she'll be arriving at 7:00. When Dave realizes that it's now 6:30, Simon tells Dave to go get food for the dinner, and he and the others will clean up the house. Much to Dave's surprise, the house is spotless when he gets home from the grocery store; however, he soon realizes that the chipmunks have simply shoved the mess into the refrigerator.

During the dinner, Alvin attempts to "help" by playing music on the CD player, dimming the lights, and making a romantic fire in the fireplace, all to Dave's embarrassment and Claire's confusion. When Claire demands to know what's going on, Dave admits, "My life is being sabotaged by talking chipmunks." Claire doesn't believe him and leaves, thinking he hasn't changed at all (a conversation earlier in the movie implied that their relationship originally failed due to Dave's immaturity).

The chipmunks realize that Dave is mad at them and feel guilty; they then get an idea and leave the house. Meanwhile, Dave, completely exasperated with the three, puts together a box with waffles, a plastic water bottle, a blanket, and holes in the lid. He begins to write a letter of apology that their living arrangement is not working out. However, he changes his mind, crumples the letter up, and tosses it on the floor, where it rolls under his bed. Realizing that the chipmunks have left the house, he begins to search for them. Eventually, he gives up and goes to sleep. It is then shown that the chipmunks have taken a Cab to Ian's mansion. After singing Dave's Christmas song, Ian is impressed and responds, "Welcome to Jett Records."

The next day at the supermarket, while Dave and the chipmunks are shopping, The Chipmunks' song plays on the store radio to Dave's amazement. Dave gets a call for Ian, who gleefully tells Dave that The Chipmunks' song--as well as their video on youtube--is a hit. A montage follows, showing The Chipmunks' increasing fame.

On Christmas Eve, Theodore tells Dave that he had a nightmare and that he wants to sleep with him. Although Dave tells Theodore that he can only if he stays on the other side of the bed; Theodore curls up on Dave's shoulder and Dave doesn't have the heart to make him leave. The next morning, Alvin and Simon wake up Dave and Theodore and they exchange gifts. Simon gets Dave a paper clip compass that he made, Alvin gets Dave his own wallet, and Theodore gives Dave a moving card with Pineapple-like images of the four as a family. Dave is firm that they are friends and nothing more, however, the chipmunks continue to insist that Dave is their family. Dave gets the chipmunks each a $100 savings bond, which they can spend in seven years, much to Alvin's displeasure. Ian bursts in (in his Santa Claus hat and carrying a bag stuffed with presents) and gives the chipmunks lots of gifts, leading them to calling him Uncle Ian and making Dave's practical gift look bad by comparison.

One week later, Ian throws a launch party for The Chipmunks' new CD. At the party, The Chipmunks perform (where they sing Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s second, "Witch Doctor"), and Ian insists to Dave that they should market the boys more to make more money. Concerned for their well-being, Dave insists that The Chipmunks are "kids" and don't need so much craziness in their lives. After warning Dave that he "never loses," Ian tells the chipmunks that Dave is holding them back and calls them "rats" behind their backs. The next day, Dave and the chipmunks have an argument; in anger, Dave tells them that if they like "Uncle Ian" so much, they should just go live with him. That night, Theodore discovers the letter Dave wrote following the dinner disaster. The chipmunks believe that Dave meant what he said to them earlier and, saddened, decide to leave Dave and go live with Ian.

Although their life with Ian starts off great (they arrive at his mansion to a room full of expensive toys and the declaration is that the only rule is that there are no rules), after they set out for their coast-to-coast tour, Ian begins to change their image completely and overwork them to the point of exhaustion. A concerned Dave calls and asks to speak to them; Ian refuses, saying that they're too busy. When he gets off the phone with Dave, he lies to the chipmunks, telling them that Dave said that he was doing great without them. After informing the chipmunks that he sent Dave a ticket to their concert and Dave sent it back, Ian privately tells his head of security to not allow Dave into the concert for any reason.

Later, Dave sees Julian Reynolds on the news, who talks about the rumors that The Chipmunks are being overworked, however, Ian has assured the press that the boys are doing just fine. Reynolds also talks about how The Chipmunks are about to set out on their global tour, starting with a concert in Los Angeles. Dave realizes that he has to put a stop to this, and sets out to get the chipmunks back.

Right before the concert is supposed to begin, a doctor says that the chipmunks can't sing because their voices have given out. Ian doesn't want to hand out refunds and orders the chipmunks to lip sync(which Simon calls "cheating"). Dave attempts to get into the concert and is helped by Claire, who provides him with her press pass. The Chipmunks begin their performance, and as Dave makes his way to the stage, he is grabbed by security. As he's being dragged away, Dave yells for Alvin. The chipmunks see Dave being taken away and realize they've been tricked; they decide that they've had enough of Ian, reveal that they were lip-syncing, and run amok, ruining the concert. Dave escapes and makes it backstage, after a scuffle with security, Ian traps the chipmunks and locks them in a cat-carrier. Dave insists to Ian that since the chipmunks ruined the concert, word will soon get out, and their popularity will decline. Ian however, remains unfazed by this, stating that because they are talking chipmunks, people will still come.

The detained chipmunks are left with Ian's luggage, next to a pile of talking Chipmunk dolls, while Ian quickly gets ready to board the plane to take the chipmunks to Paris for their next concert. Alvin tells Simon to use his brain to think of a way out. Minutes later, Ian grabs the cat carrier, hops into his chauffeured car, and starts to drive off. Dave sets after him, determined to rescue the trio. However, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore stand up on the front passenger seat of his car and egg him on. Dave stops the car after realizing that the real chipmunks are with him; Simon explains, "We're talking chipmunks, Dave. We can get out of a cat carrier.Not even hard to do it..." After admitting that they really are a family, the four drive home, by Dave letting Alvin steer, Theodore honk the horn, and Simon operate the window wipers. Later on, Ian looks into the carrier and is shocked to find three talking Chipmunk dolls instead of the real chipmunks.

Later, Claire comes over, and Dave and the chipmunks have prepared toaster waffles and champagne. Alvin tries to get the cork out of the champagne bottle, but when he succeeds, the cork flies into a glass china set, and all the liquid pours out of the bottle. Dave's patience is tested as he tries his best not to "say it". The spilled champagne then damages the power outlet, causing a blackout. Dave decides to "say it," and lets out his trademark "AAAALLLLVIIIIINNNNN!!" Alvin responds with "Okay!"

During the closing credits, a hopeless Ian is seen attempting to teach three squirrels to sing, but the squirrels do not respond, and Ian is forced down in tears as the credits continue.


* Jason Lee as Dave
* David Cross as Ian
* Cameron Richardson as Claire
* Jane Lynch as Dave's Boss (Gail)
* Chris Classic as DJ Chris Classic

Voice Talent

* Justin Long as Alvin (speaking voice)
* Matthew Gray Gubler as Simon (speaking voice)
* Jesse McCartney as Theodore (speaking voice)
* Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. as Alvin (singing voice)
* Steve Vining as Simon (singing voice)
* Janice Karman as Theodore (singing voice)


*Alvin: Alvin is synonymous with trouble. He’s charming, egotistical, arrogant, playful, and mischievous. Alvin often thinks up schemes that get him and his brothers in trouble. He is commonly known as the leader of his brothers. His signature color is red. Said in the film he is the "awesomest one." He didn't wear his famous baseball cap for most of the film, but in a magazine and at the end, he does.
*Simon: He’s the smartest of the three chipmunks. He often unsuccessfully tries to stop Alvin’s “hair-brained schemes”, but somehow always gets sucked into them. Simon is known for his round, black-rimmed glasses (because of his poor eyesight) and also for having dry sense of humor. His signature color is blue. Said in the film he is the "smart one." He flirts once in the film to a housekeeper and one of the backup dancers during "Witch Doctor."
*Theodore: Theodore is the cute, sweet, chubby, ditzy and sensitive chipmunk. He is often seen as the youngest of the three. When he gets nightmares, he asks Dave if he can sleep beside him. His signature color is green. According to Simon, he "fell out of the tree at birth". He can often be found eating various snacks.
*Dave Seville: Dave is the manager of the Chipmunks who is very strict with the boys. He is the main protagonist of the film. At first he dislikes them but eventually, he begins to love the trio like a father and thinks of them as his family. He appears to have an on and off relationship with Claire Wilson.
*Ian Hawke: The music producer and executive of JETT Records who schemes to push the Chipmunks to fame to earn money off of them. He is the main antagonist of the film. He also attended college with Dave and Claire.
*Claire Wilson: She is Dave's off-and-on love interest. As they became famous, she fell in love with the chipmunks right away, however, firstly doubted Dave's words when he tried to tell her about them. She initially thinks that David is too busy and business-oriented to handle a serious relationship, which explains their on-and-off romance. She attended college with Dave and Ian.


The film was almost entirely panned by critics, receiving only a 24% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes classifying it as "Rotten", and received only a 39 out of 100 at Metacritic, indicating "generally negative reviews", and fans of the original show complained it did not represent the Chipmunks in a respectful manner.

Despite negative critical reception, "Alvin and the Chipmunks" was released in North America on December 14, 2007 and grossed a surprising $44,307,417 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 (film), with nearly sold out showings.cite web|url= |title=Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) - Weekend Box Office Results |accessdate=2007-12-16 |publisher=Box Office Mojo] According to Box Office Guru, the first weekend was twice as much as Fox originally expected. Its second weekend was still well-$28,179,556, behind ' and "I Am Legend". Then on its third weekend, it surpassed "I Am Legend" for #2 at the box office, still behind '. The film closed on Thursday June 5, 2008, making $217,326,974 domestically and $141,560,622 overseas for a total of $358,887,596 worldwide, making it a huge commercial success considering the film relatively modest $60 million budget. According to MTV, it also has become the highest-grossing talking animal/live-action cartoon adaptation to date. It is also 20th Century Fox's highest grossing film domestically to be released in 2007.

The box-office success of the film has surprised executives of 20th Century Fox, which produced it, as much as industry analysts and especially movie critics who gave it bad reviews. Elizabeth Gabler of Fox 2000 said to "The Los Angeles Times", "I look at the numbers every day, and we just laugh." Since it cost only $55 million to produce, it is likely to be far more profitable than the two other films that it was against, "I Am Legend" and "".cite web | work=MTV Movie Blog | title="Alvin & The Chipmunks To Meet Chipettes in Sequel?" | url=| accessmonthday=18 January | accessyear=2008]

DVD release

Alvin and the Chipmunks was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 1, 2008. The DVD release is presented on a flipper 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 will be the Chip-Chip-Hooray! Chipmunk History and Hitting the Harmony featurettes and an Inside Look at Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!. The Wal-Mart edition includes a bonus exclusive music CD. The K-Mart edition includes a free junior novel of the movie. The Best Buy edition includes 3 mini plush toys of Alvin, Simon and Theodore in a collectible box.

The Blu-ray release will be presented in widescreen format on a 25GB single-layer disc authored in AVC (MPEG 4) compression with English 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital plus English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and French subtitles. Bonus content will include a digital copy for download, a Chip-Chip-Hooray! Chipmunk History featurette, a Hitting the Harmony featurette, and several high definition trailers.

The film is so far the third top-selling DVD of 2008, according to, with 5.6 million units sold and revenue of $94.4 million.

In some DVDs instead of an Inside Look at Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, the DVD has a Get Munk'd featurette, it's when the dancers of the movie will teach the viewers the action to the song The Witch Doctor.

TV Airings

The film was originally scheduled to air on Toon Disney on August 3, 2008, but because HBO wanted to air the film first, "Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman" re-aired instead. The same situation occurred August 18, 2008, only this time, "Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein" has mistakenly aired.


"Alvin and the Chipmunks 2", (introducing Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor), was announced as being in its early planning stages. It is set to be released on March 19, 2010.cite web|url=|title=Alvin and the Chipmunks Sequel Gets a Release Date!|date=2008-05-09|accessdate=2008-05-17] cite web|url=|title=Fox sets 'Chipmunks' sequel|date=2008-05-12|accessdate=2008-06-07] On July 28th, it was confirmed that Jason Lee will return as Dave Seville and Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney will return as the voices of The Chipmunkscite web|url=|title=Justin Long confirms chipmunks sequel|date=2008-07-28|accessdate=2008-07-28] . Details on who will do the voices of the Chipettes are currently rumored to be Drew Barrymore (Brittany), Joanna "JoJo" Levesque (Jeanette), and Miley Cyrus (Eleanor). Promotional images have been sold on eBay.


Kids Choice Awards:
*2008 Kids' Choice Awards: Favorite Movie (Winner)

"Young Artist Awards"':
*2008 Young Artist Awards: Best Family Feature Film (Fantasy or Musical) (Nominee)

BMI Film & TV Awards:
*2008 BMI Film & TV Awards: BMI Film Music Award (Winner)


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 "Ain't No Party" and "Get Munk'd". The second track on the album is "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas's Don't Be Late)", a remake version, with an unknown male as the voice of Dave. However, the seventh track, the rock version of the song features Jason Lee as the voice of Dave.

Video game

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.


* Instead of Alvin's eye color being blue and Simon's being grey, Simon's eyes are blue and Alvin's eyes are golden, but Theodore's eyes remain green.
* The piano that Jason Lee was playing the Chipmunk Song with, was the piano that Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. first played The Chipmunk Song.
* In this movie, Dave's house number is 1958, 1958 is when Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. first created 'Witch Doctor' and 'The Chipmunk Song'.
* In the movie Simon said "When you're a chipmunk, your parents take care of you for a week then they take off." but in the show The Chipmunks' mom left them because of bad winter.
*Alvin only wears his trademark hat twice in the film, one: when dave gives them their sweaters and two: at the end of the film where he seems to have a habit of wearing it different ways.
* Ian made a possible reference to 'The Chipmunks' original tv theme song when he said "We're the Chipmunks, for crying out loud!"


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ "Alvin and the Chipmunks"] at Metacritic

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