If you don’t know the premise of Alvin and the Chipmunks it is likely your knowledge of popular culture since the 1950’s is generally lacking. The Chipmunk Song and The Witch Doctor song have been part of Christmas and moldy oldy radio for decades and it is probably inevitable that in the age of CGI they would find their way onto the silver screen.
Alvin and the Chipmunks falls into the bland category of completely harmless fluff that is neither good nor bad. It is an easy to watch squeaky clean “family friendly” movie that does justice to the legacy of Ross Bagdasarian, Sr (the original David Seville). The plot line is simple enough: Three talking and singing chipmunks have themselves and their tree shipped into the city and put up in the lobby of a music company. The music company is the same one where David Seville (Jason Lee) is trying to sell his songs and the chipmunks hitch a ride home with him. Naturally enough all kinds of fun ensue with David, Alvin, Simon and Theodore as well as the love of David’s life Claire Wilson (Cameron Richardson).
This is the kind of light comedy that is good for ages 5 to 10 though 10 might be pushing it a little. From the point of view of family viewing it is engaging enough that parents won’t be completely bored to tears and the kids will enjoy it. It is also the kind of movie kids will want to watch again and again so it is well worth the investment. The only downside to all of this is that the Chipmunk Song and those chipmunk voices will get stuck in your head. There are worse fates but once you have Alvin’s voice stuck on “me I want a hula hoop” for a few hours it is hard to imagine what those fates might be.