Many have cried foul of George Lucas for years, claiming he ruined their childhood with the Star Wars prequel movies. That’s a load of crap. Anyone who’s said that hasn’t been paying attention to the schlock being torn for Saturday mornings past and vomited on the big screen. Alvin and the Chipmunks is yet another victim of Hollywood. While it may not have been great then, the movies certainly made them worse.
The idea for the Chipmunks came to creator Ross Bagdasarian in 1958 when playing with recording equipment. He speed the track up, making his chorus sound high pitched. Whether he thought of it himself or someone pointed it out is unknown, but at some point this sound was compared to chipmunks. It was all
down up some sort of hill from there. He created The Chipmunk Song (Don’t Be Late for Christmas), introducing the personas of Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and Dave. A few albums and cartoon series later, the cartoon everyone knows them from released.
Alvin and the Chipmunks ran from 1983 to 1990 with over 100 episodes. The premise, much like what they had been up to this point, had the Chipmunks as international singer / celebrities, showing their misadventures while they live with their adopted father, David Seville. It was never really covered how Chipmunks grew to be that big, or could talk. The show also introduced the Chipettes, Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor, female parallels of the Chipmunks. This was more concerned with their daily lives than performance aspect, though that too was shown. Towards the end of the series, running low on ideas, the Chipmunks began to parody contemporary movies such as Indiana Jones and Back to the Future.
Then, in 2007, the unthinkable happened. A CG movie version of the Chipmunks was released, followed by another, and third. Judging them only by their trailers, these movies were terrible. Don’t worry, this isn’t that last we’ve heard of them. Oh no. A fourth movie is set to release in 2015 along with a new series titled ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks (with three n’s and exclamation points).
Don’t get me wrong, when I was a kid, I loved Alvin and the Chipmunks. As an adult, I think they’re terrible and annoying. I was perfectly content leaving these characters in my memories where they belonged. Now this is just another show I feel guilty about subjecting my parents to, especially since my kids are doing the same to me. The cycle continues.
Which version of the Chipmunks do you enjoy? Trick question, the answer is none. Excited for more Chipmunks? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.
Under the wire.