The Chipmunk Adventure

The Chipmunk Adventure ★★★½

Being a child of the 80's - Alvin and the Chipmunks spent a decent amount of time as my favorite Saturday Morning Cartoon - so when it was announced that there was going to be a Big Screen Film Adaptation I begged my parents to see it, and in my opinion - IT RULED. Rocking songs, amazing set pieces and globe hopping locales - it was everything my young brain wanted. Once I got a little bit older - I put it on the shelf and forgot about it for 3 decades. When my son was old enough to appreciate the film - I played it for him and was totally blown away by the adult humor, innuendo, and questionable sexualization of the Chippettes - but lets dive into that later...

The film begins with the the boys : Alvin, Simon and Theodore being left home with their babysitter Mrs. Miller- who also cares for the Chipettes - while he is on business in Europe. While playing video games at the local diner - they are lured into a smuggling scheme by a questionable Brother and Sister team of criminals (with seriously questionable incestual undertones) in which the boys and girls will have a hot air balloon race around the world - exchanging little dolls filled with diamonds along the way. During their dangerous globe hopping race around the world they find themselves in countries like Mexico, Greece, France, India and Egypt - all pretty viciously culturally appropriated - all the while unaware that they are not only being pursued by the criminal underworld - but Interpol as well. Will they survive this race long enough to declare winner? Watch and find out!

Produced independently my Ross Bagdasarian JR. (the voice of Dave Seville and son of the Chipmunks inventor) - he quickly found himself underwater on the production - as he had hired a team of former Disney Animators who had been fired after the commercial failure of The Black Cauldron. Having to turn to overseas financiers to finish the film - it is said that many a set piece had to be cut from the film, and there are many scenes where the animation quality varies. Critically it fared well enough, but it wasn't until years after the home video release that we began hearing from parental groups about the sexualized outfits and dance numbers involving the child chipmunks. As for the racial and ethnic representations of the countries that the chipmunks explore - they are definitely problematic in today's lens - but I strongly recommend a viewing of this film for the sake that it even exists. Let's not forget the epic and amazing score by Randy Edelman that is still recognizable to this day. Check it out!

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