ALIVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
After being introduced to the world with “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and then going to school in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” Alvin and the gang are heading on a tropical cruise for a vacation with Dave and the Chipettes. Of course, they don’t spend too much time on the boat. After getting into trouble in the casino and on deck, the little rodents end up going overboard and get stranded on a desert island.
I really enjoyed the first “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie, partly because I enjoyed watching it with my kids, but also because I remember watching the old cartoons. It wasn’t untouchable source material, and the entire franchise never shied away from stooping to the latest fad and popularity. So a bit of overreaching children’s programming was always what I expected.
This third film is better than the last, especially on a new viewing on home video. Like many other films I’ve seen over the years, it works better in the comfort of my home without a bunch of screaming kids in the theater. Plus, I didn’t have to curb my children too much while they watched it, and that was a big deal for my three-year-old.
There are some really old jokes, including tired “Castaway” references. It also has some surprisingly adult references for a G-rated film, including Charlie Sheen “Winning!” lines and a nod to the honey badger. But taken for what it is – a big budget Saturday morning cartoon – it was perfectly fine family fodder.
The Blu-ray comes packaged with the DVD as well as Digital Copy, so the kids can watch it in multiple places. There’s the standard audience participation bonus features, including “Munk Music and Dance Machine” as well as some sing-along music videos. Featurettes include “Going Overboard with the Chipmunks,” “Munking Movies in Paradise,” “Everybody Munk Now!” and “Alan Tudyk: Chipmunk Apprentice.” These featurettes include in-character pretend that the CGI chipmunks are real, to a mildly entertaining effect.
Additional bonus features include two Fox Movie Channel bits, one looking at what it was like to grow up with your parents doing “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and the other as a spotlight on Jason Lee. There’s also access to the “Chipwrecked: Coloring with Chipmunks” app and a slate of extended and deleted scenes.