The Very First Alvin Show and Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies Star Wreck both come to DVD *** 3 Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 9/29/2009 – Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Very First Alvin Show, is the very first broadcast show of the classic Alvin and the Chipmunk series from 1961. The Chipmunks are up to mischief and their falsetto singing is what started it all. Alvin and the Chipmunks are for the very young children and those who remember growing up with Alvin and the chipmunks.
Created by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. in 1958. Alvin and the Chipmunks are three animated chipmunks who sing. Alvin, the star of the show due to his charisma and mischievous ways, Simon, the intellectual with glasses who always tries to think though what they’re doing, and Theodore, the sweetheart of the trio. They’re managed by Davide Seville, Bagdasarian’s stage name. The Chipmunks are named after the executives of their original record label. At Liberty Records the president was Alvin Bennett, The founder and owner was Simon Waronker, and the chief engineer was Theodore Keep.
Bagdasarian performed all the voices for the records by speeding up the playback to create the high-pitched voices. The voices won two Grammy Awards for engineering. Many albums were released and The Chipmunk Song became a number-one hit single in the United States. In 1972, after Bagdasarian Sr’s death, his son, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., and Janice Karman took over the voices. For the CGI/live-action film adaptation in 2007 the voices were done by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney.
The first Chipmunks DVD includes the Very First Alvin Show, A Chipmunk Reunion and Rockin Through The Decades. A Chipmunk Reunion, shown on television in 1985, has the chipmunks search for their real mom. The second special is titled The Chipmunks Present Rockin’ Through the Decades, 23 minutes with host Will Smith that aired on NBC back in 1990. Alvin and the Chipmunks singing songs from their first Christmas album in the late 50′s, with songs by big name artists, like Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Jimi and Hendrix. Alvin and the Chipmunks also take part in music videos like Beat It and Smooth Criminal.
The Very First Alvin Show looks good for 1961, but the animation is of low detail by today’s standards. A Chipmunk Reunion has some scratches and is not as vibrant, but there is much more detail to the animation. The Chipmunks Present Rockin’ through the Decades has picture quality that varies, with footage from the ’60s to the ’90s. The dialogue and music understandable.
Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies Star Wreck is a Star Trek parody with Alvin as Captain Dirk, commander of the S.S. Boobyprize, Simon as Mr. Speck, Theodore as Dr. McRay, and Brittany is Uhaha. After Dr. McRay gets abducted by an extraterrestrial family, Alvin, Simon and Brittany must rescue him.
The DVD includes 2 additional episodes: Elementary, My Dear Simon, and Chip Tracy. In Chip Tracy crme is up and his girlfriend Bess, played by Jeanette, gets kidnapped. Chip Tracy’s plan, get the bad guys and save his girlfriend. Elementary My Dear Simon is the chipmunk parody of Sherlock Holmes. To solve a burglary at a museum, Alvin, Holmes, and Simon, Watson, use there deductive skills. This episode was produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson for syndication.
The Chipmunks DVDs are suitable for entertaining young children. The older material shows its age and some of the dialog may be difficult to understand.
Distributor: Paramount Entertainment
Release date: Sept. 8, 2009
Duration: Very First 74 minutes, Star Wreck 66 minutes