Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Blu-ray)
The world’s favourite chipmunks, Alvin, Simon and Theodore are back for some more time in the spotlight as they take on their greatest challenge yet: their first day of school. The principle is glad to have them in hopes that they’ll win this year’s singing contest for twenty-five thousand dollars to save the school’s music department. Winning might not be as easy as they think though as the chipettes join the party and give the boys a run for their money.
Growing up I was a big fan of both Saturday morning cartoons as well as after-school cartoons. Everyone knew who Alvin and the Chipmunks were and as a kid, I dug them. Their Christmas special was also a big event as the season neared (who could ever forget the lyrics to the hula-hoop song once you’ve heard it, it stays with you for life), and I will even admit to owning THE CHIPMUNK ADVENTURE where the guys and gals race around the world to collect dolls full of diamonds. But that was then and this is now. I can’t say I was even remotely enticed to watch the first live-animated chipmunk movie and though this sequel wasn’t the most awful thing I’ve had to watch, it most certainly wasn’t for me.
Now before you think I’m hating on the fellas, let me explain. This whole “Saturday morning cartoon phase” started with INSPECTOR GADGET, another cartoon I enjoyed as a kid. The problem with that film, GARFIELD and the chipmunk movies is that they came about a generation too late. If Hollywood had created these films when the cartoons were popular I wouldn’t have such a bone to pick with them, but seeing as how they waited until these characters were all but forgotten makes me angry. Sure, Hollywood’s lazy, running out of ideas and desperate for anything that’ll make a buck, but these films stink of sell-out and make me more angry than anything else.
Don’t get me wrong though, they’re cute and cuddly looking and sure to win over the hearts of children everywhere, regardless of whether or not they’ve heard of them before and that’s one area this film excels. The animation is extremely well done as is the way with which the actors respond to them, and Blu-ray make them look so lifelike you almost want to reach out at the screen to touch them. I still can’t believe Justin Long’s shelling out the vocals for Alvin and I feel infinitely bad for Jason Lee as it pains me to see him go out like this (and to add insult to injury he’s only in the film for about five minutes). Films like this are where actors and actresses go to die most days, and this makes me think of Bill Murray’s line in ZOMBIELAND where he says his only regret is GARFIELD.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL would have been cool beans…if I was ten. The three disc Blu-ray package is a nice one though as I gave the digital copy to my girlfriend (who’s still very much a kid at heart) to watch and the DVD copy to my niece and nephew who watched it three times back to back loving every second. If you’re a kid, there’s hope for this movie, so I’d say it’s a safe bet to buy if you have a family to share it with. That said, for the average moviegoer like myself there’s really nothing to see here.
Video: 1.85:1 Widescreen in 1080p with AVC codec. The animation is top notch and puts up big numbers in the cuteness category, but kids can’t really tell the difference between DVD and Blu-ray.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English, French and Spanish with the same subtitle options. The singing sounds great, but I can’t believe they used that Beyonce song “Single Ladies”. I hate that song.
Munk Music Machine (10:57): This is a complete ensemble of all the musical numbers performed by the chipmunks and the chipettes from the film for those who just want to rock.
Music in a Nutshell: Song Trivia (128:32): A cute little trivia game that plays along with the film like a commentary to test your knowledge of the songs featured.
A-l-v-i-n-n-n-n!!! Album Maker (NA): Another fun mini game for all the aspiring musicians out there that lets you create your very own chipmunk music label.
Munking History: 50 Years of Chipmunk Mischief, Mayhem and Music (9:21): Here we get a montage of all the chipmunk’s greatest hits from the past fifty years from the original cartoons, the Christmas special and all the movies from then and now.
Meet the Chipettes (8:37): Here we have the real life chipette counterparts giving us their impressions of the chipette characters and preaching a whole lot of girl-power. I think they were a smart addition to the film.
Rockin’ Rising Stars (6:21): Here we get a closer look at the guys and gals that rocked out for the film; Honour Society and Charice Pempengco. That chick has one mean set of vocals.
Music Mania (9:04): This feature feels like a bit of a filler as it highlights the final music sing-off at the school which was already present in the above Munk Music Machine.
The Chipmunks: Behind the Squeaking (9:40): Here we get a mocumentary (behind the scenes look) at what Alvin and the boys are like when the cameras are off and they’re just chillin out at home. I laughed a couple times.
A-NUT-omy of a Scene (2:39): The animation secrets are revealed as the production team introduce us to the stuffed dolls used to represent the chipmunks and explain how it all works. It’s better than staring at nothing I suppose.
Meet the Stuffies! (3:09): Here is another look at the dolls used as prop chipmunks. This was pretty much all covered in the previous feature. Lame.
Shake Your Groove Thing with Rosero (8:59): Here we have dance choreographer Rosero and his crew who show us how they came up with all the film’s cool moves.
Music Videos (17:48): And here we got one more rehash of all the musical numbers from the film introduced in “much music video” fashion with an optional sing along. Third time’s a charm I guess.
Previews: There’s also a handful of trailers, a Blu-ray commercial as well as a DVD and Digital copy of the film.