Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Review

We all had our favourite childhood TV shows growing up, with so many to choose from and with each one having their own magical powers that pulled us into whatever was happening on that TV screen. Up there with the best of them were The Chipmunks, who despite their almost other-worldly pitched voices, sucked kids in every week with their mix of comedy and sing-songs since the 50's.

Half a century on, and with a few CGI enhanced nips and tucks, The Chipmunks have taken the world by storm again, thanks to three hugely successful moves in features, and setting a precedent that has helped bring about a renaissance on the big screen for the likes of The Smurfs, Marmaduke and the upcoming Pepe Le Peu.

The third in the line of "squeakquels" sees our little heroes set sail on a luxury cruise, bringing with them their new found companions, The Chippettes (voiced by Christina Applegate, Amy Poehler and Anna Faris), as well as long-suffering dad Dave (Jason Lee), as they head off on a well-deserved break at sea. But of course, Alvin (voiced by Justin Long) has other ideas, and before long the rest of the Chipmunks are swept up in his newest tomfoolery, soon finding themselves "chipwrecked" on a desert island, miles from the cruise and their dad, with only the six of them to rely on. Cue dance numbers, a French-spouting Simon, and numerous Cast-Away and Lost references that frankly went over my head, let alone that of a 4 year-old.

It won't surprise you to hear that if you are not in the age range of say zero to eight, then this most certainly isn't a film for you. If you were a fan of The Chipmunks growing up, you probably gave in to curiosity with the first film; three films in, and it's no doubt become a wonderful tool for keeping the little ones occupied on those rainy days.

But with its colourful settings, "Chipwrecked" is sure to give kids of the right age a great time, with some heavy doses of pranks and misbehaving, rambunctious covers of songs from Lady Gaga and Destiny's Child, and some nice family messages to be learned. It's not to everyone's taste, but it never tries to be, and despite what we adults will see as cheap laughs and fingers-on-chalkboard singing, kids are sure to fall in love with The Chipmunks once again.

The Disc

The transfer of Chipwrecked is superb. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, the image looks stunning on this Blu-ray. As you would expect from an animated/CGI’d movie such as this, all across the board is pristine and crisp; everything from the sumptuous blues of the ocean, right through the multitude of colour present throughout the island sequences. Blacks are true and clear, and all the characters are well presented here in all their vibrant glory.

Sound too is very good across the board. Presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, all of the extravagant settings are well preserved here, with everything from sounds of the ship, of all the nature around the island, as well as the Chipmunks themselves, both speaking and singing. The soundtrack from Mark Mothersbaugh is well executed here, as is the song choice throughout the film. Extras are little lacklustre, despite the volume. There are some featurettes on the making of the movie, including interview clips with most of the cast, as well as some extended scenes. Outside of the obvious, kids will get hours of enjoyment from the music videos; dance tutorials to dance like their favourite characters, as well as learning how to become a Chipmunk.

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