DVD Review: The Chipmunk Adventure on Paramount Home Entertainment

Check out Miss Miller riding down the freeway of Alzheimer’s in her pink Cadillac.

The Chipmunk AdventureThe 1960s novelty records featuring the high-pitched harmonies of the Chipmunks were produced (and vocalized) by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. and the initial incarnation of the Chipmunk trio taught kids to want a hula hoop and their two front teeth. In the 1980s, a decade following Bagdasarian’s death, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. took over the family business and, with wife Janice Karman, refigured the Chipmunks to want world domination. First they took their nefarious talent to Saturday morning airwaves with the Alvin and the Chipmunks series, allowing Alvin the ideal initial platform for his schemes. With solid ratings and a tie-in with Burger King (then peddling their conveniently near-meatless Burger Buddy sandwiches to the target market), Bagdasarian and Karman made their move into the nascent Disney’s territory. (In fact, he hired up a number of animators recently laid off by Disney to backlight every character in an almost noir-ish manner.)

The Chipmunk Adventure sees the sassy rodents and their separate-but-equal female clones, the Chipettes, traipsing their helium-voiced ditties around the world via, appropriately, helium balloons. Well, their ditties and millions of dollars worth of diamonds stashed away in dolls bearing their likeness. There’s some metaphorical value to be dissected in this plot point, but since the movie has already received one of the most facetious reviews ever, I’ll merely note that the people pulling the strings of the Chipmunks’ balloon escapade are Claus and Claudia, a filthy rich brother-and-sister team that would be a lot more likely to read as a crypto-incestuous duo if they both didn’t answer to the butler’s call of “Señora!”

Not one to be out-gayed, Dave Seville spends the entire movie in his pink shirt visiting all the ass there is to see in Greece—for business reasons, of course. Go figure, the chicken hawk spends all his time performing hands-on research of the statutory-rape allowances in foreign lands while his progeny break every child labor law in the book to earn him his emergency bailout fund. As close to a cult movie as any 1980s animated feature exclusively aimed at the drooly demographic ever came, Chipmunk Adventure is worth one toked-out viewing for Dody Goodman’s gratingly senile Miss Miller and her description of the trio’s daily breakfast menu: “Alvin gets the raisin bread. Simon gets the English muffin. Theodore gets the banana bread, the orange slices, the cereal, the bowl of yogurt, the peanut butter sandwich, the pancakes with gooseberry jelly, the scrambled eggs with toast…”


Full frame with serviceable sound options, as though anyone watching the movie could possibly care.


Again, I expect the gallery of pre-production artwork to get a few cursory remote flips before a hasty bailout, though there is a nice shot of Miss Miller with gorgeous, centerfold-ready dimensions. A soundtrack CD was also included, but “Cuanto Le Gusta”? Nada mucho.


Check out Miss Miller riding down the freeway of Alzheimer’s in her pink Cadillac.

 Cast: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman, Dody Goodman, Anthony De Longis, Susan Tyrrell, Frank Welker, Nancy Cartwright  Director: Janice Karman  Screenwriter: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman  Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment  Running Time: 112 min  Rating: G  Year: 1987  Release Date: April 1, 2008  Buy: Video, Soundtrack

Eric Henderson

Eric Henderson is the web content manager for WCCO-TV. His writing has also appeared in City Pages.

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