Story

Alvin and the Chipmunks, directed by Tim Hill, is the story of three cheeky chipmunks (voiced by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCarthy) who find their way to the city and into the home and heart of David Seville (Jason Lee), a struggling song writer.  Once David gets over the shock of finding out that the three chipmunks can not only talk but also sing, he makes a deal that they can stay with him if they agree to sing his songs.

Alvin and Co. become an overnight success and attract the attentions of the wicked record company manager Uncle Ian (David Cross). Uncle Ian manages to woo the three chipmunks away from Dave and into a world of fame, promising to make them millionaire rock stars.  But troubles arise when the chipmunks begin to fatigue under the strenuous touring regime and yearn for the home comforts that Dave provided. 

Themes

Childhood neglect

Violence

There is little physical violence in the movie but children may be concerned when Uncle Ian, the chipmunks’ manager, bullies them and ignores their pleas for a rest when they become very tired during their music tour.

There is also some mild slapstick comedy and accidental harm, including a scene when Alvin, Simon and Theodore almost get run over by a trolley in a busy foyer.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

Younger children in this age group may be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Over 8

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Sexual references

This movie includes some suggestive song lyrics, such as, ‘Dont you wish your girlfriend was hot like me in the shower’ and suggestive words in a song heard during a romantic scene between Dave and Claire.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Adults are seen drinking alcohol on a number of occasions, including dinner, and Alvin is seen at a function spilling a glass of champagne. In another scene the three chipmunks are given a drink of coffee that makes them hyperactive.

Nudity and sexual activity

The background dancers use provocative movements and wear  outfits that reveal their midriffs.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Kitchen Aid, Campbells, Cusinart, Vitech, Crayola, Puma, Porsche, DW/Roland Music Equipment, Entertainment Tonight-Fox.

Coarse language

This movie contains some mild coarse language and several verbal put-downs.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Alvin and the Chipmunks follows a trend of movie remakes of hits in the past. This computer-generated version of Alvin and his brothers may attract many parents and grandparents on the nostalgia value of the songs, cartoons and movies that they will remember from their own childhoods. For children unfamiliar with Alvin and the Chipmunks, this movie will introduce them to the hyper energy and high-pitched singing for which the chipmunks were so well known.

The main messages from this movie are that material wealth doesn’t bring happiness and that family, commitment and caring for those you love are important. You could talk to your children about these values as well as about the effects of fame.