Friday, 23 December 2011

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked — a Cute Film

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The Chipmunks are back and funnier than ever in this film for the family. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked features the beloved chipmunks and their female counterparts stranded on an island after some shenanigans on a vacation cruise. What follows is a very cute and pleasant film for the family.

Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), Theodore (Jesse McCartney), and their sort-of adopted father Dave (Jason Lee), who also serves as their band manager, hoped to take a relaxing cruise for their family vacation, and generously asked along the Chipettes, Jeanette (Anna Faris), Eleanor (Amy Poehler), and Brittany (Christina Applegate). Alvin, unfortunately, always the troublemaker, decides that the chipmunks should maximize their good time on the cruise and ventures out onto the decks of the ship, even though he was asked to remain in the cabin by Dave, who foresaw problems if the chipmunks wandered about.

Alvin expectedly causes a great deal of chaos on the ship, while the Chipettes are somehow provoked into a dance-off with some women.

When Dave learns of the chipmunks’ disobedience, he places them under strict rules not to misbehave, aware that another incident will cause them to be kicked off the ship.

Unfortunately for the chipmunks, they are onboard the ship with an enemy of theirs: their former manager Ian, the mascot for the ship, who wants to exact revenge on the chipmunks for firing him.

Soon after, the chipmunks find themselves in even more trouble when Alvin flies a kite which takes him and his friends overboard. When Dave sees what is developing, he attempts to rescue the chipmunks but Ian grabs hold of him to stop him, forcing both of them to virtually hangglide over the ocean.

Alvin and his friends find themselves washed up on a deserted island, and he immediately attempts to soothe his friends’ fears, assuring them that Dave will somehow find them. Alvin is unaware, however, that Dave and Ian are also stranded on the same island.

The chipmunks quickly adapt to their new surroundings, and get along rather well at first, until the pressure of the situation provokes fights between them over food. When they meet a new friend, however, named Zoe (Jenny Slate) who is well adept at island survival, they are filled with newfound hope. And even though Zoe appears to be a bit loopy from being alone on the island for so long, they take to her quickly and she shows them how best to survive the remote habitat.

Still, survival isn’t easy. For example, Simon is bitten by a bug which changes his personality into a French Romantic, and Alvin is forced to take charge, much to everyone’s surprise.

On another part of the island, Dave and Ian institute a search for the chipmunks, and Dave begins to realize just how much they mean to him.

Whether Dave finds his beloved pets/children is obviously predictable, but the film’s entertainment quality is not in this foreseen conclusion, but in the journey along the way. The movie is comprised of enjoyable musical numbers and truly comical moments that are sure to provoke a laugh from audiences of all ages.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked highlights a few important morals, such as the importance of family, love, and of working together to accomplish a positive goal. It also underlines why bad behavior should be rejected and good behavior rewarded.

When Alvin is forced to take on a more responsible role after Simon is bitten by the bug, he begins to recognize exactly how much strife he put Dave through and regrets his constant disobedience. Alvin also proves that if given the opportunity, he could rise to the occasion and be a leader, just as Dave had hoped.

Dave’s relationship with the chipmunks is more significant than that of a man and his pets. He acts as a father figure to the animals, and he approaches that role with his whole heart, completely dedicated to the well-being of his animals. He is willing to risk his own life to save the chipmunks when he sees them being carried off by their kite, and he willingly dons an unattractive homemade necklace made by Theodore just to show his love for his “son.” He also makes it clear that he does not manage the chipmunks’ money for profit, but because he loves them.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is rated G, although some moments in the film may have warranted perhaps a PG rating, including some arguably seductive dancing by the Chipettes while wearing just towels, as well as chipmunk gambling.

Overall, however, the film is enjoyable, with some positive morals and entertaining musical numbers such as “I whip my tail back and forth,” a knockoff of Willow Smith’s musical hit “I whip my hair back and forth.” Most parents should find it suitable for children of all ages.  

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