Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
directed by Betty Thomas
(20th Century Fox, 2009)

One good film deserves a sequel -- or squeakquel, in this case. Unfortunately, for some of the audience, Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel does not live up to the fun of the first.

There are two audiences for Chipmunks films. The first are, of course, the children -- in this case, the third generation of kids who are fans of David Seville's creations. The second are the older fans who grew up with the music and the cartoons.

The kids (and in some cases, grandkids) generally seem to love this movie. There is a lot of action and fun as Alvin, Theodore and Simon (the voices of Justin Long, Jesse McCartney and Matthew Gray Gubler) rollick through high school and eventually learn some important life lessons. The older fans, like my husband and I, may well be disappointed.

Why? My husband and I, who grew up with the original Chipmunk craze, came to one conclusion: Dave is missing. In the first part of the film, Alvin manages to sideline Dave (Jason Lee) and he's only seen at the very beginning and end of the show. Instead of Dave, the trio has Dave's slacker cousin Toby (Zachary Levi) as their guardian, and Toby just didn't really care about the furkids like Dave does.

Of course, we had a return of the evil manager, Ian (David Cross), who was staging his renaissance by representing the three-girl Chipettes (voiced by Amy Poehler, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate), but they just are just pale female imitations of the Chipmunks.

If you're looking for a holiday film for the kids, this is a decent choice, though I'd actually recommend Disney's excellent The Princess & the Frog instead.

review by
Becky Kyle

9 January 2010

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