I guess there’s not much you can do when you cross a children’s cartoon series with a monster traditionally known for mauling people to death. That said, “Meet the Wolfman” is probably the weaker pairing in the Chipmunks animated movies, mainly because the writers don’t do much with Laurence Talbot and his ability to transform in to the wolfman. It only makes sense the Chipmunks would eventually come across Laurence Talbot, but I think there could have been a much more entertaining result to come from his meeting them. Talbot is played more as a menacing presence that moves in next door from the Chipmunks.
He’s mainly an angry and bitter man who hovers in the background. The movie is primarily based around Theodore who is having trouble finding his inner monster for the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde school play. He’s also having a hard time confronting a nasty bully who delights in tormenting him. While giving Eleanor a necklace, Theodore is confronted by the wolfman on the way home and bitten. Though Dave thinks nothing of it, Theodore undergoes a transformation in personality, allowing him to become more charismatic and bold, as well as utterly obnoxious and egomaniacal. Now monster crazy Alvin and pragmatist Simon look for ways to deal with Theodore as he threatens to become a werewolf on the next full moon.
“Meet The Wolfman” goes through the basic motions, showing Alvin and Simon dealing with Theodore in the utmost non-violent manner possible, all the while the wolfman sticks to the background, doing nothing more than remaining a looming threat. That’s a double shame also because Maurice LaMarche who is usually a wonderful voice actor, doesn’t have much to do as Talbot. I would have much preferred the writers portray Talbot as a more humble and docile man (as depicted in the original movies) who befriends the Chipmunks, creating a conflict as he’s revealed to be the beast in the moonlight.
The musical numbers, which are typically the charm of the Chipmunks, also feel perfunctory at times, with only two songs during the entire film. All of which aren’t too catchy. That said, “Meet the Wolfman” does have some striking animation, with some really good transformation sequences, and slick variations on the Chipmunks and chipettes. It’s also interesting to see Theodore transform overnight from a meek character in to a more daring individual overcome by this monster. “Meet the Wolfman” is a sub-par crossing of the characters, with “Meet Frankenstein” a much more entertaining dynamic. However, if you’re a completist or a parent to a werewolf fan, this will fill the appetite well.