Created for a one-shot novelty tune, Alvin and the Chipmunks morphed into a show business sensation that spanned top-selling records, a classic TV show and a string of movies. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” we trace the rise of these unlikely pop culture icons with Mark Arnold, author of “Aaaaalllviiinnn!: The Story of Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., Liberty Records, Format Films and The Alvin Show,” published by BearManor Media.
Growing up in the nineties, I would watch cartoons all day long during the weekdays; hell I pulled seven hours at school and was a grade A TV junkie, so I watched a ton of television. During the cartoons, between the toy and candy commercials, there were about thirty anti-drug and alcohol PSA’s played between the hours of three and six. Hey, mock me all you want, but those PSA’s worked and worked well on me. It’s not enough that I always found the idea of drug use disgusting, but the PSA’s that would air on television scared me straight, just as they intended.
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.
The mythical Doctor Frankenstein spent years perfecting his monster which was tragically chased in to the maniacal doctor’s castle for all eternity. Hoping to escape the hatred from the villagers, the doctor travels to Hollywood in hopes of finding a way to perfect a formula. They accidentally cross paths with Alvin and the Chipmunks who are performing at a theme park very similar to Universal and Disney. While there they accidentally interrupt the Doctor who is performing experiments on his monster.
No better way to celebrate Halloween than with David, Alvin, Simon and Theodore. As usual, the Chipmunks dynasty is always on point to celebrate any occasion. This time out they celebrate Halloween with five Halloween and horror themed animated shorts that I had a really good time with. It’s tough to dislike the Chipmunks, and even in modern times there’s just something about their misadventures and brotherly dynamic that makes them charming and entertaining. Alvin is still Alvin, and his family is still the lovable characters that either put up with his antics, or match wits with him.