Movie Renter's Guide - May, 2008



"Alvin and the Chipmunks" (Blu-ray)


Dave Seville (Lee) is a starving musician, and his latest song is rejected by Jett Records. He discovers three talking chipmunks in his kitchen, stealing food. Well, if the fact they can speak is not enough, he discovers that they can sing. Their names are Alvin (Long), Simon (Gubler), and Theodore (McCartney).

So, if the world does not like his singing, maybe the world will like a chipmunk trio singing. The chipmunks are a big hit, make lots of records, and go on a world tour.

Dave's old business manager, Ian Hawke, tries to horn in on the act and exploit the trio for himself, and of course, Dave, who by now is very attached to his furry friends, can't let that happen.


  • Fox 2000
    2007, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 31 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 16 Mbps
  • English DD 5.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Directed by Tim Hill
  • Starring Jason Lee, David Cross, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Cameron Richardson, Justin Long
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No


The nice thing about singing chipmunks, is that the skills of the actors who sing for them are not important, because the voices are sped up to make them high pitched. There are plenty of musical numbers here, and the whole thing is just one big family fest.

Singing chipmunks have been around for decades, since way back when they first hit the record charts in the 1960's. The person who started the phenomenon used the stage name Dave Seville, and sung all three of the chipmunk parts by recording himself at slow speed, and then playing it back at high speed.

Jason Lee is also the star of My Name is Earl, and he sure looks different with a haircut and no moustache.


With animation, high bit rates are best if you want to show off the image details, but for some reason, they chose a very modest rate at 16 Mbps. It is a single layer disc with a few extras, so I guess the bit rate had to be low. Probably just a cost thing, since I suspect this one didn't exactly save the studios from financial ruin. At least they had an HD soundtrack, and with music being the core of the movie, that was a no-brainer.


A couple of things here, including the history of the singing chipmunks and a music featurette.