The year was 1983. Disney introduced Americans to The Disney Channel and Tokyo Disneyland to the Japanese, The Red Hot Chili Peppers had released their first solo album, and Vanessa Williams became the first African-American Miss America. In addition, McDonald's introduced us all to Chicken McNuggets, kids were now being "DARE"-d to say "no" to drugs, and Michael Jackson released "Thriller", the most popular music video ever made. Over 10 years ago, novelty song guru Ross Bagdasarian died from a cardiac arrest, leaving his son Ross Bagdasarian Jr. in charge. At this time he had released a new wave album that was a successful enough to see more albums and higher ratings for an old 1960s cartoon series. This led to a Chuck Jones-directed animated Christmas special in 1981, which was successful enough to lead us all into one of the most universally appealing cartoon series, 1980s or otherwise. This show is known as...



Coming in around the same time Tom Brokaw was appointed the lead anchor of NBC Nightly News, NBC's Saturday morning lineup got the ever-popular "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Inspired by "The Alvin Show" which bombed during its run in the 1960s, that series' life in reruns led Ross Bagdasarian Jr. to try a revival of the concept. Likely due to the death of Walt Disney in 1966 and no one had much insight in how to make animation evolve, the 1980s had very few creator-driven cartoons, but the 1980s and the Chipmunks seemed to become an ideal match; suddenly the Chipmunks had a brand new continuing legacy during the decade which gave us…a lot of the best everything, really. Not only that, but it was also the only cartoon made by Ruby-Spears that lasted more than two seasons. We've seen cartoon ideas come from the darnedest of places, but despite such a humble origin, this series gave us all a second Chipmunk generation, and now the Chipmunks are seen to be as '80s as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.






What's the appeal? Well, the premise behind "Alvin and the Chipmunks" is it features three chipmunk brothers, all being raised like typical human boys in a suburban home by a novelty songwriter named David Seville. At the same time, having given Dave his first true successful single (the famous “Witch Doctor”), and learning that they care about each other as a family, the Chipmunks also have a career singing in concerts as a boy band known as "Alvin and the Chipmunks". Most of the time the series usually involves the central characters getting into some type of jam, usually some hair-brained scheme that Alvin makes, and then they need to find some way out. Also introduced in this series is the Chipettes, a band of female Chipmunk sisters each of which is a romantic partner of the Chipmunks.



In all honesty, I think I very much prefer the 1980s series to the older "Alvin Show"--it features a tighter story structure than the 1960s series which in nature was more akin to sketch comedy, it seems to have a higher animation budget, the Chipmunks all seem to have a different voice per character, and if nothing else, Simon and Theodore seem more like actual characters instead of just being 'the two that behave while Alvin causes mischief'. Oh, and the female demograph. Can't forget that.



Alvin Seville (Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.) is the lead singer of the Chipmunks. Alvin is the oldest of the three and loves roller coasters--physically and otherwise, he loves to challenge the ordinary. He loves to try having his luck with women. Alvin's got an ego the size of a small planet (if that giant "A" on his shirt means nothing else), is prone to going ballistic if something goes wrong and telling him "no" is merely telling him to constantly ask until he finally gets what he wants. This might make him seem like he's kind of a jerk and/or a brat, but we know he's got a heart of gold and he cares about his brothers a lot. Back in 2002 TV Guide named him #44 on their picks for the Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All-Time. Probably my favorite of the Chipmunks, he is named after Alvin Bennett, the president of Liberty Records (the record company that produced their albums).



Simon Seville (Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.) is the booksmarts of the Chipmunks. He's supposedly the middle child and serves as the source of logic and reason between his brothers. He has a rather dry sense of humor and likes science. In their boy band he seems to have a knack for playing instruments--he usually plays in the background if Alvin wants the limelight (of course he can sing too), and if Alvin has something on his mind or wants to do something that is bound to fail, Simon will have something to say about it. He is named after Simon Waronker, the founder and owner of Liberty Records.



Theodore Seville (Janice Karman) is the innocent, cute one of the Chipmunks. The baby of the family, he is a food-loving gourmand (his possible outlet for low self-esteem) and many times acts as the dividing vote between Alvin and Simon. As one may expect, he's often the target Alvin goes for while Simon tries to be reasonable. Many times he can be seen playing back-up but he's capable of singing too (he seems to love being the drummer). He is named after Theodore Keep, the chief engineer of Liberty Records.



Their adoptive human owner is David Seville (Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.). In addition to being a father figure, he is the boys' producer, agent, and confident. He tries to stay focused on subjects whenever they come up, but likely due to all the stress that comes with being in the music business, he has his patience tested regularly. This is a giant button Alvin loves to push; while his eldest son often has the best intentions, it's deserved when Dave blows his top. "David Seville" was Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s pen name.



Now, introduced in this series (and not originally seen in the old 1960s cartoon) is the Chipmunks' female counterparts, the Chipettes. They were all created by Janice Karman. Their origin started off in 1982 in an album called “The Chipmunks Go Hollywood” where Alvin sings a version of Elton John's “Crocodile Rock” with a femme chipmunk character named Charlene.



Their back story is they had been Australian-born Chipmunks who where under the care of an Australian girl named Olivia who lived in an orphanage. Once the nasty Ms. Grudge learned they could sing, she planned to force them to perform without time off in order to line her pockets with cash. However they managed to escape and made it to the US where they were able to perform as singers. They originally planned for their group name to be “The Chipmunks”, but after a brief dispute with the boys, Alvin and Brittany came up with their band name: the Chipettes.



Brittany Miller (Janice Karman) is the leader of the Chipettes. Basically you can say Charlene was the proto-Brittany. Brittany is the oldest of the Chipettes (in an original spin on Lesley Gore's “It's My Party”, she refers to Jeanette as her little sister). She is very much an ideal match for Alvin, with her diva-like personality and headstrong attitude towards something that doesn't go her way. Frequently she and her boyfriend will butt heads trying to one-up each other (something real couples do, right?), which leads her to many times get her sisters involved and often leading into a high-stakes gamble, but we know that they care about each other--hell, there's a lot of evident tension between Alvin and Brittany and we all know that Brittany has a nice side. A lot of male fans of this series lay claim to having a favorite Chipette. Me? ...That would be Brittany.



And as we all know, she is the original Brittany. She was well-known amongst music fans long before that Spears girl.



Jeanette Miller (Janice Karman) is the meek, mild-mannered bookworm of the Chipettes. She is romantically involved with Simon and like him loves science and literature. I tend to see her as the middle child. Characteristically her relationship with Simon is less fierce than Brittany's relationship with Alvin but unlike her boyfriend she's not likely to take a stand against Brittany. Jeanette is very well-intentioned but is rather clumsy; if she loses her glasses she's as blind as a naked mole rat. For many male fans she seems to be the fan favorite—maybe it's something of a “Princess Diaries” like kinship. Don't read it the wrong way; I quite like her myself--for me she's only behind Brittany.



Eleanor Miller (Janice Karman) is the the chubby athlete of the Chipettes. She is romantically involved with Theodore. For me she's the baby. Like Theodore she does love food but is more likely to get up and move. Unlike Theodore she is more likely to take a stand--if Brittany wants to achieve something impossible it's Eleanor that tries to reason with her. I would just say Eleanor is probably my least favorite of the Chipettes (someone had to be) mainly because like Theodore she's just...the least 'sexualized' of the three.



The girls are under the care of Miss Miller (Dody Goodman), the babysitter of the Chipmunks. She is a well meaning adoptive mom for them but never seems completely focused—she's very nice but completely scatterbrained.



Another character that might be worth mentioning is a character named “Uncle” Harry (Ross Bagdasarian Jr.). Basically he's a con artist chipmunk that is always looking for a quick score. He first appeared in the second episode of the first season (the episode is called “Uncle Harry”) where he promised to help raise money to help reunite the boys with their long lost mother but of course it's an act of deception. He'd go on to appear in only three more episodes (“Santa Harry” “Lights, Camera, Alvin”, and “A Little Worm in the Big Apple”) all of which are within the first three seasons of the Ruby-Spears continuity. Probably the closest the Chipmunks and Chipettes have had to a recurring villain, I don't know why he didn't seem to make it; maybe they felt he went as far as he could go or there were some complications involving some imitative behavior (if anyone else knows, I'd be happy to hear it).



If their bios I just gave them seem a little scarce, don't worry about it--the characters have incredible range, and are able to take even the simplest ideas for an episode and make it entertaining. The characters' personalites are developed enough and have a magnetic charm to them. Even if you were to revisit the show after seeing the episodes all the way back in the 1980s, they still seem to have the same magic they originally possessed.



One thing I especially liked about this show is the fact that like 1980s cartoons tended to do, it always seems to have the right mix of comedy and morality. In a sharp contrast to earlier cartoons that usually dealt with trying to fight and cheat and lie and steal from one another for the purpose of comedy, this series manages to be funny and establish warmth between the characters--it clearly symbolizes the 1980s reflection of changing times and tastes. Another element from the 1980s that I found was the theme of using what you've got to establish yourself and be a success. If you have that certain thing that makes you different from everyone else (and we all do), use that to your advantage and you'll deserve every drop of your success.



...after all, that's what helped separate the U.S.A. from the U.S.S.R., right?



Continuing on with the 1980s theme of changing times and tastes, they seem to have started something we had not seen since the time of the Fleschier Brothers: fully defined, entertaining female characters. It seemed like just about anytime a woman is on camera, they are only there to be an object that the man wants or to coerce their boyfriend to being funny. The WB had a very male cast of Looney Tunes; the only female characters were probably Granny (from the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons), Witch Hazel (from the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons), Miss Prissy (from the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons) and Penelope the Cat (from the Pepe Le Pew cartoons) but they should hardly be considered stand-alone characters (and no, Honey Bunny was created for merchandise; she never appeared in animation. Lola Bunny was not added to the roster until “Space Jam”). Disney had Minnie Mouse, who at least until the 1980s was never that appealing, and Daisy Duck, who they'll admit was never one of their better characters.




What seemed to help make this show what it is is the inclusion of the Chipettes. Originally designed by Janice Karman to be a female counterpart/love interest for the Chipmunks, the Chipettes basically helped give us a set of female characters that have actual entertainment value; they do not simply goad their boyfriends into being funny. It seems to let everyone know that the tone does not have to be sappy or mawkish just because a woman is on camera. In a sense, they became co-stars (which I'll get into later)—and that's how strong of an influence they became on the series, and probably still are towards the franchise as a whole!





Another thing I loved about the show: the music! Many classic 1980s-era songs and other tunes had gotten “munk'd” (the coined term for doing Chipmunk-themed versions of popular songs) through this show. The songs succeed at being entertaining without sounding like they are just mocking it. Amongst other songs, you'll hear Billy Joel's “For the Longest Time”, Irving Berlin's “Puttin' on the Ritz”, The Bangles' “Walk Like an Egyptian”, Huey Lewis and the News's “The Heart of Rock n' Roll”, Johnny Rivers's “Secret Agent Man”, George Thorogood's “Bad to the Bone”, Kenny Loggins's “Footloose”, Bonnie Tyler's “Holding Out for a Hero”, Aretha Franklin's “Respect”, Little Richard's “Tutti Fruiti”, Cindy Lauper's “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, Ray Parker, Jr.'s “Ghostbusters”, Madonna's “Material Girl” and Michael Jackson's “Beat It”. This, as it would seem, is an asset and a liability for the series at the same time.



Another interesting aspect of the show is the fact it seemed to have different lives throughout its run. During the series' beginning, from seasons 1 through 5 (1983-1987) it was animated by Ruby-Spears Enterprises. For this continuity of the series, they had two 11-minute episodes that aired back-to-back in one half-hour. What I'll say about the animation style in these episodes is it reminds me somewhat of the old Filmation or the 1970s-era Hanna-Barbera cartoons. It may seem straightforward, but the characters manage to become fun and engaging and the stories are entertaining for kids and kids at heart. Some really good episodes here included “The C-Team” (this episode inspired the short-lived “Mr. T” cartoon series), “Three Alarm Alvin” (where they become firefighters), “The Chip-Punks” (where they shed the clean image to go punk), “May the Best Chipmunk Win” (where Alvin and Brittany compete to become class president), “The Gang's All Here” (where the Chipmunks and the Chipettes rollerskate-battle a gang called the Steam Rollers), “Sisters” (where Brittany wants to join a popular club instead of help Jeanette with a baby pig-raising science project), “Every Chipmunk Tells a Story” (where Dave tries to get an explanation for why his piano is destroyed) and…well, there are lots of good ones!



One thing that is interesting to note is the final episode of the Ruby-Spears run, “Just One of the Girls/Goin' Down to Dixie” starred just Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor and Miss Miller. In neither episode do you see Dave or the Chipmunks. Like I said—the Chipettes became a very strong influence on the series.



There were also two specials that were produced during this continuity. The first was the “I Love the Chipmunks Valentine Special”, which aired in 1984, and “A Chipmunk Reunion” aired in 1985. Both these specials aired in primetime when they first aired; later on they became part of the syndication package. The Valentine special was about Alvin reluctant to ask Brittany to a Valentine's Day Dance because he had his heart broken on that day, so to boost Alvin's confidence Simon plays a recording that causes Alvin to adopt an alter ego as the dashing, debonair “Captain Chipmunk”. I can say I absolutely loved this special; as I once said, I am a holiday nut so I found it to be a lot of fun. The second “Reunion” special is about the boys not sure when their official birthdate is, so they seek out Vinnie, their birth mother who left them with Dave to ensure their survival, for the true answer. Maybe this reflects me as a person somehow, but…I have a lot of trouble watching this episode. The sentimentality of the theme, the fact the boys can't just go back to live with her because of their current upbringing, the “munk'd” version of Paul Simon's “Mother and Child Reunion” (likely one of the most poignant songs from the 1970s this side of Harry Chapin's “Cat's in the Cradle”)…don't get me wrong, it's a very nice special and is worth watching, but…I just have trouble watching it because it has a tendency to leave me emotionally volatile.

So after five successful seasons, was that it? Nope. The series was…about to cross a threshold with the next big step…an animated feature film.



Yep, the big screen movie. This film, “The Chipmunk Adventure” (which was rated “G” by the MPAA for not having anything to warrant a more mature rating) opened up in theatres in 1987. It runs for about 77 minutes and stays in line with the series. It tells the story of the Chipmunks and the Chipettes who, while in the middle of a wager between Alvin and Brittany over a video game, end up settling their dispute after getting issued a hot air balloon race by Klaus and Claudia Furschtein, two wealthy European siblings. They must travel all over the world to drop off dolls made in their likeness, with the winning group getting a $100,000 cash prize—unbeknownst to them, the dolls are stuffed with vast wealth; Klaus and Claudia are a pair of diamond smugglers. Thematically similar to the show, animation-wise this movie is handled not by Ruby-Spears but The Samuel Goldwyn Company. What is interesting to note is Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman actually hired several animators who were laid off from Disney (following the utter failure of 1985's “The Black Cauldron”) to work on this film—top Disney talent Glen Keane was involved in the production as well. Now, was this movie a big excuse to have the previous characters all brutally killed off so they could make room for a group of lesser attractive newer characters? No, that didn't happen—well, thank GOD that didn't happen!—but the movie did have a lot going against it; an animation industry slump, falling behind schedule, a limited number of theatres where the movie could play, critics ready to tear the movie wide open—oh yeah and the fact it was not supported by Disney and was not directed by Don Bluth--in the end it only made a little less than $7 million. But that sure didn't stop it from attaining cult status on video! It is probably seen as one of the better animated movies to come from the 1980s and to this day is probably the most commercially viable part of the series. See it now!



After that, the series, you could say, continued in the style of the movie. At this time, the show was re-named “The Chipmunks”, probably to accommodate for the fact the show was not simply about Alvin and there were two groups of characters—the Chipmunks and the Chipettes.





For season 6 and 7 (1988-1989), Murakami-Wolf-Swenson took over the series from Ruby-Spears for about 11 episodes (likely due to the writers' strike happening back in 1988); some of my favorites included “Alvie's Angels” (the Chipettes become the Angels to Alvin's Charlie) and “The Brunch Club” (which was about the Chipmunks and the Chipettes trying to solve a mystery behind which of them was responsible for a school statue being broken). These episodes are a whole half-hour long. After that though the series was continued by DIC--for this continuity of the series, they went back to the primarily two episode format. I honestly liked these versions very much; it reminds me somewhat of a Disney Afternoon series.






But there is one episode that I dub one of my personal favorite episodes, the first Murakami-Wolf-Swenson episode called “Dreamlighting” (a Chipmunk spin on the Cybil Shepherd/Bruce Willis series “Moonlighting”). In this episode Alvin blows off a date with Brittany to play basketball at school. In frustration, Brittany falls asleep to “Dreamlighting” and she dreams she is Bratty Hayes (Cybil Shepard's character Maddie Hayes) while Alvin is David Alvinson (Bruce Willis's character David Addison) and Jeanette is Ms. Dapest (Allyce Beasley's character Agnes DiPesto). Basically Brittany is seeing Simon le Simon (guess) who's plotting to marry her so then he can arrange for her arrest. It's up to Alvin to admit he cares about Brittany and come to her rescue. The reason why I seem to love this episode is probably a bunch of different things—the Disney-esque animation, the seeming love-letter as an authentic “I Love the ‘80s” tribute, the hot romance between Alvin and Brittany, the fact it's about the series ”Moonlighting” (as David and Maddie taught us, sometimes fighting and sexual tension can be a sign of underlying love, right?) and hell, even the song “Alvinson's Rootbeer Cooler” has me going to it—it seems to have that certain zest I loved from the 1980s. What else can I say, this episode NEEDS to come home somehow!



And there's also another particular episode that probably deserves a nod: “Cookie Chomper III”. This episode was made by DIC and it deals with the boys adopting a kitten that through some psychoanalysis from Simon, Dave warms up to him. Theodore wants to call him “Cookie” and Alvin wanted to call him “Chomper” but Simon proposes they just call him “Cookie Chomper III”. During the course of the episode, Cookie Chomper winds up leaving the house and gets killed after accidently being run over by a car. Of course it happens off camera and we don't actually see the poor kitty get hit by the car, but many fans call this the series' biggest tearjerker considering it is about both a kitten's accidental death and the difficulty of dealing with the loss of a pet. It's just something that anyone can identify with. From what I understand the inspiration came from Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman's real life pet loss; a dog they had named Tiger Lilly (who became a character named “Lilly” later in the season) suffered the same fate. They had devoted The Chipmunk Adventure to her memory. An episode like this is quite surprising, considering death is not usually a topic on a show intended for children, much less during a time where many cartoonists were forbidden to make a death reference.



And of course, Alvin, Simon and Theodore were all characters from the 1980s who were chosen to join hot cartoon stars such as Garfield, Winnie the Pooh, Huey, Dewey and Louie and Michaelangelo the Ninja Turtle in order to help urge a teenage boy named Michael that drugs are bad in the multi-crossover special “Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue” (1990).

And…that wasn't it. There was one more season that came in during the season of 1990.



At this time, still under DIC, for Season 8 the series was renamed yet again; this time it's “The Chipmunks Go To The Movies”.




Returning to the half-hour long episode format, it focuses on the Chipmunks and the Chipettes doing some light parodies of hot box-office blockbusters from the 1980s-1990. Some of the movies satirized include “Big”, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, “Gremlins”, “Back to the Future”, “Dick Tracy”, “Splash”, “Robocop” and “Batman”. Like I said, they are light parodies—they basically take the core premise of that popular film and graft it onto what our heroes would typically fall into. I am not sure how this idea came to be; it was either a creative decision because maybe the series was just getting worn out after so many years and they wanted/needed to try something different or maybe the show was intended to be cancelled after Season 7 and through corporate meddling NBC ordered one more season not caring what they got, but it just doesn't fly. After this season, the show had officially ended.



The cancelation of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" helped add to the void NBC was now facing. By 1991, NBC's Saturday morning lineup was in a slump. By that time, not just "Alvin and the Chipmunks" but basically every last one of their cartoon series they knew they could count on for ratings were canceled (1991 meant no more of other 1980s cartoons like "Snorks", "ALF", "Adventures of the Gummi Bears" or "The Smurfs"). But now they had a whole crop of unreliable new shows no one cared about. They now had shows like "ProStars", "WishKid", "Chip and Pepper's Cartoon Madness", "Captain N and the Adventures of Super Mario World", "Yo Yogi!"... Yeah. In 1991, their new cartoons in their Saturday morning lineup sunk like a rock. The only survivor of the axe at this time was "Saved by the Bell" which lead NBC to stop cartoon series altogether and start "TNBC", a Saturday morning block of teen-oriented series like "City Guys", "Hang Time" and "California Dreams".




In the end, “Alvin and the Chipmunks” had a very long life span and an impressive episode total. It ran for eight years (1983-1990) for about 102 half-hour long episodes and 2 special episodes. But that didn't mean the show stopped then and there—during the 1990s they had the “Rockin' Through the Decades” special (released in 1990) and about three more special episodes, staying in continuity with the series. There was the Halloween themed “Trick or Treason” (1994), the Thanksgiving themed “A Chipmunk Celebration” (also 1994) and the Easter themed “The Easter Chipmunk” (1995). Probably due to their holiday roots, the holidays always seem to bring out the best in the Chipmunks.



The show continued in reruns on Cartoon Network in 1993 and Nickelodeon beginning in 1995 until 1997, after which the show returned to Cartoon Network in 1998. However, the syndication package did not consist of the series' entire run—it consisted of the 52 Ruby-Spears episodes, the “Valentine” and “Reunion” specials and the 11 Murakami Wolf Swenson episodes. This led to a total of 65 episodes. The DIC episodes and the “Go To The Movies” episodes were not part of the deal (why is likely because during the 1990s Disney had acquired DIC and they didn't want to support their competitors). I had a lot of fun getting reacquainted with the show on Cartoon Network; unfortunately the show was pulled from the station in 2001 (I wasn't happy when I expected to see the show in its usual timeslot and what I got instead was repeats of “Dennis the Menace”).



While the series was running in syndication on Cartoon Network, some movies were released and yes, they are in series style. We got “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein” in 1999, and “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman” in 2000. Basically, these movies, like the “Go To the Movies” episodes, are about the Chipmunks meeting a famous Hollywood monster and…well, that's the deal. From a personal standpoint, I liked “Wolfman” better than “Frankenstein” but from what I understand these two movies were released by Universal under a deal with Bagdasarian Productions that they were going to make the Chipmunks as big in the 2000s as they were in the 1980s. But due to some circumstances, they reneged on the deal and that led to Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman suing them for breach of contract. You can still enjoy these two movies, but…it's likely that Bagdasarian Productions will not recognize them as canon.



Another direct-to-video movie that was released in 2004 was the digital-animated “Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks”. I haven't seen this movie, so I can't comment on it.

One more thing I'll say about these certain movies is this...back in 2002, I was watching “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein” on Cartoon Network when I saw a commercial like this:



…yep. The commercial done by Cartoon Network paying respects to Chuck Jones, the last of the original Termite Terrace animators who helped animate the 1981 special which was to serve as inspiration for the series. He officially died back in 2002 at age 89.



I know I will…





And of course, there was a large spew of merchandise. There were small figurines, stuffed toys, albums that came from the show, random episode tapes, the drinking glasses that you could buy at Hardee's, a live-action stage show…the only thing they probably didn't have was a video game (for a music game the technology may have been too young and too expensive, not to mention the Video Game Industry Crash of 1983).

And with DVD being what it's become, surely a show this popular would get some well-deserved DVD treatment right?






…well, yes and no. I mean, the show…IS coming out on DVD, which is more than you can say for “Jim Henson's Muppet Babies” but it's…not coming out the way you'd probably want it. Currently, Paramount holds the rights to distribute the show on DVD, but at a time when complete chronological season sets are the norm, they just seem to release “Alvin and the Chipmunks” on random episode DVDs, similar to the days of old VHS cassettes. A good number of these DVDs are the random “Go To The Movies” episodes (which I really don't recommend), and some of those episodes are even released on one DVD and repackaged for yet another. For the non-“Movies” DVDs (those are of which I do recommend)…the show is inching its way on DVD, seemingly at the cost of a LOT of shelf space. Did I mention these episodes are NOT remastered and contain absolutely NOTHING beyond feature content? What's up with that? You may ask “why isn't the show getting a proper DVD set release?” I don't know the exact reasons. Maybe it's due to the divided rights issues the show has from the all those separate animation houses, the multiple song clearances that would render the show too expensive to put on DVD, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman just not willing to trust after the incident with Universal or just studio reluctance. It's a shame, this show deserves better, comprehensive DVD treatment. Probably the best one we got so far was the “The Alvinnn!!! Edition” and of course, the re-release of the Chipmunk Adventure. Dude, if other, lesser popular shows can appear on DVD and all of a sudden people come to absolutely love the show, I can only imagine what would happen if “Alvin and the Chipmunks” came home on DVD the way we'd want it.



Finally, I'll admit—I love “Alvin and the Chipmunks”. One of my personal favorite cartoon series that I had seen as a kid and still do, I would highly recommend seeing the show for yourself. Don't listen to some critics that may think otherwise, it's an authentic ‘80s cartoon with loads of charm, humor and heart and a wonderful piece of retro nostalgia. If there's anything else I need to say its…





“Simon…Theodore--!!”



“ALLLLVVIIIIIIINNNN!!!!”