Movie review: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel

Like many children of the 80s, I watched a lot of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" cartoons. When the first movie came out, I was, like almost everyone I knew, hesitant to enjoy it. Would a live-action/CG Chipmunk movie be anywhere as good as the cartoons we so fondly remembered? I enjoyed it, but it felt like something was missing.

What was missing....was the Chipettes. In the 80s, there weren't a lot of good female characters. Sure, there was She-Ra and Jem, but that was about it. While the Chipettes weren't particularly strong girls, they were good counterparts to the Chipmunks. Whatever the boys could dish out, the girls could too and that was what made them loveable.

So the Chipettes have now entered into the live-action world of the Chipmunks. I loved the Chipettes singing, but their personalities seemed a little off. Britney was always a little more selfish than she was in the movie. Yes, she looked out for her sisters more than Alvin did for his brothers, but in this version, she was just a little too altruistic for their sakes. Jeanette wasn't quite nerdy enough. She should have been able to match Simon fact-to-fact. Yet it was Simon that had to help her when the girls were in trouble. In my opinion, only little Eleanor fit her original personality. She was a tad shy with a heart just as big as her tubby body. Perfect.

One of the things that surprised me was that Zachary Levi, of Chuck fame, played the lead live-action male in the show. I don't remember seeing him in any of the commercials. We all know that good old Dave Seville got laid up in the hospital thanks to Alvin's antics, but we never saw who was taking care of them while he was out of commission. There is no better nerd boy than Zachary Levi. Dave will always be the number one guy in the Chipmunk's lives, but I really hope that the writers find a way to get Toby into the third movie.

Both my sister and I enjoyed the movie just as much as my daughter did. There are some really funny jokes and, as usual, the singing was fun as well. I can't say that it is absolutely worth the money to see it in the movie theater, but it is definitely worth a rental once the DVD or Blu-Ray hits shelves.