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Random Chipmunk Notes

Alvin and the Chipmunks

One of the most unexpected surprises at theaters last year was the box office success of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Nearly everybody expected a modest showing, better performing than the Underdog pic, but certainly not a blockbuster. The film, however, is now Fox’s second highest grossing film of the year (behind only The Simpsons Movie), and with over $160 million to date, it is showing no signs of letting up. By the time it leaves theaters, it will have surpassed the grosses of The Simpsons Movie, Ratatouille and 300.

Obviously, we’re going to be seeing a lot more CG Alvin over the next few years. But perhaps this will also convince Viacom (Paramount Home Video) to release the awesome original Sixties animated series, The Alvin Show, produced by Format Films. It’s amazing that nobody at Viacom has awakened to the fact that they’re sitting on a goldmine with this TV series. Then again, this is the same company that owns the libraries of Terrytoons, Puppetoons, Famous and Fleischer (including Betty Boop). Apparently, their home video strategy is “We don’t like to make money.”

Despite the film’s box office success, it’s still an embarassing project to be involved with if you’re a major part of its creative team and you consider yourself to also be an artist. This became clear when actor Patton Oswalt made an offhand comment on his blog about how he and comedian Brian Posehn were both offered the role of Ian, the agent, and how they both rejected it because of its awfulness. David Cross, who took the role, was so peeved by the notion that he was a sell-out wrote a five-point blog post defending his decision to be involved in the movie. Thankfully, the film’s animation director Chris Bailey, doesn’t have to write a blog post defending his work on the film. Because unlike live-action actors, animation artists have no choice but to work on shit. It’s the only game in town sadly.

  • Corrado (Anthony)

    Well, at least some good came out of this awful project. A hilarious back-and-forth verbal debate.

  • As a kid I loved watching the original “Alvin Show” in the 60s & own all the LPs–though it was very traumatizing as a child to discover when I slowed the record turntable with my hand that Alvin, Simon & Theodore were actually David Seville aka Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.

  • Matt Sullivan

    It’s a well known property. Also, despite how AWFUL the movie is (and it IS most foul ) the chipmunks themselves are REALLY CUTE. Cute sells, as does nostalgia.

    Apparently people like Alvin better than Underdog :P

  • Gerry G.

    Well, it was awful. I didn’t pay to see it, thank god, but I did see it. It was awful.

    But-it was FAR better than that horribly designed, badly animated, badly concieved, produced, and directed Chipmunk Adventure crap. WHOO BOY, was that awful!

  • That’s hilarious. The fact that it’s so darn awful makes me wanna go see the movie.

  • Mike Russo

    See, I loved the Chipmunk Adventure. Different strokes.

  • Chuck R.

    I didn’t see the movie and I barely remember the TV show. So I’m not going to opine. But Patton Oswald has disgust for more than the big-screen re-make. This is from his blog:

    “already hipster a–holes are whining about how “their childhoods are being raped” and “how mercenary can Hollywood be”?…
    ALVIN AND THE CHIMPMUNKS is a blatant, soulless, money-grab…But for people to whine and bitch about the movie runing their childhoods is even more disgusting. The only way the ALVIN AND THE CHIMPMUNKS movie is ruining your childhood is if you’re 70 years old, or retarded. In fact, if you liked Alvin and the Chimpmunks to BEGIN with, maybe you need your childhood raped.

    I wouldn’t use those words, but cartoon geeks do need to get a grip. Movies like this keep animators employed, and with luck, the best of them will someday get to work on a Pixar film or a Peter Jackson film. Fans are still getting an average of 3 watchable animated films a year —as good as the industry’s ever been. If you spent money on this just for the privilege of complaining, you got what you paid for. Stop crying.

  • Asymetrical

    Once again I am amazed at the snottiness of artists. Yeah maybe it wasn’t that good for the “Knocked Up/300/Beowulf” crowd but it wasn’t MEANT for that crowd either. It was meant for kids and clearly from it’s box office receipts it is a success with them. There are so few kids films put out each year that it’s almost pitiful considering the DOVE report claim that G films are much more successful than R rated films. Was it a great story? Nah, Was the animation decent? Yeah, I think so…

    It’s a FAMILY movie. Say it with me….
    Fun, light hearted and not meant to talk about crack babies, bad presidents, Global Warming and coffee-drinking beatnik love that artists tend to celebrate in fervor and get wet over.

    What would you have done to make it better? I ask anyone that question… What would have made it a better movie?

    Because I have to say if it’s the ‘only game in town’ as you put it then if it goes away you won’t have anything to write about. You can only write so many little animation books celebrating dead people and old talent.

    The funniest thing about it all is that then you go on to talk about how those God-awful Alvin cartoons ought to be released on DVD! Was that sooooo better than this movie? Definitely not.
    Let’s take a look at some of the titles from this golden series shall we?

    Alvin’s Alter Ego
    Alvin’s Curse
    Alvin’s Studio
    Bentley Van Rolls
    Camping Trip
    Disc Jockey
    Dude Ranch
    Eagle in Love
    Eagle Music
    Good Manners
    Good Neighbor
    Haunted House
    Hillbilly Son
    Jungle Rhythm
    Little League
    Love Sick Dave
    Overworked Alvin
    Sam Valiant: Private Nose
    Sam Valiant: Real Estate
    Sir Alvin
    Stanley the Eagle
    The Whistler
    Theodore’s Dog

    Hmmm, episodes about being a detective… an episode with a big ego… Ooooh a curse episode ( how original!), an episode where Alvin becomes a disk Jockey… (clearly going to be some major character development there) and let’s see… one where Alvin nurses a sick bird!

    Highly entertaining! I’m crying it was so entertaining. The episode names actually leap out of the TV with original content and fun filled entertainment.

    Dude, if you think this series is a gem… then you seriously need to rethink your twisted judgment of good vs. bad because it fell off it’s cracker.

    Ah but will you post this?

  • You know what really saddens me when I read boxoffice results like that?

    I always think about how “Wallace & Gromit” only made $56 million domestically (almost $200 worldwide though). Such a great movie with amazing animation in it.

    Not that $56 million isn’t a lot of money, but it deserved a lot more.

  • Cyber Fox

    The film is pretty good
    Ross Bagdasarian Jr. produced the film
    The Chipmunks themselves act like their cartoon counterparts (inspit of some tweakage)

    as for the possiblities of a DVD for “The Alvin Show”, taken care of

  • I loved the original ‘Alvin’ and remember the Clyde Crashcup segments too. It would be great if they did release them again. I would also love to see them release Terrytoon’s “Tom Terrificâ€? which was full of great Jim Tyer animation.

  • “Thankfully, the film’s animation director Chris Bailey, doesn’t have to write a blog post defending his work on the film. Because unlike live-action actors, animation artists have no choice but to work on shit. It’s the only game in town sadly.”

    Well, that’s certainly a quote to be remembered.

    For some reason, the good productions are almost always short of funding.

  • “Despite the film’s box office success, it’s still an embarassing project to be involved with if you’re a major part of its creative team and you consider yourself to also be an artist.”

    You had me until that line. The artists who textured the characters, lit the shots, rigged the characters, groomed the fur, and created the animation should all be quite proud of their work. It is hard work and is quite good. They had no control over the writing or direction of the film.

    Your statement is a bit like blaming a passenger on a bus for the bus hitting a car.

  • Funny, I guess I saw a completely different movie than you did– There are a LOT of pros out there that LOVE this movie. I saw a big chunk of it early on and reported how shocked I was that it was so GREAT. I expected to hate it- for, I was a big fan, as a kid, of the original. The gags, and script- discounting the typical Hollywood addition of a villain, that was never before part of Alvin’s cast, was spot on to Bagdasarian’s original vision. I’m thrilled that, for once, a film truly deserving big box office totals, gets ’em.

  • Josh

    David Cross ain’t funny.

  • It makes me sad to see Patton and David Cross fighting. I enjoy the comedy stylings of both. :C

  • Corey

    “But-it was FAR better than that horribly designed, badly animated, badly concieved, produced, and directed Chipmunk Adventure crap. WHOO BOY, was that awful!

    oh come on, there were some nice scenes in there.

  • Well I, for one, flat boycotted it….having SUCH fond memories of the REAL tv show (I never even wanted to watch the 80s reincarnation!) I can well wait to see it on cable. I have a VERY fond spot for “The Alvin Show!”….and fear i will wince seeing them, once again, re-hashed!!

    Me, I want…a huuuuu-la hoooop!

  • Floyd Norman

    Have we forgotten this is the movie business? Say it again – – BUSINESS!

    I’m just delighted that Chris Baily and his crew could pick up a paycheck. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Hey, I used to work for Ross, and he drove me crazy. Still, I don’t begrudge him picking up a few bucks because of his dad’s creation.

    Hell, I wish that had been my dad.

  • Tom Pope

    “You know what really saddens me when I read boxoffice results like that?

    I always think about how “Wallace & Gromit� only made $56 million domestically (almost $200 worldwide though). Such a great movie with amazing animation in it.

    Not that $56 million isn’t a lot of money, but it deserved a lot more.”

    $56 million? Cats Don’t Dance made about, what, 6 mil? That’s probably lower than the actual take, and, having worked on the film, I’m a little biased, but jeez. Warner Brothers!

  • Tom Pope

    Wow. Just looked up box office for Cat’s Don’t Dance. $3.56m. Wow.

  • uffler mustek

    Unfortunately, I’m 37 years old and I don’t watch movies about singing chipmunks. So I’m glad all of you are taking care of the bitching and moaning for me.

  • i have a buddy who worked on alvin, so im happy something he did is a success. like the point the david cross makes (who im a hige fan of BTW), now he can continue to make payments on his house and put food on the table. additionally, hopefully it will lead to other feature work for him so that he can continue to do so, and i know it will cuz he’s a talented guy, works hard, and deserves it. thats right. its a buisness.

    and again, the pedestal that some brew readers put some TV shows on is absolutely amazing.

  • Gobo

    The movie was not comedy gold (amusing and cute but pretty lousy writing — not a genuine laugh in any of the dialogue) but you cannot watch the film and call the animation “shit”.

    Forget the bad writing and watch the character animation. It’s full of personality and charm, and all three chipmunks had unique quirks to their motion and expression that showed real care and attention to detail. Not to mention that they had the guts to ditch every existing Chipmunk character design from the 50s onward and go with something unique and very appealing for 3D.

    I cannot understand the concept of cutting down a well-made piece of animation that’s also financially successful.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I haven’t seen it. I think the marketing on the film turned me off. A poster of Hip-Hop Chipmunks and a trailer where Alvin eats a turd. I seriously believe marketing for animated films is horrible.

  • Josh

    I love David Cross’s bit about trying to pay for his house with his “indie-hipster credibility,” only to find the seller insisted he pay with “money.” Now there’s a different perspective!

  • Alvin was lucky enough to be released in in the Holiday season madness, against no real family flick competition (other than Enchanted). It was essentially the only real family flick released in December. A Perfect Storm. Something not even Garfield (before Alvin, the most profitable and successful Cartoon/CG Live-Action film) had. And I’m sure the sequels will be as well-recieved as the Garfield sequel was.

    Besides, we’ve seen lots of crazy scenarios play out in the cinemas these past couple of weeks. The Golden Compass falling flat on it’s face, Walk Hard underperforming despite its media blitz, Sweeney Todd at the bottom of the top 10, Water Horse not doing so hot, Alvin doing well is nowehere near as surprising.

    Plus, why can’t we talk about anything posiitve here? If National Treasure is still #1 at the Box Office, think about how much exposure the new Goofy cartoon is getting

  • Baron Lego

    So how long before a Tennessee Tuxedo movie gets made?

  • Paul N

    “Once again I am amazed at the snottiness of artists.”

    And I am amused by how snotty Asymetrical gets in the process of accusing the artists here of snottiness. Irony is so tasty…

  • Matt Sullivan

    I liked the movie better than ANY of the old cartoon series. Specially those GIANT MUTANT CHIPMUNKS.

    This whole “remake” trend, I believe, is the result of people who LIKED these old cartoons, but always thought they could “IMPROVE” the original idea. In this case, I personally believe they DID.

    But the movie was still pretty bad. And I was surprised at how BAD David Cross’s acting was.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Then again, David Cross mighta just IMPROVED an awful script. it very well may have been FAR WORSE before he came along. I just wish he didn’t have to play the “cynical asshole” again and again.

  • Quiet_Desperation

    Is there something wrong with me that I didn’t even know it was released?

  • Mr. Semaj

    The controversy here is because of this Chipmunk movie being the animation/live-action hybrid that always undermines the animators’ contributions.

    It’s especially ironic that this film would make so much money once you’ve read the story about A Chipmunk Adventure.

  • Dustin

    I’m quite surprised they didn’t at least prearrange to have the eighties cartoon released to DVD to coincide with the film release.

    That’s really the only beneficial aspect of these studios ruining the great classics on the big screen is that it stirs interest back into the originals.

  • Altred Ego

    What I always find so interesting is that whenever people trash some animated film that made money but was by most accounts garbage, everyone says, it’s a BUSINESS.

    Apple is in the computer business, but their computers and electronic devices don’t suck. In fact they go out of their way to produce in many cases a superior product to their competition and surprisingly they make even MORE money!

    If they had made A&C better it would have done the same business if not more. It doesn’t HAVE to be crap (and eating crap) to make money. Like I’ve said before, A&C opened at a time when people had already seen I Am Legend or National Treasure and there wasn’t much else going on in theatres. If it had been released against a Potter/Narnia combo it would have been buried and we wouldn’t even be discussing it.

    In Japan, they make animated films that are often quite good and somehow they still make money.

    One thing I have noticed about the Canadian animation industry is that it is for the most part absolutely terrible. 2D/Flash/3D television work is largely abysmal. I’ve watched it kill the spirit of co-workers at the studio. I’m not sure who to blame: The Writers perhaps? Or the directors?

    I remember being at my first job, and the producer on the show commented that he thought the show was crap. When I asked why don’t the creators put out more effort to make a great show instead of just settling for a mediocre show that will be instantly forgotten. I argued that with a bit more effort you could get a Great show (superior product) that would naturally draw more viewers (more money).

    The answer I got was that there wasn’t enough incentive to do the extra work. If they just put this on the air, they’ll make X amount of money and that’s enough. The goal isn’t to try and compete with Avatar, it’s just about turning a few bucks and keeping everyone employed for another year.


    Talk about an eye opener.

    But that’s why they call it a business (though a business that strives to produce a mediocre product and get mediocre returns sounds like a pretty crappy business to me, but I guess if this were the States, the thinking would be mediocre product for a possible Million Dollar Windfall).

  • Paul N

    “I’m quite surprised they didn’t at least prearrange to have the eighties cartoon released to DVD to coincide with the film release.

    That’s really the only beneficial aspect of these studios ruining the great classics on the big screen is that it stirs interest back into the originals.”

    …which, in this case, would not be the 80’s cartoon – itself a remake of the original 60’s TV series, which was based in turn on the late 50’s novelty recordings.

  • Gobo

    Kevin M.: exactly; they released it at the perfect time (just after Enchanted had died down, and the only other kids’ movies probably looked a little icky to parents, so they went for something bright and cheery looking).

    Ironically, even though the movie posters made it seem like it was going to urban-ize the Chipmunks into Run-DMC, the reality is that they avoided what happened to Garfield et al. by making the Chipmunks endearing and cute… so you’ve got families seeing it, teen girls loving it, etc. Even the soundtrack has been in the top 10.

  • Altred Ego said: “If it had been released against a Potter/Narnia combo it would have been buried and we wouldn’t even be discussing it.”

    and then Gobo said: “exactly; they released it at the perfect time (just after Enchanted had died down, and the only other kids’ movies probably looked a little icky to parents, so they went for something bright and cheery looking).”

    And I agree with them 110%

    Plus look at it another way: the first Garfield’s box office gross was generously aided by Foreign box office receipts, and it’s sequel did poorly in the domestic box office while doing much better in overseas markets. If Box Office Mojo is to be belived (, Alvin is not doing nearly as hot overseas as it is here despite having opened in most of the major movie markets.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Chalk me up as another one who doesn’t understand this whining about “raping my childhood.” Not quite as much with “The Alvin Show,” but certainly with many of the other releases of the past and coming year. (“Underdog,” “Transformers,” “Speed Racer,” et al.) If these are the happiest memories of your tender years, then your childhood NEEDS to be treated like a schoolgirl in a Japanese hentai.

    As others have said, it filled a massive hole in the film schedule this year, so Fox wins as much on timing as anything else. Next year, something else may fill the gap and send Alvin to the trashheap of history.

    I have major props for the folks at Rhythm and Hues for this flick. According to the L.A. Times, from greenlight to release, the production team had ONE YEAR to do the movie. Even for a live action Hollywood release of this type, that’s a helluva compressed schedule. Add in the need for the animated characters and it’s a real feather in R & H’s cap that things went as well as they did.

  • Sarah

    I’m actually glad that movies like these are made. I have this “bad” habit of watching awful movies, cartoons, or ol’ kung fu flicks because there unintentionally funny. There wasn’t one good comedy in 2007 and Aliven and the Chipmunks was worth a good laugh.

    I have my fingers crossed for “My Little Pony the CGI explosive adventure!: Directed by Michel Bay.”

  • Asymetrical

    Paul N said:
    “Once again I am amazed at the snottiness of artists.�

    And I am amused by how snotty Asymetrical gets in the process of accusing the artists here of snottiness. Irony is so tasty…”
    Tasty indeed. Hey man, I learn from the best… troll around here for a while and you see all sides.

  • butter

    Asymetrical: I thought your post was one fo the greatest I have read on this site and others!

    Nothing wrong with pointing out truths that no one wants to hear, but deep down believes!

  • I feel bad, because as a freelance artist, I don’t think I was supposed to like this movie. My girlfriend and I saw it and liked it better than Ratatouille.

    Does that make us bad people? Does it make me a lousy artist?

    I never cared for the cartoon in the 80s but I always liked the records and tapes (and later, CDs). I’m still impressed by the ability of such a goofy novelty idea to generate so many millions of dollars.

    Plus the Chipmunks themselves were pretty well designed, well animated, the voice actors did a great job and everyone was in character. David Cross was over-the-top but it was a Chipmunks Movie for Pete’s sake.

  • This is sort of The Emperor’s New Clothes in reverse. To be cool and artistic, you have to sneer and have disdain for a piece of work that is just a goofy film about singing chipmunks. You also have to assume that there is some sort of divine providence that lands you in “prestige” projects because you’re “good enough,” without regard for being at the right place at the right time. It’s usually a combination of both. To assume otherwise is an astonishing lack of self-awareness.

    Great, talented people are involved in all kinds of projects, depending on where they live, when they showed up for work, what era they were born into, and so on. I enjoy Cartoon Brew because it celebrates the artists as well as the artistry. Sometimes it’s the art of taking an idea and doing something special with it that creates a success, whether some want to call that project or that property “quality” or not.

    No matter how hard you try, you can’t dismiss Alvin and the Chipmunks as a silly flash in the pan. Surely those who looked with the same disdain in 1958 when “The Chipmunk Song” became the best selling novelty song of all time didn’t get it either. My guess is they weren’t supposed to — the public who bought the records was. If you liked the songs, you had to laugh. If you didn’t like the songs, you could laugh at how silly they sounded and how the pretensions were shattered. Either way, they were and are a hit.

    People have been scratching their heads over the phenomenal success of The Chipmunks for years, perhaps no one more than Pulitzer Prize winning playwright William Saroyan, creator of high-minded “art,” who looked on slack-jawed as the three singing rodents made his cousin Ross Bagdasarian a millionaire.

    Alvin and the Chipmunks continue to re-emerge because they poke an iceberg-sized hole in the pretensions of every current phase of popular music simply by performing the music in such an absurd, yet always completely sincere, way. There’s just something really funny about a well-known pop hit sung be speeded-up voices.

    And yet, they’re much more than just speeded-up voices. On this site, there was a recent thread about the outrage following the audacious knock-offs of recent animated hits like Ratatouille and Cars on low budget DVDs. Well, at least a dozen record companies, both major and small, did unabashed rip-offs of The Chipmunks over the decades, and not one could duplicate the vocal quality or comic timing of the original. Ross Bagdasarian Sr. was somehow really adept at carrying these recordings off and his son and daughter-in-law took pains to re-establish the same sound.

    I think Patton Oswalt is a fine comedian and David Cross is a fine comic actor (“chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie!”). I liked Ratatouille and admire Oswalt’s work in it. Cross need not be ashamed, nor Oswalt be exalted because one of the other ended up with disparate opportunities in careers that are fraught with hits and misses.

    By the same token, anyone and everyone who has loved and still loves Alvin and the Chipmunks have nothing to be sorry about.

  • the existence of this movie really upset me and i ran around posting the “girls/boys of rock and roll” youtube clip of the 80’s movie, because of the great animation in it. but still; i have friends who worked on this movie and i don’t give them too much flack, because as you said, they need the work.

    it must have been hard to follow up golden compass with working on this, but yeah it’s really hard to not work on crap if you can’t afford to be totally independent and don’t want to give up commercial work.

    i might be giving it up for a while, but it’s going to be no picnic. being a traditional animator work is even more sparse.

  • Steve Gattuso

    “I have my fingers crossed for “My Little Pony the CGI explosive adventure!: Directed by Michel Bay.â€?”

    Nah, he’s busy with Transformers. But I hear that Uwe Boll is free!

  • victoria

    okay, now just sit back and wait for Jem or Rainbowbrite to come out next.

  • Like David Cross, I had a good time working on the Chipmunk’s movie. I was too young for the original Chipmunks TV show and too old for the 80s version too and never understood comments about “raping one’s childhood” by making a new movie. Did those wierd sci-fi Bugs Bunny cartoons of a few years ago destroy Chuck Jones’ great cartoons? Nope.

    The animators at Rhythm and Hues and I were just trying think up funny stuff for the chipmunks to do within the confines of the story and their characters. I think that they did a pretty great job. One poster above suggested that Alvin would be a let down for them after having animated on The Golden Compass… for some maybe, but effects creature animation isn’t the same as character animation. I have done both and like most animators have a preference. Is one “better” or have more stature in the animation world? I dunno. Who cares?

    Besides, isn’t it better for the animation community that the Chipmunk movie is a hit than a failure? Isn’t it a GOOD thing that there are several different types of animated films succeeding at the B.O.?

  • Amen, Chris! I’m dissappointed in some of the wording that was used in this article. I will admit, I went to this film kicking and screaming (dragged by my kids, or my love for them-one or the other) and was pleasantly surprised how entertaining it was. Sometimes movies are made more for KIDS- what’s wrong with that? Frankly, you see things differently in the world when you have kids of your own. You can learn to appreciate a fart gag because your kids are laughing so hard. Besides, yes I’ll say it, was the original show really a “classic” in the world of animation? Was the idea so groundbreaking that a high end movie version would be killing a sacred cow? Let’s get off our high horses and stop putting down each other’s hard work!

  • Mr. Semaj

    Hey Chris – I don’t think any harm is meant from any of these comments to the animators who worked on this film (although the same “business” arguments were being used for Disney’s stupid DVD sequels).

    But the lot of us could’ve really done without the poo-eating bit. There’s too much of that stuff in cartoons already.

  • Scott

    I agree with the last two posts, its healthy to be critical of animation work out there but constructive criticism helps, not “they raped my childhood” talk.

    As far as the animation goes I think this would be a wonderful film opportunity to work on because its challenging to take a subpar script and trying to make it funny through the animation and I feel they’ve suceeded in that respect as to box office is shown. And just to say it again, this film is not for you, its for your kids. If you want to watch something to critique, go watch Persepolis, that was made more with your age group in mind.

    And by the way when i was a kid i grew up with 80’s chipmunks and anytime I saw an old 60’s chipmunks episode on tv i probably turned it off in the first 2 minutes because frankly it was boring me to tears and I didnt care about cool stylistic animation when i was 9, i just wanted a good story or a good laugh.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It was nice for someone to list off the episode titles from The Alvin Show, those brought back some very good memories for me (it wasn’t that bad a show at all)! I only wish it was out on DVD.

    Still haven’t seen the movie on the other hand, just didn’t see it being worth the extra $7 I don’t have after the holidays.

  • Joe

    I’m no fan of any of the television series, but I do agree they should be put on DVD for those who enjoy them. It would be foolish not to take advantage of dormant merchandise when the skillet is hot.

    Seems like the 2007 film is really raking it in. I have no interest in watching it, but I do agree it’s success is beneficial to the CGI animation industry despite how the film likely doesn’t deserve such high box office numbers.

  • tom

    Patton Oswalt’s response to David Cross (re: the pissing match over the Chipmunks movie) shed a lot of light onto what one now has to see as the brilliant David Cross’ thinnish skin. Oswalt basically quoted something Cross once said about Oswalt’s career, but without any anger or snarkiness intended. Cross either was in a mood that day or didn’t remember the quoted joke himself, and so a funnyman sock-and-manure fight erupted.

    I’d imagine DC’s regretting his little freakout by now. Here’s Patton’s reply on Bob Odenkirk and Cross’ website:

  • Some Guy

    This little exchange makes me glad that I don’t live in Hollywood. Screw the animation business, it’s too much in bed with the film industry. If I wanna make cartoons I’ll just make them myself, who needs these sellouts.

  • The poo-eating gag isn’t to my taste either, “ahem” and it wouldn’t bother me if Hollywood took a break from poo and fart gags for at least a generation (and underwear gags, etc…). Nonetheless, the award for best poo gag has to go to my friend Kevin Lima (and the animator) in ENCHANTED. The timing was perfect!

  • Norty

    “Alvin Eats a Turd” is the highest testing potential title for the sequel to date.

  • Brad Constantine

    Took the Kids(4 and 7) and they loved it….
    my advice…take a kid.

  • Rev. Woodrow Pace

    Given the fact that I have not seen the movie, I will not critique it, nor should I be allowed to. My brother saw it with his six year old son and they both enjoyed it together.

    I just wanted to say that when I read Amid’s comments, especially the final thoughts conveying a tone of disgust, I took him more literally. The last few posts confirm my thought, something I had heard about the movie which motivated my boycott, a boycott I had previously given only to John Waters movies. Unfortunately someone was strapped with the task of attaching the characteristics of color, texture, stickiness and ‘smearability’ to chipmunk shit, and then developing the equations to make it happen in a way that we might vicariously taste it. Poor Unfortunate Soul!

    Now having said that, I have to point out my own hypocrisy. I too laughed out loud at Kevin Lima’s totally unexpected Chipmunk turd in the land where there is no Happily Ever After. My apologies to all my soulmates among the animation snobbery associations.

  • I’ve yet to experience The Alvin Show but was a big fan of the 80s revival and The Chipmunk Adventure. The new movie is far from perfect but I think much of the criticism it receives takes things a bit far. I thought it was okay, and I’m glad to see the Chipmunks getting some attention. Given the film’s success obviously a sequel is inevitable and hopefully it will improve on the first. That, uh, may be a slightly naive view but I’m trying to be optimistic!

  • “Kids will love it”

    The animation biz’s favorite back-handed compliment!

  • Matt Sullivan

    Sorry Chris Bailey, but I was enjoying Enchanted UNTIL the chipmunk projectile-pooped. That ONE gag caused the flow of the film to crash to a halt ( at least for me ) And I’m a person who LIKES a good fart joke every now and then!

    Too much poop. Don’t wanna see it anymore. *muse*

  • The legacy of the 90s will be that the more awful something is, the more ink it gets. I think we just beat the 70s in embarrassing cultural stupidity.

  • IKR

    To be honest, I’m shocked myself. I thought “Alvin and the Chipmunks” would suck balls, but I found myself liking it, and I’m shocked too that the box office receipts are “ginor-mageddon”-sized. Let’s hope Juno and Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything would wipe out their competition when they come out. Here’s my predictions for Jan 11 – 13th:
    1. Juno
    2. The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything
    3. First Sunday
    4. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (I am so tired of seing this number one)
    5. Alvin and the Chipmunks

  • I agree with Tom Bancroft, your world changes once you have kids and I can imagine that most people here who complain about Alvin don’t have kids. There’s a big difference if you watch those type of movies alone or with your family. Enchanted was awesome, but yes, the poop shot brought everything down to Dreamworks level (don’t start the flaming, their movies tend to have a lot of poop/fart jokes, admit it). Enchanted REALLY didn’t need this. I’d love to hear who came up with it and who approved it.

    And I don’t know many artists who haven’t worked on crap, that’s just part of the job. You can’t always work on awesome stuff or hero shots or whatever. If that’s your aspiration and motivation on your road to becoming a professional animator, then you need a wake-up call.

  • Jeffrey Gray

    I have no comment on the Chipmunks movie. Not interested in seeing it, whether it is good or bad.

    Glad to hear that they didn’t urbanize them like the posters falsely implied, though.

    Also, going back to something waaay back in the beginning, though Paramount/CBS may be to blame for the lack of Terrytoons on DVD, they cannot be blamed Fleischer/Famous and Puppetoons stuff. The responsibility rests entirely on the shoulders of Lionsgate, who still has the video rights to the entire Republic Pictures catalog (with the exception of It’s a Wonderful Life, which Paramount assumed rights to for the new DVD release.)

    Also, an Alvin Show release would be entirely up to Bagdasarian Productions, who owns it (CBS/Viacom/Paramount only has TV distribution rights). Coincidentally, Bagdasarian releases through Paramount…

    And the 80s show, at least the Ruby-Spears episodes, will probably never see the light of day on DVD, because of the inevitable music-rights nightmare that would result. (The later DIC and Fred Wolf episodes didn’t use licensed music.)

  • I’m still saving my money for the “Elwy and the Tree Weasels” movie.

    That will kick butt.

  • The Chipmunk Adventure was REALLY well animated!!