If I ever met a talking anamorphic chipmunk who could speak English, I would probably call the police and have them check for a gas leak. If I met two more, I would probably make them form a band and wear t-shirts with the first letter of their names on them. In its simplest form, ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ was about that; a man with a pair of Dockers forcing possible missing-links into becoming musicians.
The main human in the show is a guy named Dave Seville. He’s pretty much John from Garfield, insecure and terrible with women. Dave is a songwriter which means he’s probably a bad poet. Isn’t songwriting mostly coming up with poems that don’t fully rhyme? Songwriting is a much different occupation these days than it was when Alvin and the Chipmunks first premiered in 1958. Back then songwriters were important. Now any pretty girl who can dance a little bit can call herself a songwriter.
Nobody would ever choose Dave as their favorite character from the show. That’s like saying your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character is April O’Neil. The Chipmunks were the real stars of the show.
The first chipmunk to mention should be Alvin. He’s the Max Weinberg and the rest are the Max Weinberg Seven. Or maybe he’s the Tom Petty and they’re the Heartbreakers. Or he’s the Nick Cave and they’re the Bad Seeds. You get the point.
Alvin is a big troublemaker. He’s the oldest brother, which doesn’t feed into the stereotype about older brothers being the most grounded and respectful. Alvin’s antics usually lead Dave to yell “Alvin!” in a furious voice. Really the worst thing Alvin ever does is not show up on time. He’s a chipmunk after all. Even if the mothers try to eat their young after they’re born, chipmunks are pretty harmless.
The next oldest of the chipmunk brothers is Simon. Simon is the smart one in the family. He’s so smart that he needs to wear glasses. Wouldn’t it be great if animals really did wear glasses? Maybe that’s why you never see a cat reading. Their eyesight isn’t good enough. Get a pair of glasses on a cat and I guarantee they’ll be demanding cat versions of all the classics. The Great Catsby, Great Catspectations, David Catterfield, Moby-Cat, Crime and Catishment, and so on would hit the market.
Finally there’s Theodore. He’s the fat youngest brother in the group. He’s also fat and enjoys food. Did I really have to add that second part in there? Fat people are never like, “Oh please food is so gross.” Theodore is a really big wimp and probably the furthest from Alvin. When Alvin’s trying schemes, Theodore is more obsessed with not changing his name to Ted. All Theodores should become Teds. It’s just what you should do.
These three chipmunks were not alone in being gross freaks. And yes, in the old cartoon the chipmunks were really gross.
In addition to the main boys, there are The Chipettes, female versions of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. Their names are Brittany (the hot one with a “pleasing figure” as it has been said), Jeanette (the nerdy one that also dresses weird), and Eleanor (a lover of creamy foods). I always dislike when a show has direct counterparts. It always reminds me of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure how Keanu Reeves hooks up with the dark-haired princess and the other guy hooks up with the blonde princess.
The show gained most of its notoriety from the songs sung by the Chipmunks. Of course we all know a little bit more about technology these days and know all they did was speed up the voices to give it that chipmunk sound.
The first big song based around this show was “Witch Doctor” performed by the character Dave. There’s a chipmunk voice in the song, but of course at the time they thought the idea of singing chipmunks was stupid, something I still believe. The second big song was “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).” It’s the one where Alvin wants a hula hoop. So basically, this show was only popular because two catchy songs from the late 1950s were based off characters in the show.