Alvin and the Chipmunks Movie Poster Image

Alvin and the Chipmunks

(i)

 

CGI critters are silly and sassy but mostly kid-friendly.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: March 31, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Family matters. Rules are good; always being able to do what you want isn't as fun as it seems.

Positive role models

Dave learns that even chipmunks can become your family. The chipmunks discover that being loved and cared for by Dave is better than being treated like overworked rock stars.

Violence & scariness

Dave angrily throws his music equipment out his door. A security guard tries to push Dave out of a concert. Cartoonish, slapsticky scenes involving the chipmunks and Dave (like when a jar falls on Dave's head and he passes out).

Sexy stuff

Female backup singers and partygoers wear tight, revealing clothes. Dave hugs and kisses Claire.

Language

Chipmunks make slightly inappropriate remarks, especially Alvin: "You're hot," "You're such a buzz kill," "She wanted you," etc. Ian calls the chipmunks "rats" and tells them to "make love to the camera" during a photo shoot. They also tell Dave his music "sucks."

Consumerism

Several scenes involve the chipmunks watching SpongeBob SquarePants or eating/heating Van's waffles. Also: Hummer, Porsche, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, Billboard, Apple laptop, Bose speakers, Tobasco sauce, Bob Dylan poster, and various recognizable toys and games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Nothing notable: A glimpse of adults drinking champagne at the big launch party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this movie is mostly OK for little kids, there's some innuendo and sassy language that children might mimic. Alvin in particular says mildly off-putting remarks like "You're hot" to Dave's date or "She wanted you" to Dave. They also tell Dave his music "sucks." There's also a fair amount of slapstick/cartoonish violence. Female backup singers and partygoers wear tight, revealing clothes. But overall, it's a mild kids' movie -- albeit one that's mired in product placement and overcommercialism.

What's the story?

Three chipmunks -- voiced by Justin Long (Alvin), Matthew Gray Gubler (Simon), and Jesse McCartney (Theodore) -- are kicked out of their pine tree home when it's chopped down and shipped to a record label's headquarters as a Christmas tree. They end up sneaking a ride with Dave (Jason Lee), a down-and-out song composer who's none too happy to discover he has new rodent pals. Eventually, of course, the trio starts singing and inspires Dave to write a Christmas song that wows an oily label exec (David Cross). The rest is chipmunk history.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

If the thought of high-pitched voices singing a rap version of the vintage Chipmunks hit "Witch Doctor" and Lipps Inc's "Funkytown" sends shivers of horror down your spine, this may not be for you. But if you and the kids are up for a silly adventure featuring cute, familiar characters, Alvin and the Chipmunks is a safe-if-not-stellar bet this holiday season, especially for the under-10 crowd.

The best part of the story is that kids will see the danger of living like a "rock star" all the time. Too many toys and not enough discipline -- not to mention way too much caffeine and too many late-night concert gigs -- make Alvin, Simon, and Theodore crave Dave's loving discipline. If only real children were as reasonable as fictional chipmunks...

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media generally portrays young superstars. Do you think this movie is a realistic look at what life is like for kid stars? What kinds of pressures do they face?

  • Do you think kids in showbiz get to do whatever they want when they aren't working -- like Ian suggested -- or are they kept to a more "normal" routine, like Dave wanted?

  • Kids: Ask your parents if they prefer the movie Chipmunks or either of the older TV versions.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 13, 2007
DVD release date:March 31, 2008
Cast:David Cross, Jason Lee, Justin Long
Director:Tim Hill
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Music and sing-along
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild rude humor.

This review of Alvin and the Chipmunks was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bysillycomb March 23, 2011

all ages admitted

They could have made this movie a little better. The movie was pretty obvious.
Parent of a 4 and 5 year old Written byDawnyDawn January 19, 2010

Not good for 6 or under

Don't like the suggestive language and clothing.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bybskinner April 9, 2008

I was disgusted with the backup singers/ dancers

This was a movie like many ruined by some of the content. The backup singers/dancers were dressed very provocativelyy. I did not appreciate my 11 year old boy being exposed to all the female skin and sexually provocative dancing that they produced. Just because it was in the background did not make it any less offensive. Another example of the media exposing our kids to things we wouldn't. They also included "bubbly" (champagne). Why do our kids need exposed to this? Because Hollywood wants to shape their values. We shouldn't fall for it as parents. Don't become numb by exposure.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?