A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein is a Halloween-themed cartoon featuring the Chipmunks on a spooky adventure with a few musical numbers woven in. There's a lot of cartoon creepiness, including going into a cemetery for body parts, one of the chipmunks being poisoned and shocked, skeletons that pull you back into the grave, and numerous scary bats, ghosts, and scenes of fright. In the end, the chipmunks work together to help the monster when they see he's good-hearted, but the creepy frights make it best for school-age kids.
What's the story?
While working as performers for a movie studio tour, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore decide to explore Frankenstein's castle, only to learn that the real Dr. Frankenstein lives there and the monster is very real. But even monsters aren't always what they seem, and soon the chipmunks sing and make mischief as they embark on a mission to help Frankenstein escape the evil doctor and find acceptance before the doctor reclaims his creation, turns them into monsters, or both.
Is it any good?
This is classic Chipmunk fare -- a 1990s animated adventure that still looks like it's from the '80s, with singing and positive lessons about sticking together, cleaning up messes, and acceptance. Here, viewers get a decent Halloween-themed twist that pokes fun at Hollywood and gives the old Frankenstein story a twist, yet still reinforces that things are not always what they seem and sometimes very nice people come in very strange packages. Kids will enjoy the cartoon creepiness, which isn't too scary, and the sing-alongs, which are the main attraction in Chipmunk land. There are plenty of scary faces and frights, though, so this is better for grade schoo-age kids and older.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Frankenstein. What makes the character so scary? What do you know about the real Frankenstein story?
In this movie, why is it so hard to get others to understand that Frankenstein is a good monster?
Have you ever thought someone was scary only to find out he or she was nice? What happened?
What is your favorite spooky story?
- In theaters: September 28, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: September 8, 2015
- Cast: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman, Michael Bell
- Director: Kathi Castillo
- Studio: Universal Studios
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Holidays, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 79 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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