Alvin and the Chipmunks



CGI critters are silly -- but very 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

Positive messages

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.


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."


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. There's also a fair amount of slapstick/cartoonish violence. But overall, it's a mild kids' flick -- 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?


If the thought of high-pitched voices singing a rap version of vintage Chipmunks hit "Witch Doctor" and Lipps Inc's "Funkytown" (among other songs) sends cold shivers of horror down your spine, this may not be the family film 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

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator Written byscatney April 9, 2008

I cried! Where are the real Alvin, Simon and Theodore?!

What a disappointment. I saw this with a friend so we could decide whether to take our kids (ages 6 and 7). I should have known with the most recent cartoon redos that this would be more of the same style updating. Crude behavior, sexy dress, and plenty of potty mouthed sexual innuendo to boot. The chipmunks that I remember were mischievous but more in a Dennis the Mennace sort of way. The Chipmonks 2007 are far too Bart Simpson. I'm not sure what movie makers are thinking. A film that is marketed towards kids would do much better at the box office if it really was a kids movie. I have 3 and I won't be buying tickets for them. I am part of several Mom's groups and have shared my opinions with other moms. When someone comes across something great for kids, we all jump at the chance to share the experience with our kids. When we come across something like this Chipmunk movie that is totally inappropriate for anyone in elementary school, we save each other the time and money that would have been wasted by attending. Listen up Hollywood, You are capable of so much better. Why do you insist on throwing in the trash talk, scantily clad girls, and the sexual behavior? What about that says to you "Hmmm, this is what I want my kids to see"? We will search for some of the old cartoons of Alvin and the gang and introduce the kids to them the right way. Save your money and spend your time doing something really great with your kids, trust me, this movie will leave you with much explaining to do. Why seek out that kind of headache? Go ice skating or bowling instead.
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.
Kid, 12 years old April 29, 2010

Not really educational, but just plain fun!!

There is nothing overly bad, and there is nothing Innapropriate on this film. There is a bit of a message here, but nothing overly outstanding. I also think that there is a bit of comsumerisim, but that it pretty mild, and is always found in pop-culture. Overall, I give this a 7 out of 10, and a B+.


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