Most people know the Chipmunks for three characters: Alvin, Simon and Theodore. This trio was known for a voice that sounded like too many rpm’s at the old record machine. However for the purposes of this disc, the six episodes featured were focused on a trio who was the equivalent of the Chipmunk “B” team. Their names were Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor. They were known as the Chipettes. These are their stories. Dun Dun. (Cue Law & Order music).
Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor were actually introduced in the very 1st half-hour of programming for the Chipmunks during their run in 1983. Originally the two groups both lay claim to the name “Chipmunks”, but they grew to like each other and become on and off again friends and something more. Eleanor was just like Theodore, they both loved to eat and cook. However, Eleanor stood up for herself and was more athletic. Jeanette was an easy pair up with Simon. Both were book smart but Jeanette was clumsier and more of an introvert than Simon was. Finally there was Brittany who as vain and self centered as one Alvin Seville. Together they made the Chipettes and were ready to take on the same adventures as their counterparts and participate in a few more.
How did they work together? Fairly decently. They kept the male chipmunks on their toes and didn’t seem to hold them back from their typical adventures. Simon and Jeanette meshed well as did Eleanor and Theodore but Brittany and Alvin never seemed to mesh correctly because they were too similar. The problem with the Chipettes is said in one simple statement mentioned in the introduction. They are the “B” team. They were a marketing ploy to draw in young female children to watching the Chipmunks which actually worked on some level. The selection of episodes doesn’t feel all inclusive either because they don’t even include the episode where they introduce the Chipettes. I felt I was watching six episodes of my Little Pony rather than Alvin & The Chipmunks but I guess that was marketing’s purpose here.
The film is presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. The video is over 20 years old and it feels like it. Color is aged and mostly washed out. Chances are if you are showing this to your children, then you are showing this to them for nostalgia reasons. Hopefully they appreciate that.
The audio is provided in 2.0 English Dolby Digital. For the most part, like the video it is a very aged product. Dialog is okay and any sound effects are heavily muted. The musical interludes in each episode are a little better but for the most part it is just there to be appreciated by those who don’t care for technical details.
- Previews: Alvin & The Chipmunks. Looks to be more compilation discs. I guess there isn’t much call for season sets here.
Compilation discs rarely work. The only times I can think of is when it is a television series and they come up with a compilation disc for a certain theme or guest-star (a good example is the SNL discs with Steve Martin or Christopher Walken). But that is a rare occurrence. In a cartoon, it works even less of the time. I am afraid this disc is a failure. For 6 episodes an average retail price of $15, it isn’t even close to being worth it. The episodes are okay, but the episodes should have been closer to a dozen and better chosen. The video and audio are okay but only if you aren’t concerned with quality that looks like an old VHS tape. I really didn’t expect any extras but perhaps a pleasant surprise would have been nice. My suggestion; if you see it in a bargain bin for $5, then it might be a good time waster for the kids. Otherwise, avoid.
May the Best Chipmunk Win – Season 1, Episode 13B
Operation Theodore – Season 2, Episode 21B
Sisters – Season 3, Episode 30A
The Greatest Show-Offs on Earth – Season 2, Episode 24B
My Fair Chipette – Season 2, Episode 23B
Tell it to the Judge – Season 5, Episode 45B