When the later cartoon series ran starting in 1983, the show from time to time spoofed many of the popular films of the time. Over the years everything from Star Trek to Star Wars received the Chipmunk treatment. Collectively these episodes have often been released under the title Chipmunks Go To The Movies and have even appeared with Roger Ebert. One of the best of these spoofs is the hilarious Star Wreck. Actually, the disc comes with three episodes, each spoofing a different film.
The Chipmunks began life oddly enough as a singing group, of sorts. They were the brainchild of struggling songwriter Ross Bagdasarian and were named after the three chief executives at Liberty records. His own alter ego David Seville’s name came from his World War II Army station in Spain. The Chipmunks first appeared in a 1958 record called The Witch Doctor, but wouldn’t officially become The Chipmunks until later that year when The Chipmunks Christmas Song was released. It is for that Christmas music that I most remember the group. They first appeared as puppets on The Ed Sullivan Show. Alvin and the boys got their own television show in 1961. When Ross died in 1972, the Chipmunks would continue on under the guidance of his son. In 1983 The Chipmunks had yet another popular cartoon show and had appeared in countless specials and films. Today they are pretty much a hallmark at the holidays, and a Christmas song collection just wouldn’t be complete without them.
Star Wreck: The Absolutely Final Frontier:
These are the voyages of the starship Boobyprise. Her courageous overacting Captain James T. Dirk (Alvin), his science officer the logical Mr. Speck (Simon), and Dr. Nose McRoy (Theodore). The ship encounters a race of beings that despises anything that is different. Believing they are on a rescue mission, the family is taken aboard the ship and proceeds to suck up all non-conformity with their powerful sucker vacuum cleaners. Can the Chipmunks in space save the ship? Open all hailing frequencies, Miss Uhaha.
Yellow raincoat. Wide-brimmed fedora. It must be none other than that famous detective Chip Tracy (Alvin). Can they keep the streets of Mod City safe from the notorious Flatfoot and his gang? This one might have been included because one of the writers, Deanne Duane, writes Star Trek novels.
Elementary, My Dear Simon:
It’s none other than that master of deduction Sherlock Holmes and his trusty side-kick, Simon.
Each episode of The Chipmunks is presented in its original full frame broadcast format. Colors are actually pretty good here, but the print suffers from a lot of damage. There are a lot of specks and other unfriendly artifacts covering the entire print. The animation lines often appear fuzzy. It looks as though no real restoration effort was made here.
The Dolby Digital Mono track is actually in better shape than the video, but not by much. The songs sound pretty distorted, and I can’t even figure out what they’re saying most of the time. Of course, that might mean the songs are in for a comeback with the younger audiences of today. With some modern music you either can’t understand them or wish that you couldn’t.
Nothing. The extra 2 episodes are considered “bonus episodes,” but when your feature is only 20 minutes, I don’t consider them as extra.
The Chipmunks are classic, and these episodes were part of the Alvin And The Chipmunks series that ran from 1983 until 1990. The show went far longer in syndication, so you might have caught them on Saturday morning much later than that. There’s only about an hour of stuff here, and I still wish that we could just get season sets instead of these loosely themed single disc releases. Nobody’s listening, however. But, you can listen to those musical rodents fill at least an hour of your life with laughter, “a form of levity used by humans to entertain”.