Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Zachary Levi, David Cross, Jason Lee, Justin Long, Amy Poehler, Christina Applegate
(20th Century Fox)
US theatrical: 23 Dec 2009 (General release)
UK theatrical: 21 Dec 2009 (General release)
Editor’s note: Our special contributor for this review is seven years old.
At the beginning of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, the Chipmunks go to Paris to perform in a huge concert. Alvin (voiced by Justin Long) shows off, like always, even though Dave (Jason Lee) warns him to stop. Inevitably, Alvin causes big problems: the stage crashes and Dave ends up in the hospital. So, Dave’s out of the story and the Chipmunks have to go home and stay with Dave’s cousin, Toby (Zachary Levi), who plays video games 24/7. Toby mostly lets them do whatever they want, which they think is phenomenal, at least at first! But Toby does make them start school like Dave wanted them to, even though that’s the last thing Alvin, Simon, and Theodore want to do. At West Eastman High School, they meet bullies who pick on them and give them swirlies—gross!—and the principal, Dr. Rubin (Wendy Malik), who is secretly a big fan of the Chipmunks.
In the meantime, three girl Chipmunks come to Hollywood looking for Ian (David Cross), the producer they think made the Chipmunks stars. Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor don’t only sing and dance. They also look exactly like girl versions of the boys: Eleanor (Amy Poehler) is chubby like Theodore, Jeanette (Anna Faris) wears glasses like Simon, and Brittany (Christina Applegate) has an attitude, much like Alvin. On seeing the Chipettes, Ian—who was disgraced in the last movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks—thinks he’s back in business. He sends them to West Eastman High School to compete against the Chipmunks in a singing contest. Ian wants the Chipettes to win so he can be a famous producer again.
A lot of things in this movie are exactly like the first one. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore think Dave sets too many rules until they live without any. In the first movie, this happened when they moved in with Ian and in this one, it happens when they live with Toby. At first, they are like, “YES!” But then they miss Dave and they miss his rules, too. Ian treats the Chipettes the same way he treated the Chipmunks in the first movie: he is nice at first, but then he gets mean, working them too hard and not caring about them. He just wants to make money off of them. Another idea that comes up again is Alvin’s selfishness. He thinks about himself more than his family and so he has to learn to appreciate them and understand that family comes first.
Even though a lot of the Squeakuel is like the first movie, it is still fun to watch the Chipettes and the Chipmunks perform. The singing is always the best part of a Chipmunks movie and this one had lots of good songs like “You Spin Me Round” and “Single Ladies.”
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.