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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) - Blu-ray DVD / family and children's DVD / comedy DVD / animation DVD review
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Zachary Levi, David Cross, Jason Lee, Justin Long, Amy Poehler, Matthew Gray Gubler
Director: Betty Thomas   Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 30 March 2010   Runtime: 88 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features:Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - Spanish, French), Subtitles (English SDH, Spanish), 1080p/AVC MPEG-4, Aspect ratio 1.85:1, Munking History: 50 Years of Chipmunk Mischief, Mayhem & Music, Munk Music Machine, Meet the Chipettes, Rockin' Rising Stars, Music Mania, Meet the Stuffies, Shake Your Groove Thing! with Rosero, Music videos & sing-alongs ("Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," "We Are Family," "Shake Your Groove Thing"), Music videos ("You Really Got Me" w/ Honor Society; "The Song" w/ Queensberry), A-l-v-i-n-n-n-n!!! Album Maker, Live Lookup, Music In A Nutshell: Song Trivia, The Chipmunks: Behind the Squeaking, A-NUT-omy of a Scene

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo w/ Digital Copy)When I put my name in to review Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, I did so only because my children showed some desire to see it. I figured it'd be for the dogs, and maybe I'd get to write a venomous review about the film not quite squeaking by the direct-to-video market. Perhaps this perspective helped me to appreciate it more than I would have had I entered with high hopes.

We join the Chipmunks as they play a benefit concert. Alvin's hijinks lead to an accident that puts the Chipmunks' manager/guardian, Dave (Jason Lee), in the hospital. Dave's aunt Jackie will be watching them for a while as Dave recovers. He has also arranged to have them enrolled in school to give the boys a normal life of some sort. Soon after they meet aunt Jackie, she is hospitalized - that leaves her grandson Toby (Zachary Levi) in charge. Toby spends much of his time riveted to video games, and for much of the film, we're not even sure if he's even seen the Chipmunks. Their emotional rudder is missing at a very trying time in their lives.

Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) start the school year with typical new-at-school trepidation. They are the shortest kids there, and their superstardom doesn't afford them a free ride. Their principal, Dr. Rubin (Wendie Malick), wants them to help the school earn a financial boost for their music department (she's a big fan). Head jock Ryan (Kevin G. Schmidt) wants to use Alvin as a secret weapon on the football team. He's mean enough that Alvin should know that he can't be trusted. Naturally things come down to Alvin's choice between the football game and the music event with his brothers. Add to all that conflict three hot singing female chipmunks, who are being managed by the boys' old manager, Ian (David Cross).

There are some of the usual conventions of a school-age comedy, as well as some of the emotional touchstones of tender family fare. It's a good family film that all non-jaded family members will find entertaining, a full-bodied effort with real depth from Betty Thomas, the director who showed us Howard Stern's Private Parts and The Brady Bunch Movie.

The Blu-ray edition looks beautiful, enabling you to see every animated hair on these half-dozen adorable chipmunks. The combo pack gives you a standard DVD and a digital copy to take with you. If you liked the first one, this one will do just fine by you.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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