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DVD Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies - Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom


Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies - Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom is a collection of three Alvin and the Chipmunks television episodes which each parody a successful, major motion picture. I enjoyed this DVD much more than Alvin and the Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Adventure, although the Chipmunks are still far from my favorite group of animated characters. And although I can't say that by the end I really wanted to watch more, I can say that putting only three half-hour episodes on a DVD is pretty lame, especially when half-hour episodes are actually about 23 minutes each, seeing is how the need to provide time for commercials when it's showing on television. So in total, you only get about 68 minutes of animation, and that includes the opening animations and end credits.

As I'm sure you can guess by the title of DVD cover art, the first episode parodies the Indiana Jones saga. Alvin plays the role of the Indiana Jones, who is a bumbling hero named Daytona Jones, while Simon sort of takes on the role of Indiana Jones' father, being the smart one that knows how to deduce clues. And Theodore... I guess he could be a parody of Short Round. One of the female chipmunks, Brittney, also appears in this episode, playing the damsel-not-so-in-distress. As with pretty much all Chipmunk episodes I've ever seen, the plotline is extremely simple. Daytona is after the Pearl of Wisdom, which supposedly will provide the answer to any question asked of it, but a rival treasure hunter shows up... with ninjas... and takes Daytona's part of the clue to its location. Short story shorter, the chipmunks try to beat the bad guy to the pearl, have a chase sequence with them singing in the background, and everything works out in the end.

The second episode is a parody of Batman, called Batmunk. Alvin and his brothers fix up Dave's car to make it look like a batmobile in order to increase their viewing pleasure while they watch the Batmunk movie. Then we go to the movie, where this time Simon is the hero of the story. Stepping into the role of the caped crusader, Batmunk must stop the evil Jokester (who is played by Alvin) from stealing all the Batmunk toys. And he succeeds. The end. Okay, it's not really the end, there's more. Batmunk's alter-ego, Brice Wayne, is set to unveil a new toy, and the Jokester wants it, and he kidnaps Brice Wayne and his love interest, ties them up, puts them in a roller coaster car, and threatens to pull the lever, releasing the car. Actually, that doesn't sound so bad... until you realize that the track is kind of missing a critical section! Will Batmunk's bumbling sidekick be able to come to the rescue? And how made is Dave going to be when he sees his car?

The final episode takes that classic family film about a robot and turns it into a Chipmunk adventure... of course I'm referring to Robocop. Theodore finds himself as the evil villain Mr. Pinkie, who is having his minions vandalize the city so that he can buy up the property uber-cheap. There to stop him is a hot cop named Officer Malone (played by Alvin), who can do wonders with bubble gum. When his partner, Violet (played by Brittney), is nearly run down by a truck, Malone pushes her out of the way and gets struck himself. Violet takes her injured partner to robotics expert Dr. Simonize, 'cause I guess hospitals don't exist in this world or something. Anyway, Dr. Simonize transforms the very non-injured looking injured chipmunk into a robot called Robomunk! Vandals watch out, 'cause this 'munk is cleaning up the town!

Not only is this DVD short, but it also lacks extra features of any kind. No commentary, no music videos, not even an art gallery or previews. Absolutely nothing. The DVD menu gives you four options, three to select which of the three episodes you want to play, and one to play all. That's it. Inside the DVD case there is a slip of paper that says "Get on the A List" followed by the URL chipmunks.com. On the back is nothing but white. If you like The Chipmunks, I'd say this would make a decent rental, but unless you're a hard core Chipmunk fan I really couldn't recommend purchasing it.

Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies - Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom, released by Dreamworks, is available starting September 9, 2008.

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