When I was a kid in the '70s, one of the shows I watched on Saturday morning was The Alvin Show, which had been made in the early '60s and was being rerun. During the '80s, I wasn't really interested in TV cartoons and I didn't watch the new Alvin & the Chipmunks show. I saw pictures of the characters here and there, and I found I had nothing against their new look.
Then, last year, the movie came out, and a month or two ago I bought it on DVD out of curiosity. And I found I really liked it! Well, parts of it. Why? Because I'm one of those damn furries? Don't you take that tone with me! But yeah. For the first time, the Chipmunks look like real chipmunks, act like real chipmunks, and are the size of real chipmunks. At the start of the movie, they even live in the woods like real chipmunks. They are chipmunks! Except they can talk and sing.
And then they meet Dave Seville, and the movie gets around to one of my favorite furry themes: interactions between humans and anthropomorphic animals. (I always thought yerf.com's total ban on humans was a shame and a waste of potential material.) It amuses me to see Dave trying to catch rodents in his kitchen, and think that later that very evening he will be offering them his services as a songwriter!
And of course the absolute best parts of the movie are when they're singing together in harmony. We've all heard "The Chipmunk Song" a million times (well, okay, I've only heard it a thousand times), but when they sing it for Dave, damn if it doesn't sound more beautiful than ever!
The chipmunk acting is also very good. I'm guessing from the way Simon says "nonononono" in one scene that they did all the vocals the traditional way, the actors saying their lines slowly and the sound guys speeding up the recording. Ross Bagdasarian and his son Ross Jr., bless their hearts, never quite got the hang of acting at half speed, in my opinion. I tried watching a clip from the '80s show on YouTube, and the chipmunks kept, talkinggg, liiike, thiiis. But in the movie they nailed it! They also got the characterizations right; Alvin sounds like Alvin, Simon sounds like Simon, and Theodore sounds like Theodore.
Theodore is also damn cute.