Do You Remember? #58: Alvin & The Chipmunks Meet The Wolfman

So, okay, the last Alvin & The Chipmunks movie was with Frankenstein and you have to wonder where they could go from here, what did we get?

File:Alvin and the chipmunks meet the wolfman vhs cover.jpg

UM….okay, you folks do realize the major problem with this setup, right? Taking the story of The Wolfman and applying it into a kids movie….you know that this story can only end in one way…there’s gonna end up being one less chipmunk once this movie ends if you really take this movie out of context like I’m doing right now…okay, I’m rambling, let’s talk about this movie for reals:

Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman is a 2000 animated horror musical comedy-themed direct-to-video film, produced by Bagdasarian Productions and Universal Cartoon Studios, distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and based on characters from Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was released on VHS in 2000 and DVD (as a “Monster Pack” with Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein, Monster Mash, and four episodes of Archie’s Weird Mysteries) in 2004 by Universal Studios Home Entertainment. A Scare-riffic Double Feature DVD featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein and this film was released on September 4, 2007. Another Scare-riffic Double Feature DVD featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein and this film was re-released on March 11, 2008.

It’s the Chipmunks’ third and final full-length feature! Alvin is struggling with nightmares of werewolves. Alvin believes that the new next-door neighbor Mr. Talbot is a werewolf. Of course, no one believes him. Meanwhile, the boys are working on the school production of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. When Alvin blows up the school auditorium, he is expelled from the production. Theodore is put in to rise his lack of confidence. Alvin and Simon are trying to discover the secret of Mr. Talbot. Will the play go as planned or will the Chipmunks mess it up?! And is Mr. Talbot a werewolf

On the whole, the movie actually looks like a radical upgrade compare to the Frankenstein movie in terms of higher quality animation that actually looks much closer to the 80s TV series, much better songs, a more better put together plotline, and actual life lessons in this. So, really, it seems like we have a winner here right?

Well…while the plot is more understandable and easier to understand compared to the previous movie, there are still noticeable flaws to the storyline that go right back to the title of the film. For starters, the name of the next-door neighbor of Alvin’s is Lawrence Talbot…the same name of the man in the original Wolfman movie who turned into the werewolf…and considering how Alvin loves horror and science fiction, you would think he would’ve put two and two together…well, okay he does but of course nobody believes him…even though they established in the last movie that Frankenstein exists in this world.

There’s a couple of nitpicks with the plot itself that don’t really make sense. For example, this is the only one of the two direct-to-video movies to have the Chipettes in here and for some strange reason, they have Brittany sound like a valley girl, or more than likely since this was five years after Clueless, she could’ve sounded like Cher from that movie. Still, it’s an odd decision on the part of Janice Karman to go in that direction and it just feels odd and out of place.

And then, there’s one part that a lot of people seem to look over but I just remember this one part and it just comes off as odd if you listen closely. There’s a part in the movie where Alvin is forced out of the production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the director is talking to the principal about who should take over the part and suggests Theodore to be the replacement and if you listen really closely where the principal whispers into the director’s ear, you can literally hear her say the phrase “bless the lord with all your…” I’m not even joking, the whisper is literally the start of a prayer, I really don’t know if this was intentional or just a random out of nowhere line but that’s just something that always stuck with me with this movie.

But the real biggest problem of the movie comes in the last 20 minutes of the movie where you have all this crazy stuff happening beginning with Dave literally coming face to face with Talbot as the werewolf proving that “hey, Alvin wasn’t completely insane in thinking this monster actually exists” and trying to get to the kids before Talbot does. Meanwhile, Theodore, after spending much of the time as a werewolf puppy finally turns into a full fledge werewolf…and by full fledge werewolf, I mean, Jack Black if he never shaved his facial hair and starts causing havoc backstage. Talbot finally makes it to the school because Dave doesn’t realize until the last minute that he’s leading Talbot right to the kids…oops…and eventually comes face to face with Alvin himself. Theodore has Eleanor cornered but an amulet he gave her earlier in the film finally snaps Theodore out of it and he runs off only to return once Talbot gets ready to attack Alvin and the gang on stage and thus, Talbot and Theodore have a one on one standoff.

And thus we come to one of the biggest WTF plot twist ever, Theodore and Talbot fight but then, when Theodore bites Talbot, it…somehow gets rid of the curse and thus both Talbot and Theodore are cured of the werewolf’s curse….yeah, that’s how they avoid the obvious real ending of having the werewolf being shot by a silver bullet…that would’ve made this a really dark ending for this movie and the whole franchise pretty much…and they never really explain it. Simon basically says that because Theodore bit Talbot back, it reversed the curse and thus things went back to normal, which to be fair, that’s not a bad explanation but an idea I have would be to essentially have that same situation happen except have it so that Theodore bites Talbot in the exact same spot Talbot bit Theodore at, thus that makes the whole reversing the curse scenario make more sense. That’s just my opinion though but the way the movie does it, it’s odd but hey, at least it’s better than taking the darker way out and shooting Theodore in the heart with a silver bullet.

Oh, and by the way, while this craziness in the play is going on, the audience is literally thinking this was all part of the play so when the blood sprains from when the werewolf chews up all the kids, the audience will pretty much be like the audience from The Addams Family:

But the biggest case of holy-mother-of-contrived-happy-endings ever comes at the very end, the after party starts with the principal, who earlier in the film said she was retiring as the principal, announcing her replacement and guess who it is…Lawrence Talbot…so, thankfully, they got rid of that curse before his job started and then, Dave doesn’t realize that the situation is taken care of when Alvin & Simon literally tell him how Theodore took down a werewolf. Naturally, Dave wants to know how that happened but Alvin’s just like, “yeah, he doesn’t need to know that”…um….yeah, he kind of does. I mean, he literally saw Talbot turn him into a werewolf, he knows that Alvin isn’t insane and he deserves some form of an explanation of what the hell has been going on over the last few days but the movie literally 360s over to a song and they all live happily ever after. Yes, I know this was intended solely for kids and throwing in too much causes them to be distracted easily but these are some pretty big plot holes here, guys.

Okay, all this rambling aside, how does the movie itself fare up?

Well, in some ways, the movie definitely is a vast improvement on the Frankenstein film, the animation looks a lot better, more colorful, more vibrant, and more like the 80s cartoon, the songs are nicely done, the voice acting is really good the plotline is much better handled, and there’s a good life lesson about standing up for yourself and not just being a pushoff but with that said, the execution of the overall story and the last 20 minutes just fall flat because of some ridiculously flawed and lazy choices. It’s harmless but heavily flawed, I would say watch it on Discovery Family since they play it every Halloween but don’t rush out to watch it on DVD.

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