Plot: Alvin, Simon and Theodore as well as the Chipettes are preparing for a play at their school; Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde. Alvin’s newest obsession, monsters, is causing trouble both at home and at school, so Dave makes him quit all of it cold turkey, including bumping him as the lead in the play. Instead, Theodore, who is currently being bullied by a boy named Nathan, will take up the part in hopes that it will improve his self-confidence. However, he will soon be closer to Mr. Hyde than he ever wanted to be when he gets bit by a werewolf.
Breakdown: Now THIS is a Halloween staple in my house. I’ve been watching this special on Halloween since I was a kid, and I love it as much now as I did back then. Alvin and the Chipmunks are just hard to dislike….and yes, I’m aware of the live-action movies. I said they’re hard to dislike, not impossible.
While Simon is my favorite chipmunk, I like Theodore a lot, and this story was fully suited for him. Poor little Theodore definitely would get bullied in school, though how little of a life do you have to have to pick on a chipmunk?
Surprisingly, they also integrated his chipmunkness into his being a werewolf. See, they had to have Theodore transform fairly frequently throughout the movie to solidify how much of a personality change Theodore undergoes and to show how dire the situation is. Though he’s a werewolf puppy IE just acts a bit like a jerk and like a real puppy the rest of the time throughout most of the movie.
They explain that since Theodore’s a chipmunk he’s much closer to the animal side than humans are. So he transforms every night no matter if there’s a full moon or not.
Though some of the ‘science’ doesn’t make any sense like how did biting Mr. Talbot change him back? I mean, they explain how it changes Theodore back, since he was biting the wolf who bit him, but why would that turn Mr. Talbot back to normal? He seems to be a werewolf through genetics somehow. If it does work by biting the werewolf that bit you, wouldn’t Mr. Talbot have to bite the werewolf who bit him not be bitten by someone he bit?
Also, Madame Reya, the psuedo-psychic that Alvin loves to watch, really couldn’t think of a method of turning Theodore back without killing him when it’s this easy? And, hell, if he turned Mr. Talbot back after he’d been a werewolf probably all of his life, her saying that he’d permanently be a werewolf after the next full moon was also just false.
I guess I can’t be too picky about supernatural science in an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, but it still bothers me a little.
Story-wise, I do have to take points off because the ordeal technically has no impact on Theodore. In the end, he remembers nothing of his time as a werewolf so any character development he’d have afterward is gone. He doesn’t even confront Nathan after he turns back. His self-confidence problem is still a problem. He becomes kinda friends with him after he becomes a jerky werewolf, but I can’t imagine them being friends after he got cured. Last we see of him, he’s moping at a punch bowl until a girl invites him over to dance. A girl who was previously fawning over were-Theo. Guess she has a thing for assholes.
I also like the display of brotherhood between the chipmunks. One of the problems I have with Alvin in the live-action movies is that he’s much more of a douche than he usually is in the cartoons. Here, he does get into a lot of trouble and he does have an ego, but he’s still a genuinely nice kid who is trying to look out for his little brother, same with Simon. Though I do have to take points off here too. One minor point off for never telling Dave or anyone what was going on. They only tell Madame Reya and only after a lot of time has passed, to the point where it’s nearly too late to save him.
And one major point for the fact that they knew the night of the play was the last night they’d have a chance to save Theodore and yet they still decide to go on with the play anyway without any hesitation. They also know he’ll be a full-fledged werewolf that night yet instead of keeping him contained or trying to cure him, they let Theodore go on with the play too. I know they’re kids, but they’re not braindead. I’m especially disappointed in Simon, he should really know better.
The final climax was pretty exciting and I’m glad they didn’t go for some stupid death fakeout.
Overall, this is a well-animated, wonderfully voice acted and fun little Halloween special, even if it’s not technically for Halloween. The music was also really great, as pretty much expected of Alvin and the Chipmunks. I still sing Everything’s Gonna be Alright randomly, especially around Halloween, and The Monster Out in You is a much better and catchier song than I remember. Munks on a Mission is the low point here though. I don’t much care for it.
Recommended Audience: The tiniest spec of blood because obviously Theodore had to be bit for this movie to work, but otherwise nothing that scary or offensive. E for everyone!
Final Note: I never noticed this before….but the Chippettes….Uhhh….do they have no fur? I only ask because the Chipmunks clearly have a brown tinge to their skin, indicating fur, with tufts on top of their heads making their hair styles. Yet the Chippettes are clearly flesh colored and their hair is regular hair….It’s just making me imagine the Chippettes secretly being naked mole rats or something.
One last thing, the principal of the school knows that Nathan constantly bullies him, but unless Theodore comes to her for help she can’t do anything. What kind of useless-ass school is this?