Animating Halloween: ALVINNN!! and the Chipmunks – Switch Witch


Plot: Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor enjoy their Halloween until their candy is suddenly switched with fruit and books thanks to the evil Switch Witch.

Breakdown: Ooh yay! Another Alvin and the Chipmunks Halloween special! I don’t remember there being more, but let’s……Oh….Oh it’s from the latest reboot…

Look, I have nothing against ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks besides, holy hell, that name is dumb. I’ve watched a couple episodes before and it’s something I like to call a ‘coma show’ as in, when I watch it I feel as though I’ve entered into a coma. The time is gone, I might feel like I’ve heard things during it, but I don’t remember anything.

We get such gems like this:

Theodore: “I got a rock.” A failed, but appreciated, Charlie Brown reference, that they decide to ruin by doing this.

Theodore: “Oh no, it’s a candy bar that fell out of its wrapper.” *bite* “Ow…No it’s a rock.”

Any idiot could see that’s a rock. It’s not even a brown rock. Why would you think that’s a candy bar? I know Theodore’s a little dim, but he’s not Patrick from Spongebob stupid.

Granted, it’s not like Alvin and the Chipmunks ever had groundbreaking stories or anything, but they typically had some fun, memorable moments and good songs. This reboot is about as ‘meh’ as it gets. Even the animation is boring. I feel like I’m watching something made by the people who made the CGI Barbie movies. Everything’s so plastic. Who would’ve thought I’d long for the days when the boys basically wore nightgowns all day.

You want to know how benign this special is? You remember how Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman had the boys worried they might have to shoot their brother with a silver bullet? Or how the Frankenstein monster nearly got killed by an angry mob? And how both movies had fairly action-y climaxes?

Here, the ‘monster’ is someone called the Switch Witch.

She is a witch who steals your candy and replaces it with fruit and books.

That’s it. That’s all. She doesn’t attack you, she doesn’t kill you, she doesn’t turn you into a frog or something – she just steals your candy and replaces it with fruit and books.

There is absolutely no reason the kids should be even the least bit afraid of this woman, especially considering they believe she already stole their candy by the end of the first act. All tension is drained before we even realize the conflict.

And, gee, the chipmunks thinking their neighbor is a supernatural being and trying to trap them. I wonder where I’ve heard that before. At least in that movie they were right, and Mr. Talbot turned out to be a legitimate threat. This whole plot is so blindingly transparent.

By the by, who gives out candy canes for Halloween? This looks less like Halloween candy and more like someone mixed Valentines and Christmas candy together.

And, dear god, the size of those candy bars. I know the chipmunks are small, but Dave was eating one earlier and he might as well have been eating a brick. Damn King Size – that was like Galactus size.


Oh, I’m gonna give you a second to notice what’s wrong with this shot of the kids setting up a trap for the Switch Witch.











Yup. They have a giant bowl filled with candy. They’re using this giant bowl of candy to lure out the Switch Witch… they can get their candy back………..They established earlier that none of them had a drop of candy, even Dave ate the leftovers from the Trick-Or-Treater bowl he had….but they have a bowl full of candy at the ready.

So….even this incredibly lame “conflict” isn’t the slightest bit a conflict because they do indeed have plenty of candy.

Wonderful writing, guys. Top notch, really.

This whole story seems like it’s leading up to a dose of karma to the Chipmunks and Chippettes, but they royally screw up the moral to the point where there is none anymore.

Why do they need a dose of karma, you may ask?

Well, they got a good deal of their haul by tricking the aforementioned neighbor, Ms. Crooner. She’s elderly and has memory problems so they just kept ringing the doorbell over and over and getting candy over and over because she didn’t remember them coming to the door. They kinda felt bad when they came home….well, the girls did a little, but even they literally said they didn’t feel bad enough about it to give up their candy. Then it’s just dropped…entirely.

Ms. Crooner dresses up in a cheap witch outfit and heads to a cabin in the woods. The kids follow her, because that’s always smart, supernatural being or otherwise, and she does a dumb ‘flashlight over the face to make it ‘scary’’ trick, has Dave hang upside down in a bat costume and then they immediately show them the massive load of candy they can now have.

Even when Ms. Crooner and Dave pull the prank on Alvin and the others, they don’t mention what they did to her. The kids don’t feel bad about it, the adults never point out that this prank was retaliation nor do they have the kids apologize – all Dave said was he was trying to make Halloween scarier for them like Alvin wanted.

In summary, they take advantage of an elderly woman’s memory problems, milk her of candy, don’t feel bad about it, at least not enough to give up the candy, don’t even think about apologizing, and what they get in return is a fun Halloween prank, a mountain of candy and a Halloween-themed cabin to spend the rest of the night in.

Good. Parenting. Dave.

All I’m getting from this episode is a vanilla Halloween story that already feels like it’s been done before, and much better (by its own franchise, even!), as well as a screwed up moral that basically says ‘take advantage of the elderly and you’ll have fun and lots of candy!’

Look, I know kids don’t want fruit and books on Halloween, but this special is also kinda saying ‘fruit and books are terrible. Suck down that candy!’ Even when Ms. Crooner tells the kids they’ll have even more fun by reading the books she left, in addition to eating the candy pile, the kids all basically just groan and roll their eyes.

They didn’t even set up the plot properly. Where did Theodore hear about this Switch Witch? In the Werewolf movie, Alvin was obsessed with supernatural creatures and his obsessions lead him into looking too much into Mr. Talbot, who, in all fairness, was a werewolf. Here, Theodore just knows about the Switch Witch from the start with no explanation as to where this story came from. If it came from Dave, they didn’t show it or imply it.

Also, apparently, there’s a new bully character in this show, at least that’s what I think they’re going for because he’s clearly made to be an idiot and calls them ‘losers.’ His name is Cheesy…..Kay. He’s very annoying, but he was only in one scene.

I would’ve easily written this off as a harmless and boring Halloween special, but that moral, if you can even call it that, was screwed up so badly I can’t give it such a pass. Not to mention that I don’t think 11 minute holiday specials work well from the starting gate. Their plot was way too thin to stretch further, but specials always feel a bit hollow when they’re basically half episodes.

The only shining spot of this special is the music number, which was good, but it only lasts about thirty seconds, and the lyrics are strange. The song is playing during a scene where they’re setting up the trap for the witch, and the lyrics…..

Well, in context, it seems like they’re singing a romantic song to the Switch Witch….for some reason.

Out of context, this song couldn’t be more stalker-y if you tried.


Come out, come out, wherever you are

The Chipmunks:

Why do you run from me?

I just want you next to me

You got me chasin’ you ’round and ’round, yeah

I don’t know what to do

I just want to be with you

It’s got me huffin’ and a puffin’, yeah

Come out, come out

Come out, come out, come out

Wherever you are (wherever you are)

Come out, come out

Come out, come out

This has gone too far.

What the hell is this even? I couldn’t hear half the lyrics because the music drowns them out (Poor sound editing in Alvin and Chipmunks? Mr. Bagdasarian, please have words with your staff), but then I found the rest on the Wiki and was instantly creeped out. At least the song has a really nice beat, but wow those lyrics.

This episode is flat out not good. The ending ruins what otherwise would’ve been a boring but passable Halloween special. Even the ‘Alvinnn!’ yell at the end was forced. Watch one of the other Alvin and the Chipmunks Halloween movies I’ve reviewed instead. At least those provide more story, fun, music and even some slightly dark moments.

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Animating Halloween: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein Review


Plot: Alvin, Simon and Theodore have a gig at a theme park doing hourly shows. When they get lost while trying to find the awesome roller coaster, Dragonland, they stumble upon the attraction for Frankenstein’s Castle only to find that someone has made the lab inside very much real and has brought a real Frankenstein to life within it. The chipmunks are chased throughout the park by the creature, but later befriend it when they realize that he doesn’t understand what he’s doing. However, his creator won’t rest until he has a true monster wreaking havoc on the world.

Breakdown: This one is not quite as near to my heart as the Wolfman movie, but I definitely remember watching it. Thing is, this just didn’t air on TV nearly as much as the Wolfman one. *shrug*

We have a balancing act going on here. The animation is a little rougher than Wolfman, but the writing is funnier. The songs are about on par with each other with a couple being great and one being very meh. I’m a little disappointed that this movie doesn’t have a big song at the end like Wolfman, though, especially considering that a consistent plot thread through this movie has been Alvin and the Chipmunks trying to make and get gigs with the big movie premiere being the main one, which we don’t get to see.

The stories are also on par with each other with decent enough plots bogged down by making no sense in resolution. And, to be honest, this movie doesn’t make much sense in setup either. Why the hell did Dr. Frankenstein, which I assume is his name, need to travel the world to set up shop in a theme park castle? Surely there are many other abandoned castles to make a new monster or even a real lab to rent? That just makes no sense.

In regards to resolution, it’s basically just telling a group of people who are trying to attack Frankie that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Though it’s really weird that they reacted so fiercely in the first place. The damn park is seemingly having a Halloween-esque type of theme going on right now and Frankenstein’s castle is a friggin’ park attraction. It’s obvious Theodore is hugging him, and it wouldn’t be the slightest leap to assume Frankie’s a guy in costume.

Plus, the way they get Dr. Frankenstein out of the picture is by getting him permanently trapped in a Sammy the Squirrel (Mickey Mouse rip off) costume and making him the new mascot. Yeah, he’s permanently stuck in a costume. Won’t even try to cut it off or anything I guess. And even though he could easily leave and go back to mad sciencing (which he does at the very end anyway) he resigns himself to torturing himself as the mascot even though he despises Sammy the Squirrel. It just seemed rushed and poorly thought out.

I pretty much knew they wouldn’t kill Frankie or anything like that, but people now accept him openly? He’s a tour bus driver now? He speaks with a chipmunk voice because the boys taught him how to speak English?

All of that out of the way, this is a pretty good movie with some memorable moments, great music (though that friendship song can be barf worthy a little) and funny jokes. I’d gladly recommend it for a Halloween watch or for anyone who is a fan of Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

Speaking of Theodore, does every movie somehow end up about him? Or is it just the monster ones for some reason? Alvin does get turned into a ‘monster’ in this one (a fairly ridiculous monster, to be honest) but Theodore gets a lot of focus. Is there a movie that focuses more on Simon? I’d like to see that.

Recommended Audience: Outside of brains in jars and the clear indication that Frankie is a being made up of dead person body parts, nothing. 7+

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Animating Halloween: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman Review


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. 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. 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. However, 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.

Some of the ‘science’ doesn’t make any sense like how did biting Mr. Talbot change him back? 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 pseudo-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?

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