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Trivia / Alvin and the Chipmunks

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General

  • Accidentally Correct Writing: To further distinguish chipmunk from chipmunk during the first part of the movie, Alvin and Theodore's eyes are recolored brownish-amber and green, respectively, while Simon keeps his blue eyes. Blue eyes are said to be the weakest common eye color and more likely to need glasses than green or brown.
  • Fan Community Nickname: Some fans call themselves "Chipaholics," though there really isn't (so far) an actual community nickname for the fandom.
  • Fan Nickname:
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    • The term "to chipmunk a song" means to edit the song to give the vocals (and consequently the rest of the song) a higher pitch. The term finds its roots in these characters. Just add "chipmunk" to any search for a song on YouTube, and you're bound to find one. Oh, and watch out for fake chipmunked songs. "Real" chipmunked songs are actually pitch-adjusted (like real Chipmunks songs) and are the same length as the original. The fakes are the result of simply speeding up the original and are much shorter. Some people think that the former sounds better than the latter.
    • Because they've earned much disdain from a good-sized portion of the fanbase, the CGI character designs have earned the not-so-affectionate nickname, "CGI Rats".
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and David Seville are all voiced by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. in "The Chipmunk Song".
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    • Since the '80s, Alvin, Simon, and Dave have been voiced by Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., while Theodore and all three Chipettes are voiced by his wife, Janice Karman.
    • Later still, when the series switched to DiC for animation, almost all of the additional one-shot characters were voiced by their associate producer Thom Watkins, with Ross occasionally stepping in for other additional male characters, while Janice voiced most additional female characters.
    • Averted in the Live-Action Adaptation, where each chipmunk is voiced by a different actor.
    • On the second-draft Concept Album Chipmunk Punk, each chipmunk is sung by a different singer as well: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. was Alvin, Steve Vining was Simon and Dave Adams of Glass Moon was Theodore.
    • Played for Laughs on one compilation album in which Alvin "interviews" Ross Bagdasarian Jr.
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  • Technology Marches On: Many times you see Simon referencing the latest computers as being incredible, despite graphics which have visible pixels and being roughly the size of a microwave oven. Audio equipment is similarly outdated, using reel-to-reel recording devices instead of digital media which was gaining popularity even in the late eighties when this show was produced. "Back to Our Future" lampshades this phenomenon by having the '60s Chipmunks all amazed at the advances in technology.
    '60s Alvin: Incredible! There's music coming from these little silver thingies!
    '60s Simon: And this computer has as much information on it as the public library!
    '60s Theodore: Look at this TV! It's color! And it has more than three channels!
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • Literally every incarnation of the franchise and almost every album is essentially a glimpse into popular music at the time of release. The Chipmunks themselves are essentially a cover band that plays contemporary tunes. The Chipettes are also prone to Fashion Dissonance due to dressing in less timeless clothes than the boys sweaters or hoodies.
    • "The Chipmunk Song" has Alvin asking for a hula hoop for Christmas, which was all the rage in the late 1950s. These days, you'd wonder why he would want something so simple.
  • What Could Have Been: In an art portfolio of Dan Haskett has a series of drawings of the Chipettes all grown up, This might possibly leading to an animated Chipmunks movie where the Chipmunks and Chipettes grew up.
  • The Wiki Rule: Munkapedia
  • Word of God: When Ross (Jr.) took the ‘Dave Seville’ mantle, Janice Karman wanted the character to be based on her husband, well, take a look at all the incarnation from A Chipmunk Christmas, episodes done by Ruby-Spears, The Chipmunk Adventure, episodes done by DiC, AATC meet Frankenstein and AATC meet the Wolfman.
  • Write Who You Know: Bagdasarian chose chipmunks for the "sped up" voice on his novelty records after a chance encounter with a feisty chipmunk he broke for while out for a drive, who seemed to egg him on.

For The Alvin Show:

  • Cross-Dressing Voices
    • June Foray does Alvin's angelic self in "Alvin's Alter Ego".
    • Alvin in the Italian and Japanese dubs.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: There's never been a complete compilation tape/DVD or box set containing all the episodes. There exists only the aforementioned Sing Along tapes (which just have some of the musical segments) a DVD called "The Very First Alvin Show" (which only contains one of the first episodes, along with the specials A Chipmunk Reunion and Rockin' Through the Decades), and a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack containing three episodes.
  • Non-Singing Voice: June Foray does Mrs. Frumpington's singing at the end of "Squares" because she sounded more crazier than Lee Patrick.
  • Talking to Himself: Dave, Alvin, Simon, Theodore and Sam Valiant. Though not fully determined, it is rumored that Clyde Crashcup's voice actor Shepard Menken provided Leonardo the assistant's whispering.
  • Vindicated by Reruns

For A Chipmunk Christmas:

  • Cross-Dressing Voice: See the other Darrin.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • This special's the first time both Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman took over the vocal roles of Dave Seville and the Chipmunks note  and would be throughout the franchise until the live action/CGI movies with Jason Lee. note 
    • Charles Berendt voices Clyde Crashcup instead of Shepard Menken here.
  • Real-Life Relative: Husband and wife Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman picked up the franchise. Then later on, their kids Vanessa and Michael started helping them.

For Alvin and the Chipmunks/The Chipmunks:

  • Acting for Two: In the original Latin American Spanish dub, María Fernanda Morales voiced both Alvin and Brittany, also overlapping with Talking to Herself as well.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: A rare visual example. For many years, fans believed that the infamous "Sploosh" episode had Simon and Jeanette kissing (mostly thanks to the few screencaps from the episode circulating around the internet including a cap of them leaning in for a smooch). When the episode finally surfaced briefly on YouTube in 2011, and officially released on DVD later that same year, it turns out The Big Damn Kiss was nothing more than an Almost Kiss.
  • Creator Backlash: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. is not very fond of the Ruby-Spears -produced episodes of the series, which are the first five seasons.
  • Cross-Dressing Voice:
    • Janice Karman as Theodore.
    • The Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) for the Italian and Japanese dubs.
    • A somewhat bizarre example happens in the Latin American Spanish dub: In the first half of the series, Alvin is voiced by María Fernanda Morales, a woman, but in the rest of the series, she was replaced by Jesse Conde, a male voice actor who normally voice old men rather than kids (like Asterix, Kozo Fuyutsuki and being also Stan Lee's voice in many of his cameos), albeit this is not very notable in this case, because his voice, just like the rest of the chipmunks, was sped-up. The same happens with Simon as well.
  • The Danza: Michael Bagdasarian (probably) voiced Michael in "Trick or Treason".
  • Dueling Shows: With Kids Incorporated, a Slice of Life series featuring pre-teen characters whom also happened to cover popular songs.
  • Edited for Syndication: 65 episodes were syndicated by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1988. They were the first five seasons, both Valentines and Reunion primetime specials, and the 11 Murakami-Wolf-Swenson episodes from season 6. In most markets, almost every episode from the first three seasons, as well as a handful from the fourth are sped up (similar to PAL) to conserve time for longer commercial breaks. Some season 3 episodes left the speed alone, but trimmed certain scenes out. In the U.S., a later broadcast on the Cartoon Network left out the the individual episode title cards from the Ruby-Spears episodes, though international markets always retained them. These title cards were originally narrated by Casey Kasem (the announcer for NBC's Saturday Morning programming at the time), but were replaced with Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.'s voice-overs for Dave and Alvin. New commercial bumpers were also added (also narrated by Ross Jr. performing as Dave and Alvin), and a Lorimar-Telepictures logo was inserted at the end of each episode from this package.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Bagdasarian Productions keep re-releasing the exact same compilation DVDs (with maybe an additional entry or two with certain releases) year after year, under different titles.
    • Different episodes, in different forms, continually pop up on various different video sharing sites, such as YouTube or Dailymotion, though they do suffer from being pulled for copyright, whether from Bagdasarian Productions, or other companies such as Warner Bros. (particularly uploads from Cartoon Network recordings).
  • Long-Runners: While most Saturday Morning cartoons lasted a season or two at best, this cartoon lasted for eight seasons, with over 100 episodes, and spawning a number of TV specials associated with it.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Grandma Seville seems to gain a new voice each time she appears and Ross Jr. replaced Alan Young as Grandpa Seville in his last appearance.
    • Janice Karman voices Vinny instead on June Foray in her second appearance.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Cookie Chomper III". See write who you know example below.
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: In their debut episode, The Chipettes don matching pleated yellow dresses for concerts and public appearances. It was the only episode of the series to feature them in these dresses. However, when The Chipmunks Posable Play Pals line was released, figures of The Chipettes wearing the dresses were released.
  • Talking to Himself: Really taken to new levels during the DiC era of the show; by then, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and Janice Karman did almost all of the voices themselves (notice an increase in characters who sound almost like Dave, and all the female characters have the same voice), while their associate producer, Thom Watkins, did the rest. By then, the only characters who weren't voiced by Bagdasarian, Karman, or Watkins were Miss Miller (Dody Goodman) and Lilly the puppy (Frank Welker).
  • Write Who You Know: In "Cookie Chomper III", the dog the Chipmunks adopted is named Lilly. Lilly the puppy was named after Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman's dog, Tiger Lily, who served as the real-life inspiration for this episode. Like Cookie Chomper III, Tiger Lily was also run over by a car and died.

For The Chipmunk Adventure:

  • Cross-Dressing Voices:
    • Janice Karman as Theodore.
    • Nancy Cartwright as the Arabian Prince.
    • Frank Welker as Sophie, the Yorkshire Terrier puppy.
    • In the Italian dub, Alvin.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Alvin, Simon and Dave.
    • Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor and Theodore.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Production of the movie became too time consuming, and with the deadline for the completed project fast approaching, several scenes in the original script had to be re-written to make them simpler for the animators to animate (including the sacrificing scene), or cut from the script completely, thus resulting in a much shorter movie with fewer locations The Chipmunks and Chipettes actually visit.
    • Early concept art also reveals that the producers originally intended to have a scene where the boys drop off a doll in a church confessional and that the sacrifice scene was originally set on top of a Mayan pyramid instead of a crocodile pit. Another sketch shows the boys in some sort of sewer or prison with two men prying open bars at an opening at the top.

For Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein:

For Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman:

For Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks:

For the Live-Action/CGI films:

First Movie

  • The Danza: In Italy, Simon Seville is voiced by Simone Crisari.
  • Executive Meddling: Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and Janice Karman were set to voice the characters for the first film, (they had already done some of the voices in the trailers), and Ross was even going to play Dave, however, Twentieth Century Fox rejected this, and insisted that younger people do the voices and a younger actor for the role of Dave... though, there is speculation that Fox made this move because they wanted more marketable names attached to the movie.
  • Franchise Killer: Inverted. It managed to increase Chipmunk popularity and spawned three sequels.
  • Milestone Celebration: Just barely averted. Ross Bagdasarian Jr. agreed to the project when he thought that it would be released in 2008, just in time for the Chipmunks' 50th anniversary. By the time he signed on, Fox informed him that they wanted it ready by that coming Christmas.
  • Money, Dear Boy: David Cross has made it no secret that he is only in these movies for the paycheck, publicly noting in an interview that his salary from the first film was larger than any other project he had been working on and helped him pay for a new house. He seems to have had enough with Chipwrecked though, which he called "literally, without question, the most unpleasant experience I've ever had in my professional life".
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Seeing that this has been going for over fifty years, it’s understandable. Although, the reason why Jason Lee was cast as Dave Seville for the live-action movies is because the makers wanted a younger actor at the time instead of the older Ross Bagdasarian Jr..
    • Initially, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman portrayed Alvin, Simon and Theodore in the film, but were replaced at the studio's insistence with younger actors Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney respectively.
    • Simon's singing voice is provided by Steve Vining and it’s not known if he provides the singing as well as voice on new soundtracks, though either he or Matthew Gray Gubler provided one line on the ‘Ho, Ho, Ho,’ song on the Undeniable soundtrack.
  • The Other Marty: Ross Bagdasarian and Janice Karman recorded all the lines for Alvin, Simon and Theodore.
  • Undermined by Reality: The first one has a story/moral in which the three chipmunks realize that fame and fortune is not all it is cracked out to be, and leave the seemingly superficial lifestyle, and the money, behind to enjoy an apparently better down-to-earth life with Dave. Family being more important that materialism is a fairly common Aesop... but when one realises that the movie is completely Merchandise-Driven, and was made to sell tickets, CDs, toys, video games and other merchandise, the moral of turning your back on materialism seems kind of hollow.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Word of God:
    • According to Ross Bagdasarian Jr. (and Zachary Levi) the piano seen in the movie is the actual piano Ross Bagdasarian Sr. used to write and perform "The Chipmunk Song" as well as "The Witch Doctor" that launched the Chipmunks franchise.
    • Dave's house number is 1958, the year Ross Bagdasarian created the Chipmunks and released "Witch Doctor" and the "Chipmunk Song."

The Squeakquel

  • Reality Subtext: The Squeakquel involved Brittany being elevated to the front of the band against their wishes. Reminiscent of the naming of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" no doubt, but what song are they rehearsing? "Single Ladies" by Beyoncé, who went through this in Real Life.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Zachary Levi's reason for doing The Squeakquel was so once he had kids of his own, he could watch this film with them.
  • The Other Darrin: Amy Poehler, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate replace Janice Karman for the voice of the Chipettes.

Chipwrecked:

The Road Chip:

  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $90 million (not counting marketing costs). Box office, $85,643,880 (domestic), $232,287,225 (worldwide). While the previous three Chipmunks films did well at the box office (although they all had a poor critical reception), 20th Century Fox, originally planning a December 23rd release for the fourth installment of the series, decided to cash in on counter-programming by bumping it up to a downright suicidal Dec. 18th date, putting it in direct competition with the highly anticipated Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens from former longtime partner Lucasfilm, who disassociated themselves from Fox after being bought by Disney. The Road Chip didn't stand a chance — The Force Awakens proceeded to utterly demolish it at the box office, raking in a record-breaking $100 million on opening day alone and over $1 billion worldwide just barely after its first week, making it the highest-grossing film of the 2010s. The Road Chip crashed and burned at a meager $14,287,159 on the same weekend, limping to $47,539,910 the same week, then $64,050,442 worldwide. On top of that, The Force Awakens was universally lauded by critics as a true-to-form comeback for the Star Wars franchise, while The Road Chip was utterly eviscerated by critics. In all likelihood, the film's resounding failure will bring the Chipmunks film series to an end, being the second negative business-changing bust of the year for Fox after the attempted Fantastic Four reboot.
  • Franchise Killer: Averted for the entire franchise, since the below-mentioned ALVINNN!!! And The Chipmunks did well enough to escape this fate. As noted above, however, played straight for the live-action film series.
  • The Other Darrin: Amy Poehler doesn't reprise her role of Eleanor in this film (due to her being too busy with Pixar's Inside Out); Kaley Cuoco takes over.
  • Release Date Change: The film was originally targeted for a December 23, 2015 release, but Fox changed it to the same date as the highly-anticipated seventh Star Wars movie in an attempt to cash in on counter-programming. While not making as much money as previous films in the series, it's surprisingly done rather well, with a worldwide gross of $171,423,832 as of February 9th.
  • What Could Have Been: If IMDb trivia is to be believed, one early draft of the script featured Claire from the first movie returning and fulfilling the role taken by Samantha in the final film.

For ''ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks':

  • The Other Darrin: A passing on generation example: Eleanor is voiced by Vanessa Bagdasarian Chambers, Ross and Janice's elder daughter. The rest of the Chipmunks though, are still voiced by her parents like in the 80's cartoon.
  • Talking to Himself: The 80s voice casting is brought back for this series.

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