Between 1999 and 2005, Bagdasarian Productions released three direct-to-videos based on the '80s Alvin and the Chipmunks series.
The first one is Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein, a horror-themed animated film that came out in 1999 produced by Universal Animation Studios, animated by Tama Productions, and distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
While the Chipmunks are working in a famous movie studio park called Majestic Studios in a singing attraction, the real Dr. Frankenstein comes to work in the studio's most famous attraction, Frankenstein's Castle. After Alvin drives a crazy bus chase, they miss their next performance and get locked in the studio after closing time. Dr. Frankenstein figures the castle is not scary enough so he re-builds the real Frankenstein. IT COMES ALIVE! So it finds the boys and starts a wild and scary adventure!
NOTE: Tropes under here are specifically for the 1999 Direct to Video movie.
- Tropes exclusive to the whole franchise go in Franchise.Alvin and the Chipmunks;
- Tropes exclusive to the '60s cartoon series go in The Alvin Show;
- Tropes exclusive to the '80s cartoon series go in WesternAnimation.Alvin and the Chipmunks;
- Tropes exclusive to the 1987 animated film go in The Chipmunk Adventure;
- Tropes exclusive to the other Direct to Video movies go either in:
- Tropes exclusive to the live action/CGI movies go in Film.Alvin and the Chipmunks;
- Tropes exclusive to the 2015 cartoon series go in ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks.
Now has a shout out page.
- Actor Allusion: This is the second time Michael Bell has played a character who built a humanoid being: The first one was Clockwork Smurf as Handy Smurf.
- Adaptational Villainy: Victor Frankenstein is portrayed as a Card-Carrying Villain who abducts Alvin to change him into a monster when he is upset by the original monster's Gentle Giant nature, and at one point threatens to eat people.
- Alternate Identity Amnesia: Alvin has little-to-no recollection of his actions as a mutant Toon.
- Brain in a Jar: Dr. Frankenstein has a collection of live brains in jars which he displays in his laboratory.
- Bring It: "If A Monster Came In Your Room" is the Chipmunks singing about how they'd fight off and defeat any monster who dared enter their room, encouraging even Theodore to take confidence in himself.
- Big "NO!": Alvin screams this as Dr. Frankenstein feeds him the frappe.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
- If Alvin had just let the boys stay put or at least not go on a trip to Dragonland, a ride that they presumably would’ve had to wait in line for, they could’ve made their next show and avoided much of the kerfuffle from Yesman and David.
- If Victor had secured his monster better, he wouldn’t have gone on a quasi-rampage that drew the village’s wrath and forced him to relocate to the park.
- Curse Escape Clause: The Cartoon Monster Maker Frappe can be undone by a special antidote made out of the buffet food from the premiere; however, the victim must be upside down for it to work.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The prologue is entirely in black and white as an homage to classic horror films.
- Denser and Wackier: There's more slapstick, and goofy humor in this movie than in previous Alvin and the Chipmunk incarnations.
- Dr. Frankenstein: Dr Frankenstein is depicted here as an outright Card-Carrying Villain in pursuit of his monster who is depicted here as a Gentle Giant. He later tries to turn Alvin himself into his next experiment.
- Ear Worm: The Sammy Squirrel theme song. Even Dr. Frankenstein, who hates the character and song, can't stop humming it to himself at one point, exclaiming "I can't get that song out of my head!"
- Extremely Short Timespan: The movie is set over a period of three days.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: The Chipmunks bury an imaginary Frankenstein's Monster alive while singing "Will make this place his tomb!" during their "What If a Monster Came into Our Room" song. This is before they realized the Frankenstein's Monster that was chasing them happened to be a gentle giant.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Obviously, the Frankenstein monster appears in the film.
- Gentle Giant: Frankenstein's monster proves to actually be good-natured and not a bad person.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Victor removes the monster’s head in the prologue and drops him, and the splattering sound effect suggests it wasn’t a pretty sight to behold, though it only happens offscreen. None of the monster’s body parts are ever shown before the monster is fully reassembled either.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Victor plans to shock Alvin back into his cartoon monster form onstage at the Chipmunks show by bombarding his microphone with a large amount of electricity; however, Frankie hears of his plans and tricks Victor into touching the mic instead.
- Hypocritical Humor: The blonde woman who is Billy’s mother at first lambasts the actor who fumbled his role as Frankenstein’s monster due to not scaring Billy. However, when Alvin successfully scares Billy by accident later, she rips into him for doing so.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Early on, Victor threatens to turn the park visitors into lunch meat unless they scram. It’s never clarified if he just means he’s going to tear them apart… or eat them.
- Inflating Body Gag: Alvin undergoes this as the "Cartoon Monster Maker Frappe" starts to take its full effect on him.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Dr. Frankenstein hates Sammy Squirrel. His comeuppance is getting stuck in a Sammy Squirrel suit and being forced to play the character at the park.
- This Is No Time for Knitting: Simon finds the recipe for an antidote to cure Alvin in Dr. Frankenstein's book, but the instructions are in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. Theodore then goes to load a plate at the buffet table and reveals that the ingredients can be found among the buffet spread.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: Dr. Frankenstein has a lab in a castle... at an amusement park no less!
- Mocky Mouse: Being a cartoon rodent with an Alliterative Name and a Species Surname in addition to being a theme park mascot (albeit one for a theme park based more on Universal Studios Hollywood than Disneyland), Sammy Squirrel is a clear stand-in for Mickey Mouse.
- Musical World Hypothesis: The three songs in the film follow this order: Diegetic, Alternate Universe, All In Their Heads.
- Mythology Gag: When the Chipmunks' faces are distorted by fear and g-forces in the runaway roller coaster, they are for a brief moment turn to how they appeared in The Alvin Show, then to "realistic" looking chipmunks as on their first album covers before returning to their normal selves.
- Obviously Evil: Victor is a poor-tempered old crook who frequently threatens people and not so subtly eyes them for potential body part donations. Yesman seems to recognize this, but he’s so afraid of the park failing that he stays out of his way.
- Oh, Crap!: Simon when he realizes three minutes have passed since Alvin was given Cartoon Monster Maker Frappe, causing it to take its full effect.
- Papa Wolf: When Mr. Yesman threatens to blacklist the boys after learning they haven't showed up to the premiere, Dave calmly, yet defiantly defends the boys, saying that "they're not monsters".
- Production Foreshadowing: In “Things Out There”, the song mentions the Wolfman as one of the monsters that you could meet in the night, foreshadowing the main threat of the next film.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Don't. Touch. The cap."
- Refuge in Audacity: This is how Victor wards off the angry mob during the prologue, describing exactly how he brought his creation to life before demanding them to think about how ridiculous it sounds. The villagers fold and leave in a huff.
- Roundabout Shot: One of these occurs during the "If You Wanna Have Friends" montage as the Chipmunks and the children dance around Frankie.
- Shock and Awe:
- The Cartoon Monster Maker Frappe that the doctor gives Alvin includes shocking him with 50,000 volt chaser following the ingestion, which will cause it to take its full effect within three minutes after the shocking.
- The doctor tries to get this to happen to Alvin again by rigging his microphone with high voltage, given that the frappe hasn't completely been digested yet. However, Frankie finds out and tricks the doctor into getting shocked himself instead.
- Shout-Out: See the main shout out page for the franchise.
- Toon: What Dr. Frankenstein managed to turn Alvin into when trying to turn him into a monster, a little cartoon troublemaker.
- Vocal Dissonance: At first, Frankie's only able to utter deep, moaning noises. By the time he learns to speak properly, he talks in a high-pitched, squeaky voice just like the Chipmunks. Must have something to do with the fact the Chipmunks themselves taught him how to speak.