Alvin, Theodore and Simon have become teen pop stars since their last cinematic adventure. After a performance in Paris, their “father” Dave is injured due to Alvin’s antics and has to stay in the hospital to recuperate. He sends the chipmunk’s home to be cared for by Aunt Jackie. Unfortunately, she’s also becomes incapacitated and they are left in the care of her clumsy video gamer grandson, Toby.
Toby (Zachary Levi of TV’s Chuck), is an uncomfortable adult with arrested development. He tries hard and has a good heart, but would rather hide in his game world than deal with the needs of his little charges. Dave (Jason Lee) had enrolled the “munks” into high school to take a break from their music careers. They may have been big on stage, but in the school hierarchy they end up being the next targets of teen aggression.
Alvin (Justin Long), the instigator, runs rampant in the house without Dave’s constant admonishments but misses being yelled at by Dave. Theodore (Jesse McCartney) is having nightmares and Toby can’t seem to provide the reassurances that he needs. Alvin is arguing with Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) about spending more time with the football team. Alvin’s need to be accepted finds him playing along with his team members’ harassment of his brothers. When Principal Dr. Rubin (Wendie Malick) asks them to perform to save the school’s music program, The Chipmunks agree.
However, there are some new ‘munks in town. A trio of female chipmunks (Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Amy Poehler) had Fed-Ex’d themselves to The Chipmunks’ former agent, Ian Hawke (David Cross). They were inspired by The Chipmunks’ success and want to follow the same path. Little do they know that Ian’s been homeless and without a job since he was fired as The Chipmunks’ manager. He’s been looking for another animal act since then. But The “Chipettes” are unaware of this fact and they believe the slander and the promises of greatness while Ian attempts to exploit them. He enrolls The Chipettes in the same high school. The Chipettes are instantly attracted to their counterpart Chipmunks, but they are untrusting of each other due to Ian’s involvement and manipulations. He gets Dr. Rubin to hold a “sing off” to see which Chipmunk group will represent the school. It doesn’t help that Alvin’s self interests are also causing a riff especially when he misses an important performance. The Chipettes don’t realize until it’s almost too late that they have made a big mistake.
Directed by Betty Thomas, the film moves swiftly along with the live action/CGI special effects. The Chipmunks look incredibly real and kids will love the singing dancing rodents. The familiar TV faces will give the parents something to enjoy. They will also appreciate the message of being true and loyal to one’s family. After listening to the musical numbers in this movie, I am convinced that today’s teen pop singers have all been influenced by The Chipmunks. (Review by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins)