Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Alvin And The Chipmunks

My son has been bugging me to go see the Chipmunks Movie, which I have not yet seen a trailer for. I was caught a little off guard to see Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) pop up on the big screen at the beginning of the movie. Yes, Earl...er, I mean Lee plays the lead human role of Dave Seville. He seems to have a knack for lovable goofball roles. In Alvin and the Chipmunks he delivers as expected.

For me, the biggest test of human/animation films is the believability. I must say that the movie Hulk was way overdone. The animation was not believable, which really ruined the film for me. An example of interaction between humans and animation that I thought worked well were the Scooby Doo movies. The interaction between Shaggy and Scooby in those movies was classic. I watched closely throughout this movie to see the chipmunks in direct interaction with humans. These moments were truly believable. Without being over the top, the animation was detailed, interactive, and seamless. This film almost seeks opportunities for the animation to come into direct contact to challenge the skills of the animators. I must say that they did an exceptional job.

The plot is simple. A villainous, get-rich-at-anybody's expense corporate-user type (played by David Cross) gives the chipmunks anything they want in order to exploit them. David Cross is an exceptional villain. He's your run of the mill bad guy opportunist. He plays the role with a slickness that makes his character (although one dimensional) likeably detestable. The goofy I-don't-want-to-be-a-family Seville gets frustrated and sends the chipmunks off with the bad guy. The bad guy loses, the good guy wins. The rest is details. I hate giving away the plot of a movie to someone who hasn't seen it yet, so I will leave it at that, but this movie is extremely predictable, so the plot is almost secondary. The fun is in the watching.

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