Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Wisdom of Farting Chipmunks

I was watching the trailer for this pretty painful CGI adaptation of Alvin and the Chipmunks, and thinking the usual cooler-than-thou thoughts about what a piece of crap it was.

But then it hit me, grasshopper:

They are not making this movie for me!

Yeah, it's an abomination compared to the classic stuff. Yeah, it's an abomination compared to the Chuck Jones Christmas special. Yes, making hyper-realistic computer renderings of the Chipmunks misses the whole point of their absurdist charm.

"What were the producers thinking?", I asked myself.

But you know, the producers of the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks movie are not making this movie for the benefit or patronage of my age bracket.

My glory days as an attractive kid demographic ended somewhere after Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers and before Power Rangers.

Remakes of classics like Alvin, Scooby-Doo, Garfield, and even Horton Hears a Who are finely -- maybe even cynically -- calibrated to reach out to the youth of Today.

Extend the metaphor to the comic book industry where appropriate.


  1. They may not be aimed at adults, but that doesn't mean these movies don't suck.

    I can't remember what the last bona-fide 'tailored for kids' turkey was - Thunderbirds? Or has it been superseded by something even more awful that misses the point of the original material it's based on and even kids won't watch?

  2. "I can't remember what the last bona-fide 'tailored for kids' turkey was - Thunderbirds?"

    Good God, I had a Gerry Anderson fan make me see this movie. The horror...the horror...

  3. But the trailer and posters for Alvin don't say "this is for kids" so much as "this is weird rodent-based coprophilic porn".

  4. If kids don't remember the cartoon (which I don't think is even syndicated anymore), why would they be interested in seeing a CGI version at all?

  5. I think the reverse is true for comics these days. They certainly aren't made for kids nor are they successful at gaining young readers.

    Although, sometimes I feel that comics aren't being targeted at me either these days.

  6. i actually WANT to see this, over that awful Underdog movie I had no reason to see (Jason Lee, seriously bud).

    Plus, the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie was one of my favorites when I was a kid, along with the Rainbow Brite Movie (The Star Stealer), and the Transformers Movie, and The GI Joe movie.

    The live action Transformers is good, so that is 1/4. We shall see how Alvin and GI Joe live up. And when Live Action Rainbow Brite hits theaters (if ever) my gay ass will be on that shit like a lesbian at Home Depot.

  7. I have access to a six-year-old boy. Alvin and the Chipmunks is the only movie he is interested in seeing this fall.

    The punch-line of the commercial, where Alvin waggishly chirps the "boom-chicka-waa-waa" porn music sting, he has been cheerfully repeating, utterly ignorant of its meaning, for weeks now.

    What can I say? He has no knowledge of the "real" Alvin, but the concept of singing superstar chipmunks has captured his imagination. He didn't want to see Transformers, he didn't want to see Underdog, he didn't want to see Flushed Away, but he asks every day when he can see Alvin and the Chipmunks.

  8. i <3 karen's child. he sounds like a rockstar (although he must be forced to watch Transformers in all of its awesomeness).

  9. PS> I just watched that trailer, and the dishwasher part at the end was totally classic. I can't wait.

    Poo on your cynicalness and naysaying!

  10. Well, since they've already nuked my top childhood idol, Spidey, why not go after my OTHER childhood joy and ruin Alvin??

    Sighhhh... next childhood joy ruined by Hollywood will be masturbation.

  11. Have you heard Patton Oswald's take on Alvin and the Chipmunks? It's a fucking scream of a bit where he and his brother would take an Alvin album and play it at the slowest speed... like 15.

    Alvin and his brothers sound like four, monotone normal guys and Dave comes in sounding like a demon from the ninth level of hell.

    You will scream at how funny this bit is and, yes, you may even pee a little.

    "My Christmas Memory" is the name of the bit from FEELING KINDA PATTON is the album.

  12. The Oswald thing is pretty funny...

    PS "For Kids" doesn't have to mean "For Suck." I still say the best kids film recently was "Lady in the Water. That, & GOLDEN FUCKING COMPASS! which I saw last night WITH FIGHTING ARMORED BEARS.

  13. i can't wait for the golden compass, i am going friday immediately after work.

  14. It does look awful though, doesn't it.

  15. Alvin doesn't eat turds. He certainly doesn't eat his brother's turds. He CERTAINLY doesn't do this on purpose.

    The Chipmunks aren't actually Chipmunks, they're smallish humans that look a little bit like chipmunks for some reason, possibly having to do with Dr. Moureau.

    They're basically people, just a half-foot shorter than a people their age and covered in hair and...

    Okay, there's reinterpreting an idea in a manner that is lame and stupid but basically makes sense as an update to today's demographics.

    A Hardy Boys adventure where they, like, go to the X-Games or something.

    That's lame but it's acceptably lame. It's just part of the Circle of Crap that is the entertainment industry's fear of originality because originality doesn't have a guaranteed market.

    As long as publicly-held companies can be involved with the commerical arts, okay, we're stuck with that.

    But they're actual chipmunks now who just happen to talk like people, tiny chipmunks completely out of scale with humans and still act like chipmunks in all sorts of ways?

    And they also eat poop?

    This is beyond that. Well beyond that.

    I wonder what Thetan-level Lee is getting up to with this check...

  16. Wait, modern comics are being written for the youth of today? I was pretty sure they were being written for the Peter Pan brigade who don't want to believe Crisis On Infinite Earths ever happened.

  17. Wait, modern comics are being written for the youth of today? I was pretty sure they were being written for the Peter Pan brigade who don't want to believe Crisis On Infinite Earths ever happened.

    Well umm who exactly is that?

    Cause I didn't start reading DC til Identity Crisis and am quite happy that I don't have to read all those years of backstory, I just wikied everything I needed to know, and now read TOO many DC titles.