The Chipmunk Adventure is a 1987 animated film (released in 1987 on VHS, in 2006 and 2008 on DVD, and in 2014 on DVD/Blu Ray) featuring the characters from NBC's Saturday morning cartoon Alvin and the Chipmunks. This marked the first appearance of The Chipmunks in a feature film since their 1958 debut. The Chipmunk Adventure was directed by Janice Karman (one of the very few times a woman had done so for an animated feature) and features the voices of Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., Janice Karman, and Dody Goodman.
The film was not very successful at the box office, earning short of $7 million, though it was soon rushed to home video where it has managed to sell well over its releases, appearing on the Billboard Top Kid Video chart multiple times.
|If you need to get something done, give it to a pregnant woman whose directing her first animated feature while producing a weekly series and building a large home out of town.|
When Dave Seville goes off to Europe on a business trip, Alvin Seville, Simon Seville, and Theodore Seville are left at home with their rather absent-minded babysitter, Miss Miller - much to the chagrin of Alvin, who dreams of world travel. While the three are playing an arcade game of Around the World in Thirty Days with The Chipettes, Alvin and Brittany begin to argue over which would win an actual race around the world. Their conversation is being eavesdropped on by siblings Klaus and Claudia Furschtein, two German diamond smugglers running out of ways of getting their wares to customers without government interference. Seeing an opportunity, the Furschsteins approach the children, telling them that they will provide them with the means for a real race around the world by hot-air balloon, with the winner receiving $100,000.
After tricking Miss Miller with a recorded phone call from Dave, The Chipmunks and Chipettes meet at the Furschtein's mansion, where they are told the rules: each team is given a separate route to follow, along with a chest of dolls, made in their own likenesses, which they are required to drop off to verify that they have visited all checkpoints. Upon dropping off one of their own dolls, they will receive a doll made in the likeness of the opposing team. In reality, the dolls being dropped off are filled with diamonds, and the dolls received are filled with cash, given to them by the buyers.
Before they take off, Simon warns Jeanette not to take the easterly route because of a hurricane. However, Brittany overhears him and ignores his advice, believing it to be a trick to slow them down.
And so, after a masterly take off, both teams begin their travels; while The Chipmunks go to Mexico City, The Chipettes are caught in a hurricane (as Simon predicted) before reaching Bermuda. Unknown to both teams, however, they are being trailed by two rather-intimidating looking Interpol agents named Cisvan and Cuomo, sent by the French Inspector Jamal, who was informed by Klaus and Claudia's Italian butler, Mario, of the Furschstein's operation. The agents silently follow behind as The Chipmunks and Chipettes travel through South America and Africa, visiting Machu Picchu, Rio de Janeiro, Angel Falls, Morocco, and Venice. More time is given to the countries and sites The Chipettes see, including the white cliffs of Dover, the Netherlands, Switzerland, London, Rome (where they visit the Colosseum), Paris, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Germany.
Both teams meet up in Athens, where Alvin and Brittany begin bickering, each claiming they can "out-rock and roll" the other. This results in the performance of the song "The Girls of Rock 'n' Roll" amongst the Grecian ruins, with Dave, Cisvan, and Cuomo nearly spotting them.
The Chipettes then travel on to Egypt, passing the Sphinx. There, they are chased by a group of men on a camel. Despite their attempts to fight them off, the girls are captured which later reveals they are actually being rescued from Klaus and Claudia's trick and brought to their young Arabian prince. The Prince falls in love with Brittany and, oblivious to the diamond smuggling, agrees to return the valuable dolls to Jamal but declares that he is keeping the girls, and making Brittany his bride.
Despite being showered with gifts, including a baby penguin, the girls are desperate to make an escape. Still unaware of the contents of their dolls, they secretly try to retrieve them - only to find them guarded by cobras. Brittany and Jeanette "charm" the snakes by singing "Getting Lucky," then grab the dolls and escape out a window, just as Eleanor arrives carrying a small cooler.
The film cuts back to the boys, who are camping in a jungle in Fiji while taking a shortcut. Theodore senses something is wrong, and he knows something's out in the jungle. Simon and Alvin just think his imagination is running wild, with Alvin saying, "He's still afraid of the bogeyman." Upon waking up the next morning, they find Theodore missing. While trying to find him, Alvin and Simon are taken captive by some local natives. They soon learn that Theodore is being worshipped as the natives' "Prince of Plenty". Alvin and Simon are forced to wear nothing but cap, glasses, a string necklace with three shark teeth, and a brown loincloth and are made into Theodore's personal servants.
Meanwhile, the girls learn that Eleanor's cooler contains not only cold drinks and sandwiches, but the baby penguin, whom Eleanor feels needs to be returned to its parents in Antarctica. At first, Brittany is confused ("You were going to eat this penguin?"). After the song "My Mother," the girls soon agree and head to Antarctica. However, Claudia is alerted to the girl's actions by her henchmen and concludes that they must have discovered the diamonds and are trying to make off with them. She orders her henchmen to get the dolls back.
As the girls deliver the penguin to their parents, they are attacked by Claudia's henchmen. The Chipettes wrestle with the men as they attempt to steal the dolls, and a Brittany doll tears as the goons fall from the balloon. Grateful to the girls, the penguins snowball the thugs into submission and the girls escape. They notice the torn Brittany doll lying on the floor of the balloon; Jeanette picks it up and diamonds fall out of it. Opening an Alvin doll, they find it full of dollar bills; the girls realize that the whole race was just a set-up for delivering the diamonds. Deciding the boys are likely in danger as well, they head off to find them.
Alvin and Simon, meanwhile, are forced to search a nearby cave for mushrooms for "Prince Theodore," with Alvin growing increasingly fed-up with the situation ("3:00 in the morning and Prince Theodore has a craving for MUSHROOMS! I hope he chokes on 'em!"). Inside the cave, they find a series of ideograms on the walls, which Simon translates as "Sacrifice the Prince of Plenty on the full moon." They look up and see a full moon overhead. Alvin looks at Simon and exclaims, "Over my dead body!" but in the next scene, all three Chipmunks are tied to stakes by the natives for no reason, hanging precariously above a pit full of crocodiles. In a desperate attempt to delay their own deaths, they sing the song "Wooly Bully", which pleases the natives and lasts just long enough for The Chipettes to rescue them.
Together in the girls' balloon, the kids return to the U.S.A.. They are met at the airport by Klaus and Claudia, and after a short chase accompanied by the song "Diamond Dolls," they are forced into a 1935 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I under the false threat of Miss Miller being kidnapped. Dave is arriving home to the airfield at the same time and hears Alvin's cries for help. Inspector Jamal runs up, identifying himself, and he and Dave begin to make chase in his 1987 Chevrolet Caprice but two other cars crash into each other and block them off at an intersection. While it at first appears that Klaus and Claudia will escape on a private jet to Costa Rica, they are accidentally run off the road by none other than Miss Miller, who was heading to the airfield to pick up Dave. Klaus and Claudia are then taken away by the police, and Brittany and Alvin begin arguing over who really won the $100,000. An exasperated Dave breaks up the argument and guides them to Miss Miller's 1959 Lincoln Continental, where the others await. On the way home Alvin blithers about the race, frustrating the adults.
- Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. - Alvin, Simon, Dave Seville
- Janice Karman - Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor
- Dody Goodman - Miss Miller
- Susan Tyrrell - Claudia Furschtein
- Anthony De Longis - Klaus Furschtein
- Frank Welker - Sophie, the Baby Penguin, the Native Chief, and additional voices
- Nancy Cartwright - Arabian Prince
- Ken Sansom - Inspector Jamal
- Philip Clark
- George Poulos
- Charlie Adler
- Pat Pinney
- This film was dedicated to Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and Janice Karman's dog, Tiger Lilly.
- The film's VHS release was the last to feature the MCA/Universal Home Video logo.
- Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and his wife financed the film themselves by using the 1980s show's revenue.
- This film was the first Janice Karman had ever directed.
- The first director quit after two months of working on the project.
- Animation for the film was carried out in Los Angeles, New York, Utah, Canada, Spain, and Asia and would travel to more countries in its production than The Chipmunks in the film itself.
- Two and a half years were spent on producing the film; large pieces of the original script were cut to make their April 20 deadline. Disappointing overseas production returns early on and an unmovable deadline were the cause of these cuts.
- "The Brave Chipmunks" musical segment was released as a special feature in the 2014 DVD release.
- The destinations shown in this movie were, Mexico, Bermuda, Rome, Venice, Machu Picchu, The White Cliffs of Dover, Switzerland, Morocco, Rio De Janeiro, The Amazon River, Paris, The Alps, The Netherlands, London, Germany, Athens, Egypt, Antarctica and Fiji.
- The theatrical and Lorimar video releases have The Samuel Goldwyn Company logo at the opening, and below the copyright notice at the closing, the Universal and Paramount releases obscure the SGC logo and keep the closing logo, and current releases have no SGC logos at all, to the point of removing it from the credits, and only displaying the Bagdasarian Productions credit and logo, so don't expect to see the same version twice.
- The name of the Around the World in Thirty Days arcade game in the diner scene is a reference to the Jules Verne adventure novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Subsequent adaptations of the novel also spawned the idea of circumnavigating the globe by hot air balloon much like Chipmunks and Chipettes would later do in the film.
- Several Greek god/goddess statues can be seen during the song "The Girls of Rock 'n' Roll": the one Brittany and Alvin pose next to is Poseidon, the one Alvin steals the harp off of is Terpsichore, the one Alvin dances on is Laocoon and Atlas, and the one the spy hides behind is Medusa.
- The scene in Peru where Alvin swaps a Brittany doll with an Alvin doll is a reference to the film, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Audio from the film was used in the 2017 How I Built This Interview.
- Main article: The Chipmunk Adventure/Gallery