Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Giveaway: 'Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel'


CC and I 'munked out this week at Fox Studios in honor of the upcoming release of "Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" DVD, hitting shelves March 30.

We actually saw "The Squeakquel" at the theater -- a rarity for us -- while Ian was next door checking out James Cameron's "Avatar."

CC was riveted by the movie and sat in her seat the entire time -- another rarity -- watching the chipmunk trio and the Chipettes vocally duke it out for high school singing glory.

Now, this isn't your '80s or even '60s Chipmunks. I haven't seen the 2007 original in this new series, but the second installment offers a mix of live action and CG animation, which has had some entertainment reporters asking if the movie even belongs in the "animated category" for awards shows.

Not only that, but the next installment in the series will be in 3-D, which seems to be the latest trend for all movies, not just a franchise's third big-screen outing.

"The Squeakquel," which boasts Justin Long, Christina Applegate, Anna Faris and Amy Poehler in voice roles, has Alvin & Co. enrolling at a new high school while Dave is held up with injuries abroad. His videogame-geek nephew (Zachary Levi) is put in charge, as the boys get up to their usual hijinks. When they're asked to save the school's music program by competing in a battle of the bands, they get some unexpected competition from The Chipettes.

After I watched CC hang out and take the stage with other kiddos (all of whom received goodie bags), I had the chance to talk with director Betty Thomas and producers Ross Bagdasarian Jr. (whose father created The Chipmunks) and his wife, Janice Karman, who conceived of the Chipettes.

"Hill Street Blues" alum Thomas explained that most of the shots had to be created before any animation was in place. And because of that, she had to get creative with her directorial handy work -- which meant going back to her acting roots.

"They said, 'You have to turn in that shot now,' so you have to make those decisions," she said, "and the best thing for me, having been an actor at one time in my life, was to just act out the scenes and play every character, which was kind of fun when you think about it. Or crazy or something."

She also mentioned that her first album as a child was The Chipmunks. "It was a Christmas album, and I remembered that," Thomas said. "It was so nostalgic for me, and I tried to not let that take over and find fresh ways of looking at them."

Bagdasarian and Karman also were looking for new ways to approach the classic Chipmunk trio. So they invested in CG artists who could really focus on the nuances of everything from facial expressions to movement.

"It's all about performance for us," Bagdasarian said. "Are they doing something in a way that's like 'Oh My God, what a great' ... (something) that's so selling that attitude."

"As long as we also kept their emotional life, because that never changes with people," Karman added, when talking about keeping the characters current yet still not dating them. "You still get your feelings hurt, you still cross the line and you have to be accountable, you still have sibling rivalry, so those things don't change, and that's real important for Ross and for me to keep those emotions alive. Otherwise, we're talking animals."


***GIVEAWAY***

I'm giving away three copies of "Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel." Leave me a comment below telling me your favorite chipmunk and why, or your favorite song they've sung over the years, and I'll throw your hat in the ring.

If you add yourself as a fan on the L.A. Story Facebook page, I'll add your name twice.

I'll announce winners Tuesday, March 30. Good luck!

19 comments:

justJENN said...

The Christmas song is the only one I can handle...at Christmas. Also my kids like 'All the Single Ladies' Ha!

Cheryl said...

My favorite chipmunk is Theodore. I just love that he is the gentle spirit of the bunch. He clearly isn't the leader like Alvin, and isn't the brains of the operation, either, but he has heart. And love always trumps power and wit.


My daughter wants to see this movie so badly. She has the first movie on dvd and watches it all the time.

Pokie said...

I loved them all. I remember the days of watching them after school in the kitchen, eating icing and graham crackers.

Marcela Beatty said...

I had a crush on Alvin!!!

jill9921 said...

I would say I always liked Simon. I loved the cartoons in the 80's and I am glad they have brought some of the episodes on dvd so my almost 5 yr old can watch them. I always liked the "witch doctor" but I can say I like when they sing "I got a feeling" on the squeakquel soundtrack which we have.

kreitenbach said...

I would say I always loved Alvin. He was my favorite when I was little. I loved the cartoons back then and my sister and I could watch them for hours. I really liked "The girls&boys of rock in roll" from a chipmunk adventure. One of my fave movies as a kid!!!

PixMom said...

I like Alvin and I think Theodore is cute! Thanks for the chance to win!

Natalie A. said...

I like Alvin and I enjoyed all the songs in the last movie! Thanks for the chance to win!

coolnatty12 at yahoo dot com

Natalie A. said...

I became your newest Facebook Fan and left a comment on your page!

coolnatty12 at yahoo dot com

L.A. Story said...

Wow, I'm really getting a kick out of these responses! Very fun!

FOKXXY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FOKXXY said...

Alvin has always been my favorite little trouble making chipmunk.

And really I just loved him cause he was a troublemaker. I always like Theodores innocence too though..

ssummmer(at)gmail(dot)com

FOKXXY said...

I am a fan now on facebook

(Summer P.)

ssummmer(at)gmail(dot)com

hether78 said...

Our favorite chipmunk is Theodore because he's short, cute, pudgy and cuddly! My kids love when they sing the song "Won't you take me to FUNKYTOWN!". This would be a great win because we tried to see it at the theatre and they were sold out so I had some pretty disappointed kids that day! Thanks for the chance!

hether78(at)gmail(dot)com

hether78 said...

I'm a facebook fan now!

fb name: Heather R. Garland

hether78(at)gmail(dot)com

Pokie said...

Pretty sure I am already a fan on FB.

Mami2jcn said...

I love their Christmas song. I get a kick out of how they say "hula hoop".

Mami2jcn said...

I became a Facebook fan under the name Mary Happymommy.

Cheryl said...

I am a facebook fan. (Cheryl W)

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