Posted by: Mark Nielsen | November 25, 2007

Attack of the Chipmunks!

I was listening to the radio this morning and the Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas song came on. I think it’s called *Hurry Christmas* or something similar.

It brought back memories, as one might expect. I think we had a Chipmunks LP when I was a kid, another one of those handful of records we used to play over and over (along with the Disney *Pete’s Dragon* soundtrack, the soundtrack to *Saturday Night Fever*, and the Johnny Mathis Christmas album… Mom had a teenage crush on Johnny, before we all found out he was gay — great voice, nevertheless).

I think on the radio today was the first time Graham would have heard the Chipmunks. He made no comment, so I guess he was unimpressed. Weird sound effects like their voices, along with wild CGI animation, are so common now that most kids are jaded by age six. So it takes a lot to impress them.

I also discovered earlier in the week that there’s a new Chipmunks live action plus CGI movie coming out soon, starring Jason Lee (of My Name Is Earl… a very funny show). I have mixed feelings about this movie. As a Jason fan (he rarely gets involved with bad movies, unlike Jack Black and other similar actors) and a Chipmunks fan, I know I should be glad. But instead I’m just scared. Scared that –like Scooby Doo and Batman and all the other *so-bad-it’s-great* shows of my youth, they’re just going to screw it up by recycling it and dumbing it down and high-teching it up for a crass and demanding modern audience.

Retro entertainment is often pretty lame. Have you seen Blues Brothers 2000? Or my man Jonathan Demme’s shot-for-shot remake of *Psycho*?

My point is: why mess with a good thing? Now excuse me while I step out to rent *The Absent-Minded Professor*, starring Fred MacMurray (a competent comic actor who doesn’t get upstaged by the Flubber, the way Robin Williams did many years later… and who would have thought anything could upstage Robin?).


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