Believe it or not, Alvin and the Chipmunks have been singing since 1958 and have five Grammys and an American Music Award, among other prizes, to show for it.
That's not to say you have to like them.
We have it on good authority that their latest movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked, is a lot less annoying than their previous outings on the big screen. That's a good thing! This new film sees the little furry critters engaged in endless pops songs and pop culture references; it's every bit as entertaining you'd imagine 90 minutes of adventure and high-pitched rodent singing to be.
Alvin, Simon and Theodore (Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney) are going on a restful cruise holiday with their human minder, Dave (Jason Lee). Their female counterparts, the Chipettes, (voiced by Amy Poehler, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate) are also coming along for some R&R.
Once on board the cruise ship, however, Alvin just can't stop acting up. In a naughty gesture, he goes hang-gliding with the other chipmunks; one gust of wind and they're carried right off the cruise ship and into the sea.
Dave, along with the resident bad guy in these movies, Ian (David Cross is attractively snarky as the record executive who caged the chipmunks and passed on Justin Bieber), are likewise swept away.
Very soon all the two-legged and four-legged creatures have washed up on a deserted island. Despite all that action, the chipmunks still have time to sing such songs as Trouble, Vacation and Bad Romance in their own inimitable (thank God) style.
On the island, the critters have to work together to find food and shelter.
They also have to deal with an apparent castaway named Zoe (Jenny Slate) who is not exactly what she appears to be. Toss in some buried treasure and an active volcano for the requisite adventure portion.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked has almost no redeeming social value that we can see, but then, we are flinty and mean-spirited. The movie is a way to kill 90 minutes if you have small children to amuse, but those 90 minutes could also be spent with them at the library, maybe, or at a swimming pool.
Or creatively gazing out the window. Never mind.
Alvin and the Chipmunks was a big hit with the kiddies in the audience at the screening we attended, and there was no shortage of kids dancing in the aisles. Your call, moms and dads.
(This film is rated G)