Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip DVD Review

Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2016
  • Run Time: 90 minutes



            I don’t know if it was Fox or Regency, but someone certainly seems to be losing faith in the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, and it is apparent in the slapdash manner with which The Road Chip was constructed. I’m not saying that these CGI incarnations of the 1980s cartoon characters deserved much better treatment in the third theatrical sequel to the mediocre 2007 film, but the entire production feels like a straight-to-video movie. You know the kind; so poorly made that parents will gladly let play on the television in the other room, but would dread sitting through it in a theater.


            I was never close to crazy about the last three Alvin and the Chipmunk movies, but the one mildly enjoyable element came from the music. Even if forced to hear the songs through the high-pitched singing of animated chipmunks, the high production values and hip song adaptations was something distracting for both parents and kids alike. Though The Road Chip has a final production number along these lines, there is far less music in this film with Dave’s decree that the trio stop performing. I imagine it had a lot less to do with Dave and more to do with the expense of song licensing, and with that the most enjoyable part of the franchise is thrown out in favor of a generic storyline which hasn’t been original since “The Brady Bunch.”


            When Dave (a transparently bored Jason Lee) begins dating a new woman named Samantha (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), she comes with a terrible teenage son named Miles (Josh Green). Miles bullies the chipmunks out of pure annoyance that his mother is dating their “father,” so all four are horrified to discover that Dave is in possession of an engagement ring. When Dave and Samantha leave the kids behind for a trip to Florida, Miles and the Chipmunks assume that this is where the proposal will occur and make a cross-country journey to stop it from happening.


            I could describe more of the plot, but I think that is enough to predict everything that occurs along the way. Apparently even the filmmakers know how predictable the road trip narrative is, with the worst title of the franchise. The DVD includes a digital copy, along with two special features that seem to indicate the knowledge that the best of the franchise is in the past. There is a featurette about the story from the past films, and a collection of the best songs from all of the four films.


    Entertainment Value: 3.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10

    Historical Significance:  2/10

    Special Features: 4/10

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