Saturday, August 26, 2006

Mini-DVD Review: Alvin & the Chipmunks: Trick or Treason (Aug. 22)

This week we take a look at Paramount Home Entertainment's Alvin & the Chipmunks: Trick or Treason. Alvin & the Chipmunks is of course the hit animated series that ran from 1983-1991. It was most popular in the early-mid 80s and this set has a 1994 Halloween special and four mini episodes from 1988 and 1989. Cartoonist Dave Seville takes care of three chipmunks: Alvin, Simon and Theodore! See my mini-DVD review of Alvin & the Chipmunks: Trick or Treason:

Alvin & the Chipmunks: Trick or Treason (Paramount, $14.99) brings a classic Halloween special and four spooky animated episodes. This is the second set from Paramount featuring the Chipmunks. The last set was the Christmas special release along with a few holiday-themed episodes. Both releases have episodes only when the show was renamed to The Chipmunks in 1988 and 1989. DiC designed the show then and they don't look the same as from 1983-87, but they still look great! Paramount has also released the Chipmunk feature film from 1987 on a separate set. This set has a 1994 half-hour Halloween special that aired on cable, titled "Trick or Treason," hence the title of this DVD. Alvin wants to join the Monster Club this Halloween and you will get to see them perform a great rendition of the hit tune "Monster Mash." The set also has spooky episodes, like I mentioned. On this volume are all mini episodes, meaning each half hour had two episodes when they originally aired, and we get one of them here. The episodes on this set are: "Babysitter Fright Night," "Theodore's Life as a Dog," "Nightmare on Seville Street," and "No Chipmunk is an Island." Two of the four episodes do not have closing credits, as they probably were the first episodes of the half-hour; runtimes range from about 10-12 minutes each. The menu screen has Play All and Episode Selection, with a song from the Chipmunks in the background. When we go to episode selection, the episodes are listed with a screenshot from the episode. The menu is designed quite well and is easy to navigate. The video and audio are decent and very watchable. I highly do recommend any fan to pick up this set. New fans might also want to, but I am hoping Paramount (or any other studio) releases the series on DVD in order, and not just select episodes from The Chipmunks years. So, hopefully that happens, but for now go out and buy this set to make that happen before Dave says "Alvinnnnn!"
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Alvin & the Chipmunks TV.com Page

We might have two special mini-DVD reviews during the week this week. So stay tuned for that. And if all goes well, next Saturday we will have a special mini-review of not a DVD, but a TV-movie, about Diff'rent Strokes, which will premiere on Labor Day on NBC. We also will have a review of Barry Williams' (Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch) new CD. Should be fun!
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Wednesday, April 23)

The Middle - "The Wind Chimes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Frankie pleads with a mean and unyielding Rita Glossner (Brooke Shields) to take down her wind chimes, whose noise is driving the Heck family crazy. Meanwhile, Axl and Hutch find a ratty, old couch abandoned on the street and try to figure out a way to retrieve it, instead of complaining to a pretzel manufacturer for skimping on the salt, Brick instead commits himself to coming up with a new pretzel snack idea for the company, and Sue informs the family that she and Darrin are dating again.

Suburgatory - "No, You Can't Sit With Us" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Tessa takes a young social outcast under her wing, she decides to mentor her protégée for the Miss Chatswin pageant to make a statement to Chatswin society. The pageant rivalry between Tessa and Dalia comes to a head and Tessa finds herself stooping to Dalia’s level to win. Meanwhile, George, Noah, Fred and Victor go on a boy’s weekend camping trip where Fred accidently loses Victor in the wilderness.

Modern Family - "Australia" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The entire family tags along as Phil fulfills his mom’s wish for him to return to his roots and visit the country where he was conceived, Australia. Unfortunately, Phil’s attempts to embrace his native land are met by a lot of rejection, while Jay and Claire let work eat into vacation time, and Mitch and Cam get reacquainted with an old friend (guest star Rhys Darby) they can’t stand but is now a big-time celebrity in Australia.

Mixology - "Dominic & Kacey" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After countless meaningless hookups, Kacey confronts Dominic about their relationship status and is taken aback by his response. Dominic then finds himself in unfamiliar territory and turns to Tom of all people for advice. Meanwhile, Maya and Fab try to help a drunken Liv, who has been knocking back drinks all night, after they spot a flock of bar vultures eyeing her. And the chance of hooking up with someone is being hampered for Bruce and Cal as they fend off a table interloper.

Melissa & Joey - "More Than Roommates" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel wants to get rid of the ugly chair that Joe inherited from his late grandmother.

Baby Daddy - "Livin' on a Prom" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Ben tries to score Bon Jovi tickets for Bonnie; Riley and Danny act as prom chaperones.

Hot in Cleveland - "Elka Takes a Lover" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
On the eve of Victoria's big movie premiere, Emmy (Jennifer Love Hewitt) visits with some surprising news while Elka announces she'staken a younger lover (Chris Elliott).

The Soul Man - "Back in the Day" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
A disagreement between Stamps and Kim causes Boyce and Lolli to reminisce about the early days of their relationship. Deion Sanders guest stars.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "A Stalker for Hire" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jennifer and the guys think Joseph hired Leslie's stalker.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Being Responsible" (OWN, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer's fearful of getting tested for HIV.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Wednesday, April 23

  • Sally Field (Gidget/The Flying Nun) - Watch Sally on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Timothy Simons (Veep) - Timothy drops by The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim appears on on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tim Allen (Last Man Standing/Home Improvement) - Tim visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Chris Messina (The Mindy Project) - Chris will be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William will be on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari is a guest on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
  • Max Charles (The Neighbors) - Max will be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.