Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Alvin & the Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine (Jan. 23)

Welcome to a special Sunday edition of the mini-DVD reviews. This week we take a look at Paramount Home Entertainment's Alvin & the Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine. 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 1984 Valentine's episode and three 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: A Chipmunk Valentine:

Alvin & the Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine (Paramount, $14.99) brings a classic Valentine's Day episode and three additional loved-themed animated episodes. This is the third set from Paramount featuring the Chipmunks. The last set was the Halloween set. Previously we had the Christmas special release. Paramount has also released the Chipmunk feature film from 1987 on a separate set. This set has a 1984 half-hour Valentine's Day episode titled "I Love Chipmunks Valentine" that aired during the original series' run! I'm so glad they put that on here because 1983-1987 or so is the best version of the Chipmunks, I think. DiC took over after that and changed the animation. It was good, but I loved the original. The classic half-hour episode is a music-filled adventure as Alvin develops an alter ego after Brittany rejects his invitation to the Valentine Ball. In a dream state, he becomes a dashing Don Juan called Captain Chipmunk. I remember watching this and loving it every time they aired it in the rotation on TV. The set also has three loved-theme episodes from The Chipmunk years, like I mentioned. The classic "I Love Chipmunks Valentine" episode runs 24:03. The other three are mini episodes, meaning each half hour had two episodes when they originally aired, and we get one of them here. The mini-episodes on this set are: "Dr. Simon and Mr. Heart Throb" (11:26), "Dear Diary" (11:16) and "Theodore and Juliet" (11:48). Only one of the three mini episodes have closing credits, as they probably were the first episodes of the half-hour. No chapter stops. Packaging is simple and in the same line as the previous sets--a nice case. The menu screen has Play All and Episode Selection, with a song from the Chipmunks in the background. A colorful menu with the Chipmunks and the Chipettes. 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. The classic 1984 special episode looks very good, but not as good as the mini-episodes. I hope we get full season episodes in the future starting with the 1983 episodes. 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 with the classic episodes, and not just select episodes from The Chipmunks years. I like the old style animation the series had on NBC from 1983-87, and glad to see it for once on these DVDs. So, hopefully we get the series on DVD from the start next, but for now go out and buy this set to make that happen before Brittany doesn't accept Alvin's invitation to the Valentine Ball!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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

Our regular ratings blog will return next Sunday, as I didn't have final numbers and I hate using the prelim fast nationals.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January)

The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Married with Children - Seasons 7 and 8 (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season

01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Girls - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Seven (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Eight (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Seasons Seven and Eight (Mill Creek)
01/13 - The Big House - The Complete Series
01/13 - Episodes - The Third Season
01/13 - The Facts of Life - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory
01/20 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, February 1

Bob's Burgers - "Easy Commercial, Easy Gommercial" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
To compete with fellow “restaurateur,” Jimmy Pesto, and his blowout Super Bowl event, Bob is determined to create a Bob’s Burgers commercial to air during the “big game.” In an effort to outshine Pesto, the Belchers recruit Randy, a documentarian, to assist with the filmmaking and hire on former pro football star Connie Frye (guest voice Jordan Peele) to be the celebrity endorser.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXV" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the annual spooktacular Halloween special, Bart and Lisa are transported to a demon-filled alternate universe after Bart reads a set of Aramaic symbols he finds on the underside of his desk; Moe’s “Clockwork Orange”-style gang is disrupted when Dum (Homer) falls for a girl (Marge) who wants him to give up the thug life; and, in an homage to “The Others,” the Simpsons are visited by their former Tracey Ullman-era versions of themselves.

The Simpsons - "Covercraft" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer has a mid-life crisis, takes up bass guitar and forms a cover band with some of the other dads in town. But the band’s modest early success is soon overwhelmed by the breakout potential of their most unlikely star, Apu.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Jimmy Jab Gabes" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The squad has time to kill when the arrival of the Serbian President’s motorcade to Brooklyn has been delayed. So, Jake launches “The Jimmy Jab Games,” an annual series of competitions in the precinct. Meanwhile, Terry and Holt take on a new drug task force approved by Holt’s nemesis, Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick).

Family Guy - "Turkey Guys" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the night before Thanksgiving, Brian and Peter drunkenly devour the holiday bird, and then must go out to find a replacement. In Peter absence, Chris attempts to step up and become the man of the house.

Bob's Burgers - "Uncle Teddy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bob and Linda leave town for a romantic getaway (at a Burger Convention), they ask Teddy to babysit Tina, Gene and Louise. While the ’rents are away, Teddy is eager to earn the coveted title of “Uncle Teddy” and does so by putting Tina’s crush in his rightful place after discovering that he was just using her for – gasp – free burgers! Hijinks ensue.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 2) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, February 2

  • Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Seth Morris (The Hotwives of Orlando/Go On/Happy Endings) - Seth appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) - Busy chats on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/Tom/The Tom Show) - Tom is a guest on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET. He also talks about his new film We'll Never Have Paris on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Amanda Peet (Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Josh Segarra (Sirens) - Josh talks about USA Network's Sirens on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Gregory Harrison (Joey/The Family Man) - Gregory gives a look at his new Hallmark Channel original movie Cloudy with a Chance of Love on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall discusses his new ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat on HuffPost Live at 4:40pm. Fresh Off the Boat premieres on ABC on February 4 at 8:30pm and 9:30pm ET/PT.
  • Michael Ian Black (Burning Love/Ed) - Michael is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea discusses the Super Bowl on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is part of the guest panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) - Barry talks about his new show A Very Barry Branson on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings. A Very Barry Branson premieres on GAC on February 5.