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 (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, October 29

The Middle - "Halloween V" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It's Halloween night, and Frankie and Mike are stunned – and a bit scared -- to learn that Brick has invited a girl over to the house just to hang with him. Meanwhile, to help supplement her college fund, Sue attempts to put together a pumpkin patch screening of the animated classic, “It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and Axl reluctantly goes to the library to write a history paper and ironically gets locked inside after staying past closing hours.

The Goldbergs - "Family Takes Care of Beverly" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Pops accidentally starts a fire in his apartment during a Halloween party, he’s evicted and Beverly invites him to move into the Goldbergs’ home. Pops’ wild lifestyle is soon too much for the family to handle and they decide to look into other options. Meanwhile, Barry stops Erica from eating Pop Rocks candy with soda, since according to urban legend, the combination would kill her. Since he “saves” her, Barry wants something in return from Erica.

Modern Family - "Halloween 3: AwesomeLand" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Even though Halloween is Claire’s holiday, she allows Phil to take over this year so instead of her usual fright-fest theme, he decides to turn the house into AwesomeLand! Gloria picks out Princess Fiona and Shrek costumes for her and Jay but Jay decides he wants to be Prince Charming complete with a full head of gorgeous hair, and with the hair comes a new sense of confidence. Elsewhere, Cameron gets overwhelmed by the day’s activities and Mitchell has closing arguments for a huge case, and it doesn’t help that the stenographer is dressed like a spider.

black-ish - "The Prank King" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre fears his holiday fun will be ruined when the older kids balk at the glorious Johnson Halloween tradition of seeing who can pull the most outlandish pranks on each other.

The League - "Taco Standard Time" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Taco takes on the end of Daylight Savings Time. The guys try to help Lane (Zach Woods) during a difficult time. Andre and his cat M'Lady are on the rocks.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Please Say Yes" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph tries to come up with a proposal idea for Leslie; he finds himself struggling with the preparation.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 27) (All times ET unless noted)

Wednesday, October 29

  • Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) - Watch Jon on Conan at 11pm on TBS. He will also appear with Ashton Kutcher on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey performs with M. Ward on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Will Arnett (The Millers/Up All Night/Arrested Development) - Will appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Lisa visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael J. Fox (The Michael J. Fox Show/Spin City/Family Ties and Tracy Pollan (Family Ties) - Michael and Tracy are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. Tracy also joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Justin Long (Mom/Ed) - Justin drops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tone Bell (Bad Judge) - Tone is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men/That '70s Show) - Ashton appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jennie Garth (Mystery Girls/What I Like About You) - Jennie reveals behind the scenes secrets of 90210, how she became a DIY queen and life post divorce on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri stops by The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.
  • Tyler Ritter (The McCarthys) - Tyler talks about his new comedy series The McCarthys on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra and Rach take on their stickiest challenge yet – a grape-stomping competition - on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kyra Sedgwick (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Kyra talks about Brooklyn Nine-Nine on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) - Soleil will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran talks about Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Nick is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.