Saturday, January 10, 2009
Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Chipettes (Paramount, $16.99) brings the six best episodes from the original 1983-87 series featuring the Chipmunks' female counterpart, The Chipettes! This is the second set that we get the actual original series on DVD, so fans will be very happy once again. Rejoin Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor as they join their friends and love interests Alvin, Simon & Theodore!
We have had many Chipmunk sets, some even re-released. Basically, we have had Chipmunks Go To The Movies sets (which featured episodes like "Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom," "Robomunk," "Star Wreck," "Batmunk," and "Funny...We Shrunk the Adults"). We have also had holiday themed sets such as Valentine's, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials releases. Paramount has also released the Chipmunk Adventure feature film from 1987. And my personal favorite was the Alvinnn! Edition, which was the first set to have episodes from the original 1983-87 series. 14 of them!
This set has six more episodes from the original 1983-87 series. The original 1983-87 series had two 11-minute episodes or so in a half-hour. So as with the Alvinnn edition, we don't get the actual "full episodes," but one 11-12 minute episode from a full episode...and we get 6 of those mini-episodes. The episodes run around 12 minutes (lowest is 11:30, highest is 12:05) counting the opening theme, and all of the episodes have the catchy opening theme! On the Alvinnn edition we didn't get the episode title card screen after the opening credits, on this set...we do and on all six, too! Unfortunately, there are no closing credits for the six episodes. Weird. Each episode has 3 chapter stops on this set. Episodes on this set are: "May the Best Chipmunk Win," "Operation Theodore," "Sisters," "The Greatest Show-Offs on Earth," "My Fair Chipette," and "Tell it to the Judge." These are six very good ones and you get to see some good songs sung by the Chipettes! Isn't it fun watching the Chipettes working at the hospital in "Operation Theodore?"
Packaging is simple and in the same line as the previous sets--a nice simple case with the discs inside, but this time there is NO insert for Chipmunks.com, odd. Cover art featuretes the Chipettes obviously, with them around lockers with pictures of Alvin, Simon, & Theodore stuck to a locker door. Back of the case we have info on the set and the Chipettes, with another shot of the Chipettes at their lockers, and a poster stuck on to one locker saying Alvin for President. There is also a locker on the left side, which is Brittany's locker, listing the episodes on this set, a poster for Brittany for President, and two screenshots. Disc art has the same artwork as the cover art. All the artwork seems to be from the post-1987 version, and not the original series artwork for some reason. This is been the case for all the sets it seems. Oh well.
The menu screen has the same artwork has the packaging's back side, which I mentioned above. Options are Play All, Episode Selection and Previews. This is an improvement because usually the episodes are listed on the main menu. An auto-trailer for Alvin sets come before the main menu starts and also the same trailer can be found in the Previews option on the main menu. At least we don't get any other trailers. The Episode Selection menu is neat. The episode titles are listed on the locker doors. Simple yet effective.
The video and audio are OK at best, some episodes look good (not great though), some don't. They are certainly not remastered or anything, like I have mentioned before. They are watchable, though. So it is worth the buy, especially since this series is not on television anymore. The copies are a bit better than VHS that you may have recorded from the original run or 90s syndication.
I highly do recommend any fan to pick up this set. We are now getting episodes of the classic series from 1983-87, as this is the second set to feature them. Those are the best and most memorable episodes. I just wish they start giving us season sets. It isn't that hard, is it? They obviously have the rights to the original episodes. Though I hope when and if they make season sets, they remaster and clean up the episodes a bit for the fans. I really want a complete first season or at least break them up into half seasons and release them. I want to see "The C Team" episode on DVD! Mr. T in animation! Anyway, if you haven't gotten any of these Chipmunk sets yet, this is a good start, along with the Alvinnn Edition we mentioned before. Why? Because both sets are classic Alvin! Alvinnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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