Saturday, February 14, 2009
Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Mystery of the Easter Chipmunk (Paramount, $16.99) brings the 1995 TV special "The Easter Chipmunk" on DVD along with four episodes from the TV series! In "The Easter Chipmunk," Alvin finds out that his Grandpa was the original Easter Chipmunk, and tries to sue Mr. Hoppity, the Easter Bunny for the rights. What will happen? You'll have to watch!
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. We also had episodes featuring The Chipettes from the original series 1983-87 series. 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 the 1995 Easter special along with episodes from the series. The original 1983-87 series and the 1988-89 Chipmunks series had two 11-minute episodes or so in a half-hour. So as with the other DVDs, we don't get the actual "full episodes," but one 11-12 minute episode from a full episode. The Easter special runs 21:35 with four chapter stops. The other four episodes are from the original series or the 1988 Chipmunks series. In "Snow Wrong," the Chipmunks and Chipettes audition to be in a Snow White play. The episode is from the original 1983-87 series and runs around 12:24 and we also get the opening and closing credits, but no episode title card. The next three episodes are from The Chipmunks years. In "Special Kind of Champion," Alvin is upset that he can't seem to keep up with the rest of his track race team. Being that so, the coach decides to let him become a trainer for one of the athletes of the Special Olympics. This episode runs 11:59 and has the opening and closing credits. The next episode is "Thinking Cap Trap," Simon is frustrated being the smartest member of the family. He invents a cap that helps Dave and his brothers become smarter. Simon is so confident with his family's new smarts that he signs them up to be on a genius game show. But before he can give his family another boost of the thinking cap, he loses it. This episode runs 13:02 and has the opening and closing credits. The final episode on this set is "Luck O' the Chipmunks," Micky, a new Irish boy at school, claims that he has his very own leprechaun. The Chipmunks are keen to investigate. This one runs 13:08 and also has the opening and closing credits. Weird that only one episode (the Easter special) has to deal with Easter. The rest seem random, though nice to have. The St. Patrick's Irish themed episode fits, I guess since that holiday is on the horizon.
Packaging is simple and in the same line as the previous sets--a nice simple case with the discs inside, and as with last time, there is NO insert for Chipmunks.com once again. Cover art features the Alvin, Simon, & Theodore with the Easter Chipmunk looking. Back of the case we have info on the set and the episodes, with Alvin with rabbit ears and lots of Easter eggs below him. We get a little yellow box listing the episode titles for the set. Disc art has the same artwork as the cover art, but just Alvin and the Easter Chipmunk this time. 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 cover art. Options are Play All, Episode Selection and Previews. 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 list the episode titles. Simple yet effective.
The video and audio are OK at best, some episodes look good (not great though), some don't. If you have any of the other sets, you'll know what I mean. 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. The Easter special is newer, so that looks better.
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 third set to feature them...though we only get one episode from that here. Those are the best and most memorable episodes. And once again I reiterate, 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 now since they were not releasing them at first. Though I hope if and when 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, I know today is Valentine's Day but this episode features the upcoming holidays of St. Patrick's Day and Easter...so we like to look ahead! So grab your bunny ears and buy this set while eating your Easter eggs or your Valentine's chocolate...whatever! Let's get to the bottom of this scrambled caper!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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