Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks - The Mystery of the Easter Chipmunk

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. This week we take a look at Paramount Home Entertainment's Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Mystery of the Easter Chipmunk. Yes we know today is Valentine's Day but we here at SitcomsOnline like to look ahead, as you all know, and we are focusing today on Easter! This set features the special "The Easter Chipmunk" along with four other episodes from the series! See my Blog DVD Reviews of Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Mystery of the Easter Chipmunk:

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
(4/5 stars)

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


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
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Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, January 23

Kevin Can Wait - "Choke Doubt" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Kevin brags about saving a man from choking after hearing how much attention his brother Kyle is receiving for saving a cat. Adam Ferrara guest stars as Bill, a man Kevin saves from choking, and “The Insider” correspondent Michael Yo guest stars as Tom, a morning show anchor who interviews Kyle.

Man with a Plan - "The Talk" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Adam and Andi have the dreaded “talk” with Teddy and Kate, their awkward approach makes the kids horribly uncomfortable.

2 Broke Girls - "And the Emergency Contractor" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Max and Caroline get home from their road trip, Caroline discovers she likes the dessert bar renovations as much as she likes Bobby (Christopher Gorham), the contractor on the job. Also, Max rushes to Randy’s side when she hears he’s in the hospital in New York City, and Sophie joins a mommy group that cares more about partying than baby talk.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Conjugal Conjecture" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Sheldon’s mother and Leonard's father share an evening together, everyone deals with an awkward morning the next day. Also, Penny’s family arrives for the wedding ceremony, including her anxiety-ridden mother, Susan (Katey Sagal), and her drug dealing brother, Randall (Jack McBrayer). Dean Norris guest stars as Colonel Williams, an Air Force Representative from the Department of Materiel Command. Christine Baranski, Laurie Metcalf, Judd Hirsch and Keith Carradine return.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 23)

Monday, January 23

  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Allison on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) and Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Arrested Development/Out of Practice) - William and Henry are guests on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Jade Catta-Preta (Manhattan Love Story) - Jade is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Tika Sumpter (The Game) - Tika appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry and Rebecca Romjin talk about Love Locks on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Jerry will also be on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT, on Access Hollywood Live (check your local listings) and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta talks about Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Free Agents) - Kathryn will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.