Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blog DVD Reviews: The Very First Alvin Show and The Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Star Wreck

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 Very First Alvin Show and Alvin & the Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Star Wreck. It is so cool to have an episode of the '60s series The Alvin Show on DVD! See my Blog DVD Reviews of Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Very First Alvin Show and Alvin & the Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Star Wreck:

Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Very First Alvin Show (Paramount, $16.99) brings the very first episode of the '60s classic The Alvin Show on DVD along with A Chipmunk Reunion from 1985 and a 1991 retrospective. In the '60s series' first episode, "Stanlet the Eagle," Alvin, Simon, and Theodore get a "pet" eagle, and they have to teach it how to fly. Each episode of the series had two episodes and two musical segments. The second mini-episode features the scientist Clyde Crashup who tries to invent the sport "Baseball" in his own way. The two musical segments are Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "Oh, Gondaliero!" and "I Wish I Could Speak French."

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.

This set has the first episode of the 1961 series. The first episode runs 25:36 with six chapter stops. We also get a 1985 episode from Alvin & the Chipmunks era titled "A Chipmunk Reunion." In "A Chipmunk Reunion," the Chipmunks search for their long lost mother. The episode is from the 1983-87 series and runs around 24:00 with seven chapter stops available. The next is an NBC special from 1991 titled "The Chipmunks Present Rockin' Through the Decades." This is a 1991 special hosted by Will Smith with many special guests like Markie Post. This special runs 23:21 with seven chapter stops.

Packaging is simple and in the same line as the previous Chipmunks sets--a nice simple case with the discs inside. Cover art features the original Alvin, Simon, & Theodore from The Alvin Show with Clyde Crashcup and Leonardo lurking in a flying cup. Back of the case we have info on the set and the episodes, with all three Chipmunks with Dave Seville. There are also four little episodic photos. We get a red box listing the episode titles for the set. Disc art has the same artwork as the cover art, but we don't see Clyde Crashcup & Leonardo this time. And finally there is an insert inside that is a comic strip style featuring Clyde and Leonardo. All the artwork is from the '60s series!

The menu screen has the same artwork has cover art. We have an option to Play All, but the episodes are listed right on the menu screen. We do have a Previews option, but that is the same thing as the auto-trailer for Chipmunk sets before the main menu begins. At least we don't get any other trailers. This is very basic, but it works. I wish we had some music at least playing in the background!
The video and audio are GREAT for The Alvin Show first episode. Paramount transferred this from 35mm to HD! A Chipmunk Reunion and the retrospective are similar to previous sets. They are certainly not remastered or anything, but are watchable, though. So it is worth the buy, just because The Alvin Show is so rare. Even Alvin & The Chipmunks is not on TV anymore in reruns, so it is nice to see those, too!

I highly do recommend any fan to pick up this set. It is so nice that they FINALLY released an episode of The Alvin Show on DVD. Since they remastered the pilot episode to HD, I hope that means we get the entire series soon? I am more familiar (and a big fan) with the '80s series, but I hope to see more of the '60s series! I never watched the '60s series in repeats on Nickelodeon in the early '90s, but I wish I did. It is also nice we get the 1991 retrospective on DVD as well. But come on Paramount let's release a complete series set of The Alvin Show and start releasing Alvin & The Chipmunks in season sets as well! Fans want this! So anyway, first let's get the episode that started it all!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
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The Alvin Show TV.com Page
Chipmunks.com



Alvin & the Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Star Wreck (Paramount, $16.99) brings the gang spoofing Star Trek along with Dick Tracy and Sherlock Holmes. Funny things are happening where no Chipmunk has dared to go! Alvin stars as Captain Dirk, commander of the S.S. Boobyprize; Simon is Mr. Speck, and Brittany is Uhaha. Together, they must rescue fellow crewmember Dr. McRoy (Theodore) after he gets abducted by a weird extraterrestrial family! This high-flying spoof of the box office smash will leave you beaming with laughter!
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," "Chip Tracy," "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. We even got the old 1961 pilot of The Alvin Show. And my personal favorite was the Alvinnn! Edition, which was the first set to have episodes from the original 1983-87 series.

This set has two episodes from The Chipmunks Go to the Movies (1990) and an episode from The Chipmunks years (1988-89). The "Star Wreck" episode runs 22:33 with five chapter stops, but the closing credits are missing. Next we have the episode "Chip Tracy," from the Movies season. In "Chip Tracy," we follow the only clean cop in a city awash in crime. The episode runs 23:07 with five chapter stops. The final episode is from The Chipmunks years. In "Elementary, My Dear Simon," we find the Chipmunks on the trail of the infamous Moriarty. This episode runs 23:35 with five chapter stops.

Packaging is simple and in the same line as the previous Chipmunks sets--a nice simple case with the discs inside. Cover art features Alvin, Simon, & Theodore in their Star Wreck characters. Back of the case we have info on the set and the episodes, with the trio sitting inside the spaceship. We get a little light blue/greyish box listing the episode titles for the set. Disc art has the same artwork as the cover art. Inside the case we also have an insert for Chipmunks sets on DVD and Chipmunks.com.

The menu screen has the same artwork has cover art. Options are Play All, but the episodes are listed right on the main menu. We also have a Previews option, but it the same as the auto-trailer for Chipmunks sets found before the main menu starts. At least we don't get any other trailers.
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. These episodes are from 1988-1990, so they aren't too bad. The audio is in stereo.

I highly do recommend any fan to pick up this set. Especially if you have all the Chipmunks Go to the Movies sets so far. It would have been better if all were released at once rather than all these sing disc sets, but what can we do?
These episodes are not as good as the 1983-87 seasons or even the 1988-89 season, but they are still good to see and collect! Spoofs are always cool to see. We get this Star Wreck episode for some reason a second time on DVD. They should have released "Kong!" at least, since that hasn't been released on DVD yet. Other episodes from this season not yet released are: "S.T.", "Irrational Buffoon's European Vacation," "Gremilonis," and "Sploosh." Give us that complete season set of this already! Anyway, it is time to boldly go where no Chipmunk has dared to go...again, but at least we get to solve crime with Chip Tracy and Sherlock Holmes!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

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


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