‘Chimpmunks: The Squeakquel’ falls ‘squeaky’ at best


Amidst a world of animated movies targeted at families and younger audiences sits a special series dear to the hearts of an older generation. Young adults and parents alike have grown up listening to the Christmas albums and tuning in for the cartoons depicting the lovable little Chipmunks singing group.

A continuation of the original, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” is full of members from the original cast. In this installment, the fuzzy little trio accidentally puts Dave into the hospital and he falls into the care of their aunt’s dysfunctional grandson Toby (Zachary Levi).

On Dave’s orders, Alvin, Theodore and Simon head to school and put aside their superstar music life. Coincidentally their school’s music program is going under if they cannot win a local competition worth $25,000. The principal tasks the Chipmunks with winning the competition and saving the program. They must now cope with the pressures put forth by fame, school and this musical challenge.

A story that truly tests the bonds of brotherhood, high school is a rough task for even the most sheltered teen. The introduction of the Chipettes, a trio of female chipmunks makes life even more difficult for the Chipmunks. Already struggling with their brother Alvin’s high school temptations to play football, Simon and Theodore struggle with being alone and unpopular.

Sequels are a funny thing, a daring and bold move by writers and directors to continue entertaining the masses with an idea that has been introduced already. A make-or-break opportunity, continuing a story throughout multiple movies involves many risks.

Directed by Betty Thomas, this movie may have bitten off more than it can chew. Being a bit more popular at the box office than “Alvin and the Chipmunks” in 2007, the numbers may be a bit more bloated than the truth dictates.

More of a novelty idea than a great story, “The Squeakquel” was cute, but lacked the true feeling of the first. If there is one thing about sequels that is simply off-putting, it happens when the true spirit of a story is lost between movies. Each director carries with him an artistic ability and trying to recreate another director’s vision tends to make a movie seem less true.

“The Squeakquel” was just missing that feeling. It was as if they crammed someone’s story into another person’s movie. That awkward feeling never allowed me to truly enjoy this movie and for that, I am sad. The first movie was extremely enjoyable and captivated the audience around me. This one fell just a bit short, and I fear that the story may be done on the big screen.

It will take a seriously impressive vision to bring the Chipmunks back in a way that doesn’t just appeal to children. At this point, the only thing more dangerous than “The Squeakquel” would be a chipmunk-size trilogy.

– Aaron Weiser is a senior in economics. Send comments to edge@spub.ksu.edu.