17 January 2014 | Dawalk-1
Outstanding X-mas Special and Great Introduction To The Revamp of Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s Characters.
For those who may not know the past editions of the Chipmunks franchise, earlier versions of Alvin and the Chipmunks first appeared on The Alvin Show in 1961. And I first came across that Chipmunks t.v. series when episodes of this would be shown as part of some episodes of the Nickelodeon variety show Weinerville, which hit the airwaves back in the '90s. In addition to their animated appearances and being well-known for their singing abilities, they've also had a slew of their own records cut. A couple of decades later, Alvin and his brothers, Simon and Theodore, were brought back but redesigned and introduced to a new generation, and audience, with this Christmas special. After creator and their original voice actor, Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. passed away almost a decade prior to this holiday special, his son, Ross, Jr., took over handling voice duties of Alvin, Simon and the Chipmunks' adoptive father and manager David Seville while Janice Karman became the replacement voice talent for Theodore. And a couple years later, the Alvin and the Chipmunks series from mostly the '80s followed. This special can be considered as the pilot film to the second Chipmunks cartoon and what a great, and interesting way to get it launched off the ground.
I just wanted to point out that history to all those who may not be aware. Now that I got that out of the way, on to discussing the special. I don't think I remember ever seeing this growing up, but I do remember seeing the cover of the VHS box or clamshell case with the Chipmunks wearing Santa hats. And a Christmas episode or some Christmas episodes from the '80s series may have been all that I saw. Anyway, when I saw an ad for this to be aired on ABC over a couple years back, I decided to check it out and I did so again when it reran on there just last month. Twice I managed to catch most of it, but I just got to say, I'm glad I did, I enjoyed it, it's another one of the best X-mas specials of all time. The storyline of this isn't quite an adaptation of Gift of the Magi, which is what this almost reminds me of, but it's still pretty similar to it. But instead of it being based on a couple who each sells a possession of theirs in order to buy each other a gift, Alvin decides to give away his rare brand of harmonica to a boy named Tommy (who's ill and wishes he had that brand of harmonica, which would make him very happy) to make his early Christmas day. In this, there are no gift exchanges between them, but now Alvin must find a way to make enough money to buy the only, other replica of that same harmonica and have the replacement in time for a concert at Carnegie Hall where he's to perform a solo. I just learned not very long ago that according to a review I read of the VHS of this on Amazon and from what I read of it, this seemed to air around the holidays rarely (that is, until over a couple of years back or at least that I know of anyway). That explains it, no wonder I wasn't as familiar with this. For those looking for the better Christmas specials, I say this makes a great alternative to Grandma Got Run Over By Reindeer, which from the reviews I read about that, isn't all that. Some may find A Chipmunk X-mas average, but I noticed it still has somewhat of an original spin on Gift of the Magi and because of that, the averageness doesn't make it any less of a superb Christmas special. Everything about this is just great, with some nice songs and humorous moments. It should still be seen and it's another one for the not-to-be-missed or the not-to-be-skipped list.