Songs, Silliness and Greater Stakes Characterize The Chipmunks' Squeakquel
- Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Much like the Chipmunks were in their first big screen outing, the Chipettes (voiced by Christina Applegate, Amy Poehler and Anna Faris, respectively) were also lured with the promise of widespread fame by disgraced former record exec Ian Cross (David Cross).
And certainly they have the pipes for stardom and winsome charisma to boot, something that quickly won Applegate over. "They are just so adorable and that's why I wanted to do this, I wanted to be a part of something that is going to be around forever," says Applegate. "I loved the first Chipmunk movie, so I was really excited to be a part of it. I think they did a really good job of making these Chipettes modern and different than they have been previously."
For Poehler, who made Eleanor (Theodore's female doppleganger) come to life, it was all about the hair. "I absolutely loved Eleanor's hairstyle, it was so cute," says Poehler. "I also like her little story because she's the shortest. She's told to act taller, so Eleanor's story is about just being yourself. I'm a sucker for that. I'll take a 'be yourself' story any day. So when I first saw her I was just so excited, because when you record you are just seeing a sort of flesh-colored weird blob that you record to."
As for the recording itself, both Applegate and Poehler admit the process was a little unusual.
"We recorded separately, and it's strange because you do each line for about 10 minutes because you are trying to get it slow enough and yet have it sound like a normal conversation. It's a very bizarre technique," Applegate shares. "I thought you just talked and they would mess with your voice afterwards, but that's not the case. You have to literally [ talks in a high-pitched voice ] talk like this. And when something is funny you have to say, ‘Yaaaaaay!' [ slow and drawn out high-pitched voice ]. But it comes out like, ‘Yay!'"
Leaving a Legacy
For Chipmunk creator, singer/songwriter Ross Bagdasarian Sr., the latest installment was very fulfilling to work on. Out to prove "these aren't your parent's Chipmunks," Bagdasarian says the latest installment has a bigger look, bigger musical numbers, more fun, deeper emotion and more action—including a motorcycle chase, helicopters and Alvin playing football.
"The theme of family was there in the first film, but where the first film was about a family coming together, Janice [ Karman, the film's producer ] wanted to explore the brothers splitting apart as well as their ultimate reunion."
For families, it also offers an opportunity to bond vis-à-vis a furry trio that's stood the test of time. "With 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks, we set out to capture three generations of Chipmunk fans: those who grew up with The Chipmunks in the ‘80s, their kids and even those who remember The Chipmunks from the ‘60s. We just felt that if we made a good movie that had something for everyone, we would have a big audience."
Opening in theaters on December 23, 2009, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is rated PG for some mild rude humor.
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