Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip</strong> (2015)

(Video on Demand, March 2016) I watched this fourth Alvin and the Chipmunk movie without knowing much more about the series than a distracted glimpse at the third film, but don’t worry: not a lot of context is required to follow along. As a fairly representative entry in the “CGI animals kid’s movie” sub-genre, The Road Chip is almost exactly what you’d expect: A bit of mischievous mayhem, some musical numbers, cartoonish antagonists and broad emotional issues about what it means to be a family. It has a bit of synthetic charm: I still like “Uptown Funk” enough to smile at a jazz-infused chipmunk rendition, and some of the comic moments work just as well on adults than on kids. The antagonist is motivated by his hatred of the Chipmunk music (“the soundtrack to his breakup”) and the action moves swiftly from Los Angeles to Miami. The emotional stakes are obvious, but this isn’t the kind of film where we’re looking for something more challenging. While I suspect that adults may need an extra boost to hold their attention during The Road Chip (making paper snowflakes work wonders, I found), the kids are likely to like it a lot, which is sometimes exactly what’s needed.

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