Alvin and the Chipmunks
Warner bros alvin and the chipmunks logo.png
Genre Comedy
Musical
Slapstick
Created by Tom Ruegger
Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. (characters)
Starring Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.
Janice Karman
Dody Goodman
Shepard Menken
Theme music composer Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.
Janice Karman
Opening theme: We're the Chipmunks
Country of origin: United States
Language(s): English
No. of seasons: 4
No. of episodes: 43 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s): Steven Spielberg
Producer(s): Tom Ruegger (senior)
Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.
Janice Karman
Paul Rugg
Rich Arons
Running time: 22 min. (approx.)
Production company(s): Bagdasarian Productions
Amblin Entertainment
Warner Bros. Animation
Distributor: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel: Fox (Fox Kids, 1994)
The WB (Kids' WB, 1995-1997)
Picture format: SDTV 480i (original)
HDTV 1080i (Blu-ray releases and newer prints)
Chronology

Alvin and the Chipmunks (alternately known as Steven Spielberg Presents: Alvin and the Chipmunks and Warner Bros.' Alvin and the Chipmunks) was an American animated television series created by Tom Ruegger, based on the original characters by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. It was produced by Bagdasarian Productions and Amblin Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Animation and aired on Fox Kids during 1994, later moving to Kids' WB between 1995 and 1997.

Plot

The series focuses three chipmunk brothers, Alvin, Simon and Theodore. The trio have been adopted by and are living with Dave (human). Each episode finds the boys getting into trouble and new and unusual situations.

Characters

  • The Chipmunks: the main characters of the series
    • Alvin Seville (voiced by Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.): the oldest brother and leader of the Chipmunks, Alvin is the talented troublemaker of the group.
    • Simon Seville (also voiced by Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.): the middle brother (also the tallest), Simon is the intelligent realist and the most responsible of the group.
    • Theodore Seville (voiced by Janice Karman): the youngest brother, Theodore is the cute innocent butterball of the group.
  • The Chipettes: the Chipmunks' female counterparts and on-and-off girlfriends
    • Brittany Miller (also voiced by Janice Karman): Brittany, the leader and the oldest sister of the Chipettes, is Alvin's counterpart. She is as equally vain and self-centered as Alvin. But like him, she really does care about others.
    • Jeanette Miller (also voiced by Janice Karman): Jeanette is the middle sister of the Chipettes, and she is Simon's counterpart. However, unlike Simon, who stands up to Alvin easily, she does not stand up to Brittany as easily. She is also very smart, which is what she does have in common with Simon. However, she is very shy and clumsy.
    • Eleanor Miller (also voiced by Janice Karman): Eleanor is the youngest sister of the Chipettes, and she is Theodore's counterpart. She shares his love for food and cooking. But she is more athletic, more intelligent, and more likely to stand up to Brittany than Theodore is to Alvin.
  • David "Dave" Seville (also voiced by Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.): the Chipmunks' adoptive father, the Chipettes's guardian, songwriter and manager, Dave's patience is tested nearly every day by Alvin, usually to the point where he yells his trademark yell "ALVIN!!!". Despite all this, he loves all of his boys equally.
  • Miss Beatrice Miller (voiced by Dody Goodman): the kindly, absent-minded adoptive mother of the Chipettes. She occasionally babysits the Chipmunks and has a crush on Dave, even though she's old enough to be his mother. In her youth, she was part of an all-girl singing group called The Thrillers.
  • Clyde Crashcup (voiced by Shepard Menken impersonating Richard Haydn's Edwin Carp character), is a scientist/inventor. Clyde's "inventions" were really items that had already been invented, but with his own personal touches. His "creations" often backfired on him until his silent, level-headed lab assistant, Leonardo (diminutive, balding, and perpetually whispering in Crashcup's ear) saved him from any further self-destruction.
  • Stanley the Eagle (vocal effects by Frank Welker) - TBD

Episodes

List of Alvin and the Chipmunks (1990s TV series) episodes

Voice cast

Additional voices

  • Frank Welker as the President, Steven Spielberg, Stanley the Eagle, Documentary Narrator (occasionally), the Road Runner (cameo), Gogo Dodo (cameo), Furrball Pussycat (cameo), Calamity Coyote (cameo), Little Beeper (cameo), Thaddeus Plotz (cameo), Ralph the Guard (cameo) and Runt the Dog (cameo)
  • Tress MacNeille as the First Lady, Petunia Pig (cameo), Babs Bunny (cameo), Dot Warner (cameo) and Hello Nurse (cameo)
  • Greg Burson as Bugs Bunny (cameo, first voice), Daffy Duck (cameo, first voice) and Elmer Fudd (cameo, first voice)
  • Billy West as Bugs Bunny (cameo, second voice), Pepé Le Pew (cameo) and Elmer Fudd (cameo, second voice)
  • Joe Alaskey as Daffy Duck (cameo, second voice), Plucky Duck (cameo), Sylvester Pussycat (cameo), Tweety Bird (cameo), Speedy Gonzales (cameo), Foghorn Leghorn (cameo) and Marvin the Martian (cameo)
  • Bob Bergen as Porky Pig (cameo)
  • Kath Soucie as Lola Bunny (cameo), Fifi La Fume (cameo, second voice) and Li'l Sneezer (cameo, second voice)
  • Maurice LaMarche as Yosemite Sam (cameo, second voice), the Brain (cameo), Squit (cameo) and Dizzy Devil (cameo)
  • Jim Cummings as Taz (cameo) and Yosemite Sam (cameo, first voice)
  • John Kassir as Buster Bunny (cameo, first voice)
  • Charlie Adler as Buster Bunny (cameo, second voice)
  • Tabitha St. Germain (credited as Paulina Gillis) as Fifi La Fume (cameo, first voice) and Li'l Sneezer (cameo, first voice)
  • Cree Summer as Elmyra Duff (cameo)
  • Rob Paulsen as Yakko Warner (cameo), Dr. Otto Scratchansniff (cameo), Pinky (cameo), Arnold the Pitbull (cameo) and Concord Condor (cameo)
  • Jess Harnell as Wakko Warner (cameo)
  • Sherri Stoner as Slappy Squirrel (cameo)
  • Nathan Ruegger as Skippy Squirrel (cameo)
  • Bernadette Peters as Rita the Cat (cameo)
  • John Mariano as Bobby (cameo)
  • Chick Vennera as Pesto (cameo)
  • Paul Rugg as Freakazoid (cameo) and Mr. Director (cameo)
  • Dan Castellaneta as Earthcoon Jack
  • Jeff Bennett as Freddie Fox and the British Narrator
  • Edward Hibbert as Beevil the Meerkat
  • Brad Garrett
  • Andrea Martin
  • Luke Ruegger
  • Cody Ruegger
  • Danny Mann
  • April Winchell
  • John Stocker
  • Harvey Atkin

In their cameos, Wile E. Coyote, Penelope Pussycat, Hamton J. Pig, Shirley the Loon, Sweetie Bird and Minerva Mink don't have speaking lines.

Production

Development

After the Alvin and the Chipmunks 80s' series' cancellation in 1990, Bagdasarian broke its partnership with DiC Entertainment. The studio was unsatisfied with the poor-quality animation and its executive meddling. In May 1993, Warner Bros. and Amblin were assigned to do another show based off Alvin and the Chipmunks. Originally, the show was intended to have a variety show format like Animaniacs, but it was eventually ditched in favor of full half-hour stories while the humor remains consistent. This makes it the first Warner Bros. and Amblin show to have all episodes last for a half-hour.

Production on Alvin and the Chipmunks began in the fall of 1993. Jamie Oliff, an animator at Lacewood Productions, entered the series during production.

On May 23, 1994, a promo of the series first aired on Fox Kids. It showed Alvin and the Chipmunks in their 80s' incarnations (before they were re-designed for the series). It was animated in-house at Warner Bros. Animation by Rich Arons and Jamie Oliff. Unlike other shows, however, Bagdasarian did not utilize Wang Film Productions in Taiwan for animation during the first season and only utilized Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS Entertainment) in Japan, AKOM Production Company in South Korea and Wang Film Productions in Taipei, Taiwan.

By the second season, TMS Entertainment left the show. AKOM and Wang Film Productions were the only overseas studios at that time. The third season changed drastically. Rough Draft Korea entered production as one of the overseas studios. AKOM left throughout the end of the third season and by the fourth season, the last 9 episodes were animated at both Rough Draft Korea (animated the remaining five episodes), Wang Film Productions (animated the other three episodes) and Koko Enterprises (animated the first of the last season).

Writing

Writers from Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, such as Sherri Stoner and Paul Rugg, wrote the episodes for the show along with Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and his wife, Janice Karman. Guest writer Doug Langdale wrote the Earthworm Jim cartoon-parodied episode as well.

Voices

Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman returned to play their respective roles for this incarnation of the series. Other voice artists, such as Rob Paulsen and Tress MacNeille, returned to play the Looney Tunes, Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs characters for cameos (though some would sometimes be featured as guest stars).

Animation

Alvin and the Chipmunks was mostly outsourced to Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS Entertainment) and AKOM Production Company, respectively. Lacewood Productions also worked on a few of the episodes during the first season and half of the episodes during the second season. Wang Film came around the second season. Newcomer Rough Draft Korea came in around the third season, however. Koko Enterprises came in for the last season of the show as well.

Alvin and the Chipmunks was made with a higher production value than standard television animation; the show had a higher cel count than most TV cartoons. The Alvin and the Chipmunks characters often move fluidly, and do not regularly stand still and speak, as in other television cartoons.

Music

The music was composed by Richard Stone. It was strongly influenced by Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn's work on the Looney Tunes series.

Reception

Alvin and the Chipmunks received generally favorable reviews from critics.

Merchandise

Tie-ins

  • McDonald's released six toys in their Happy Meals.
  • There were also coloring books, t-shirts, cups, toys and books.

Tropes

See Alvin and the Chipmunks (1990s TV series)/Tropes

Trivia

  • This was the third animated series produced jointly by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The first two were Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, followed later by Rocky and Bonnie: Master Detectives, Freakazoid!, Pinky and the Brain/Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Contrast to Ruegger's other shows, this show removes the three-short format in favor of a full half-hour story while the humor remained consistent. This was followed later by Rocky and Bonnie: Master Detectives and Pinky and the Brain (most episodes).
  • While retaining the traits from its other incarnations, this incarnation is more humor-focused due to the influence of Ruegger's other shows, with some Chipmunks and Chipettes songs being heard during some scenes.
  • While the Animaniacs cast reprised their respective roles in their cameos, the Looney Tunes and Tiny Toon Adventures characters cameos had some voices inconsistencies.
    • In their first cameo, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck were both voiced by Greg Burson, while in their second cameo, they were voiced by Billy West (using a more closer voice to Mel Blanc's Bugs than the one used in Space Jam) and Joe Alaskey, respectively. The same happened with Yosemite Sam, voiced by Jim Cummings in his first cameo and then by Maurice LaMarche in his second cameo and with Elmer Fudd, originally voiced by Greg Burson and then by Billy West.
      • However, this situation never happened with Porky Pig, being always voiced by Bob Bergen, neither with Sylvester Pussycat and Tweety Bird, both voiced by Joe Alaskey in all their cameos and Taz, always voiced by Jim Cummings.
    • In his first cameo, Buster Bunny was voiced by his then-current voice actor John Kassir, but then voiced by his original voice actor Charlie Adler in his second cameo.
    • In their first cameo, Fifi La Fume and Li'l Sneezer were both voiced by Tabitha St. Germain due to the unavailability of Kath Soucie.
  • Similarly to Ruegger's other shows, parodies of then-President Bill Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton made occasional cameos.
  • Some Animaniacs characters, such as Mr. Director and Thaddeus J. Plotz, would be featured as guest stars.
  • In one episode, Alvin and the Chipmunks meet up with their original 60s' animated incarnations. However, their 80s incarnations, Chuck Jones' incarnations, and earliest Dell Comics incarnations briefly appeared at the end of the episode.
  • Earthcoon Jack, Freddie Fox and Beevil the Meerkat are parodied versions of characters from the Earthworm Jim cartoon, being voiced by the same actors from said show. These parodies appeared in an episode where Alvin and the Chipmunks were being assigned to appear as guest stars on the Earthcoon Jack cartoon.
    • Transversal Cartoon Studios is a parody of Universal Cartoon Studios.
    • Lon FlanNapel and Raven Barry were parodies of Doug TenNapel and David Perry.
    • Grimy Entertainment is a reference of Shiny Entertainment.
  • This show began reruns on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2001 without any changes to the overall opening title sequence and episodes of the series. Nicktoons also reran the series on their channel from its start in May 2002 until its rebrand in mid-2005.
  • Many Chipmunks and Chipettes songs such as "Gettin' Lucky" and "The Girls/Boys of Rock and Roll", were recycled from previous incarnations of Alvin and the Chipmunks for this series.
  • Clyde Crashcup, Leonardo, and Stanley the Eagle are mainly the only characters to ever return from 1961's The Alvin Show, the first Alvin and the Chipmunks animated incarnation.
  • The animation quality is much better, compared to the poorly-animated episodes of the DiC era.
  • VHS releases of the series contained 4 volumes with two episodes each
    • It is unknown when they'll release the complete series on DVD but when Bagdasarian confirms that it would be released in the winter of 2018.
  • Despite the series being funny and interesting, as well as a great success, Bagdasarian and Karman disliked this incarnation due to too many of the show's gross-out humor and adult jokes, much like Animaniacs and Nickelodeon's Ren and Stimpy.
    • Apparently, this was the main reason for Bagdasarian Productions not renewing with Warner Bros. for a fifth season, instead moving to Paramount with a new series reboot.
    • Another reason was the last scene of the final episode of Season 4 where Alvin smacks Dave in the head repeatedly with an oar due to be too discipliner with Stanley. Bagdasarian was very furious about that scene. The moment he saw it, he cancelled his contract with Warner Bros.

Gallery

Alvin and the Chipmunks

The Chipettes

David 'Dave' Seville

Miss Beatrice Miller

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