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Alvin & the Chipmunks - New DVD Coming For The Classic '80s Saturday Morning Cartoon

And We (Finally) Get Up To Date On The Previous TV-DVD Chipmunk Releases!

Posted by David Lambert
In 1958 a man named Ross Bagdasarian - who is better known to audiences as David Seville - created a Grammy-winning musical group named Alvin And The Chipmunks: three talking and singing small animals named Alvin, Theodore and Simon. After a few appearances (using puppets) on The Ed Sullivan Show (a.k.a. Toast of the Town), Bagdasarian's act went animated on CBS in the 1961 primetime cartoon The Alvin Show. The series was up against huge competition, though, and didn't last more than a single season. But the popularity of the act refused to die, and after a 1981 "pilot" special called A Chipmunk Christmas NBC brought the TV show concept back again as a 1983 Saturday-morning cartoon series called Alvin And The Chipmunks.

Ross Bagdasarian Jr., son (obviously) of the creator of these characters, took over as the voices of David, Alvin and Simon (his dad passed away in 1972). Janice Karman voiced Theodore, and other voice cast included Dody Goodman (Grease), Nancy Cartwright ("Bart Simpson") and Frank Welker ("Megatron," "Scooby-Doo"). The Saturday morning series ran until 1991, changing titles (and apparently even animation companies) a couple of times along the way. "The Chipmunks" and "The Chipmunks Go To The Movies" were the alternate titles used for the program, as the show kept going and growing the popularity of these characters for a new generation.

The show spawned an animated 1987 theatrical film that used the same principal voice cast, The Chipmunk Adventure. A number of years after the show ended, in 1999 and 2000, came a pair of Universal Studios-controlled direct-to-video titles: Alvin And The Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein and Alvin And The Chipmunks Meet The Wolfman. These two were originally sold separately on VHS, but are available together as part of one DVD, and are getting a less-expensive DVD release in March. There was even a small direct-to-video 2005 release called Little Alvin And The Mini-Munks (now very hard to find). Then, of course, this past Christmas Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) played David against a group of CGI'ed Chipmunks in a new "live action" theatrical film version of Alvin and the Chipmunks, which comes to DVD and Blu-ray Disc on April 1st from Fox.

Episodes of the Saturday morning television series have come out on DVD via Paramount Home Entertainment. Here at TVShowsOnDVD we admit that we've been quite behind in adding release listings for TV-DVDs of this classic cartoon show. Now Paramount is getting ready to put out a new disc with a couple of new-to-DVD episodes, so we've decided it's past time to get caught up with those old releases! Here is the full list of what's out so far, in order of release: That covers all the releases which are already on the market. But more is coming! Now, just in time to tie in with the home video release of the new theatrical film, Paramount Home Entertainment has announced an April 1st release of Alvin And The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Comedies!. It will run $14.99 SRP and come with three film-themed episodes from the "Go To The Movies" era, near the end of the series run. Two episodes are new-to-DVD: "Bigger!" and "Back to Alvin's Future" (not to be confused with a similar episode title with Dave).

The third episode on this disc is a re-run, though, with "Funny, We Shrunk The Adults" coming out on the second DVD release in a row. Be aware, however, that Alvin And The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Comedies! is meant to REPLACE the DVD release called Alvin And The Chipmunks - The Chipmunks Go To The Movies; the latter goes on moratorium at the end of April 2008!

While not a title we would include in our release listings here (since it's not a TV episode), it's also worth mentioning that on the same date (April 1st) Paramount will also release The Chipmunk Adventure - Special Edition, a new DVD-and-CD combo package of the 1987 theatrical film on the DVD disc, plus an 11-track CD disc with songs by The Chipmunks and their female counterparts, The Chipettes. All songs are from the movie, including "Wooly Bully" and "Girls of Rock 'N Roll." The 76-minute film plus soundtrack will sell for $16.99 SRP.

Box art is not available yet for the upcoming releases, but stay tuned and we'll bring you artwork for Alvin And The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Comedies! just as soon as we can. And we'll make sure all five previous TV-DVD releases are in our database soon, too!h

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