Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Review

Mom always said that if you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all. So…

… it’s not as bad as the second one.

Movie ★☆☆☆☆ 

Fox dumps this ‘munkquel (ugh) onto Blu-ray with an AVC encode that is a hair shy of the visual greatness of its predecessors. Opening scenes provide extended establishing views of whatever cruise ship the company to paid to have in camera, dazzling with the ocean beauty. Intense saturation, enormous depth, and just enough fine grain present an image with remarkable density.

Once onto mysterious island 101 (actually Hawaii), the black levels bottom out. Slowly, they begin to erode into a murky blue, a definite drop from the incredible dimensionality afforded to this disc (and this series) in general. It still carries the other elements over to this miniature and full sized paradise, including the outstanding saturation. The greenery is lush, nicely complementing the conveniently color coordinated chipmunk primaries.

Textural qualities are vivid, from the fur on the CG critters to the facial detail on the few human characters whose careers are being flushed further the longer they’re on screen. While close-ups are fewer in number, there is no loss of definition in medium shots. Island aerials or interiors are spectacular with the trees dazzling even the most discerning viewer.

Avoiding any apparent technical faults, Chipwrecked is visually satisfying, so there’s something if the kids refuse to budge on their eagerness to watch. The peppy contrast will keep them glued to the screen, images nothing if not virtually popping off the screen. Even without the assist from the blacks, this one can hold its own to the rather remarkable high standards set by this series on Blu.

Video ★★★★☆ 

A volcano goes boom late in this DTS-HD run, the prior rumbles rattling the subwoofer with angry warnings. When the top blows, all the characters unfortunately make it off alive, but there is no shortage of impressive mixing work. Little is held back within the LFE, a ferocious and powerful shake that does feel like an island it on its last legs. Debris rains down, again sadly missing everyone, but catching in the surrounds and traveling through the sound field as needed.

Screeching chipmunk song covers are Chipwrecked’s only other aspect of mention, the mix rather sedate considering the locations. Waves don’t push onto shore anywhere other than the fronts, and wildlife must have scattered, sensing the conveniently timed eruption. Short of those scenes actually in the water, ambiance is a lost art. Songs like to dupe themselves into the surrounds for effect, which is more than can be said for everything else.

Audio ★★★★☆ 

Going Overboard is the first featurette, a promo on where the inspiration for this third entry came from. Munkin Movies in Paradise details the Hawaii location shoot, while Everybody Munk Now finds itself trying to justify the pointless dance off sequence.

Alan Tudyk: Chipmunk Apprentice makes one wonder, yet again, why they bother with celebrity voices. Growing Up Alvin the one piece worth watching, a look back at chipmunk creator Ross Bagdasarian. In-Character with Jason Lee is standard promo fluff, and you can view eight extended scenes if you just couldn’t get enough of these wonderful creatures. A few music videos and shortcuts to the musical numbers in the movie are it, unless you’re a BD-Live buff.

Extras ★★☆☆☆