Home > Reviews > ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS – Christopher Lennertz

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS – Christopher Lennertz

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ever since those adorable little critters, the Chipmunks, first burst onto airwaves and screens in the United States in the 1950s, they have been a mainstay of American popular culture. Over the years the anthropomorphic trio – Alvin, Simon and Theodore – and their human manager David Seville have enjoyed numerous hit records, featured in TV shows both animated and live action, and now feature in a new movie directed by Tim Hill, starring Jason Lee, and featuring the voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney.

Alvin and the Chipmunks was one of the surprise box office hits of 2007, taking in over $200 million domestic. It’s also by far the biggest film to date of Christopher Lennertz’s career, although it can’t belong before this extremely talented composer enjoys writing for films of slightly loftier artistic ambitions. Lennertz’s score for Alvin and the Chipmunks is essentially live-action cartoon music, and conforms to all the expectations that description suggests: a large orchestra, a fast pace, a lot of mickey-mousing and scattershot ideas, and a generally lively and energetic tone which keeps the action moving.

There are some impressive cues dotted here and there, notably the sprightly scherzo “I’m Late”, the bittersweet little piano theme in “Leave Me Alone”, the magical “Are You Awake?”, the cheerily seasonal “Christmas Morning” (complete with re-orchestrated carols!), the lovely guitar and piano duet in “Live With Uncle Ian”, the melancholy themes in “Dave’s Phone Call” and “I Want To Go Home”, and so on. There’s actually a surprising amount of good music here.

Of course, Lennertz could never be expected to produce his best work for a film like this, considering its cartoony nature and its general lack of scope, and once in a while there is a noticeable bit of temp-track bleed-through, but he has made the absolute best of a less than inspiring assignment, and produced an enjoyable, if throwaway, score. The widely-available commercial soundtrack CD features a plethora of songs, remixes and cover versions performed by The Chipmunks themselves, but no score; the only place to hear Lennertz’s work is on the official agency promo from First Artists Management.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Main Title (1:10)
  • I’m Late (0:44)
  • Ever? (2:10)
  • No More Nuts (0:36)
  • Dave’s Theme (0:51)
  • Storing Food for Winter (4:15)
  • Rescue the Gear (0:27)
  • Toaster Waffles (1:26)
  • Leave Me Alone (2:19)
  • I’ll Clean Out My Office (1:38)
  • Are You Awake? (1:20)
  • Christmas Morning (4:12)
  • Live with Uncle Ian (2:41)
  • Dinner! (2:11)
  • Dave Remembers (0:31)
  • Get Them (1:06)
  • Missing the Boys (0:44)
  • Dave’s Phone Call (1:07)
  • Theodore’s Nightmare (1:08)
  • I Want to Go Home (1:31)
  • You’ll Never Take Us Alive (3:22)
  • Alvin!!! (0:51)

Running Time: 36 minutes 20 seconds

First Artists Management Promo (2007)

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