The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… Alvin And The Chipmunks

Sometimes, something just makes NO sense.

Britain is currently helmed by David Cameron and his bitch… I mean, glamorous assistant, Cleggy. Two men who are SO scrubbed, they are known in that country as Pinky And Perky.

Now for non-Brits, it should be explained that the ORIGINAL Pinky And Perky were two pig puppets who sang covers of Pop hits, from the late Fifties to the early Sixties.

They were voiced by vocalists who sang to backing tracks played at half-speed – then the tracks were played at normal speed, thus speeding up the vocal tracks to double-speed.

We were easily pleased in those days – incredibly, they even sold RECORDS.

And even MORE incredibly, they appeared on America’s Ed Sullivan Show – where they were seen by a man called Ross Bagdasarian, a producer of novelty records. Down to his last two hundred bucks, he invested a hundred and ninety of them in a tape recorder.

Tape speeds traditionally vary in doubles, so it was easy for Ross to copy the technique used by the makers of the Pinky And Perky records – and thus was born Alvin And The Chipmunks.

Bagdasarian himself played the exasperated manager of the gang of three chipmunks, on a series of records which were released in America – and eventually, the World. Including in Britain, where they were played incessantly on children’s radio.

Which is where the story SHOULD have ENDED. However, through TV cartoon series and comic books, Alvin And The Chipmunks prevailed – BARELY.

And in 2007, a MOVIE got made.

But this is where it gets WEIRD. The thing is, movies are OFTEN made for small children (both Alvin And The Chipmunks AND Pinky And Perky’s demographic is five-year-olds) but to get them into CINEMAS, the films have to appeal to their PARENTS.

Yet Alvin And The Chipmunks could only REALLY have appealed to their GRAND-parents.

And who the hell trusts their aged parents to take their kids to the movies? Letting them baby-sit in your HOUSE is one thing – but posting them off to the MOVIES with your offspring? Ridiculous.

If I had been a producer in 2006 and someone had pitched ME the concept of a live-action/computer-animation big-budget feature of Alvin And The Chipmunks – I would have given them the bum’s rush.

Yet the damn thing made a PROFIT. Budgeted at $60M, it grossed over $200M in The States – and nearly as much again, abroad.

Meaning it netted around THREE TIMES its outlay.

Not surprisingly, a sequel (or “Squeakquel”) quickly followed – it did even slightly BETTER than its predecessor.

Thus a third installment is just finishing its release. This time, the box office is slightly down – but it has still made ALMOST as much. So given Hollywood’s current malaise, a FOURTH installment is already in the pipeline.

Bonkers. I mean – who on earth GOES to these things? Are people ACTUALLY sending their kids off to the multiplex with their old Mums and Dads? Has the World gone completely MAD?


2 Responses to “Damien on… Alvin And The Chipmunks”

  1. I was told, more than once, about the trip to Snow White that my parents and three sisters made when that movie came out. It was about a year before I was born if I remember correctly. My father and mother always disagreed about whether the pictures generally, and any one title in particular, would be approved of by the guy in the sky. Walt Disney, however, won my father’s approval every time. An innocent story for tiny children has something relaxing for an adult who actually believes in a jealous, vengeful, game-playing sky-guy. What a treat to go to the pictures and know that him upstairs is not glaring down in disapproval.

  2. I recall in the GOOD old days – that Walt Disney included some VERY “unchristian” things in his movies. Him and Enid Blyton both. They alone never PATRONISED kids. They told it like it WAS – and as a result, could be VERY dark.

    Snow White is a good case in point. Think of the Seven Dwarves (Dwarfs, whatever) as they rode – as a RABBLE – after Queen Grimhilde (in the guise of the old hag) after she had murdered Snow White (they didn’t even stop to see if she might still be alive). They’d have ripped the bitch APART if that lightning bolt hadn’t intervened – and then the vultures circled down after her…

    And then there’s that Noddy story where he’s driving his car through the woods and gets captured by a gang of Gollywogs, who strip him naked, then drive off in his car, leaving him stumbling, starkers, through the trees and bushes. Luckily he comes upon Big Ears’ toadstool house, who takes him in and calls Mr Plod. No-one believes me when I tell them that – but it’s called “In The Dark, Dark Wood” and comes from “Here Comes Noddy Again!”

    Of course, Enid’s books have long since been “cleaned up” – to read the story I described above, you would have to find a copy of the 1951 first edition. But Snow White – being a classic – is still AS IS…

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