Alvin and the Chipmunks has its moments as an animation/live action combo because it targets our cuteness meter. Trying to tell the story of the famous song group (to those of us growing up 50 years ago) founded by Ross Bagdasarian in 1958, kidvid director Tim Hill does his best with a story that suffers from too many writers (three) who don't know what they want to say - at least it seems that way.
The film also depends on blatant and un-funny product placement and predictable gags and trying to force a family friendly message out of good animation. I felt like the filmmakers were ticking off a list of all the usual elements without really letting their creativity do something exceptional.
The total lack of a learning curve for the chipmunks as they transisted from the forest to the city and making the little guys seem like they had at least made it through th 8th grade of pop culture junior high in terms of lingo, demonstrated that the filmmakers wanted to reach a broad audience age-range, but it was only so-so for me.
Having said this, the film does show the down-side of the recording industry for young artists - but it doesn't mean it will keep studios from trying to discover and create the latest hit wonder.
Although this review may sound a tad unpositive, the only objectionable things are noted here. I saw it with my two nephews ages 6 & 9 and it was the second time for them. The younger one did say after about a half hour that it was funnier the first time through....
And if you stay for the credits you'll here Alvin and the Chipmunks sing a Christmas carol and get a little history about their albums. My nephews made me wait so I could see the one that they have (on CD).