Australian Council on Children and the Media

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

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PG under 8 (Violence, Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
  • a review of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 December 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 88 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The “squeakquel” to Alvin and the Chipmunks picks up where the first story left off. The Chipmunks are performing at a charity concert when Alvin’s show-stealing antics backfire and land their guardian Dave (Jason Lee) in serious condition in a London hospital. The Chipmunks are sent back home to Aunt Jackie (Kathryn Joosten) while Dave stays to recuperate. Unfortunately Aunt Jackie has an accident at the airport and is taken away in an ambulance leaving her game-obsessed grandson Toby (Zachary Levi) to look after them.

At Dave’s insistence the boys are sent to school and have some trouble fitting in. Alvin (voice of Justin Long) and Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) begin to fight because of peer pressure and different priorities pulling them in opposite directions, and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) struggles to understand why his family is falling apart. Meanwhile Uncle Ian (David Cross), who lost everything, is dreaming of a way to get back at the Chipmunks when he stumbles across sisters Brittany (Christina Applegate), Jeanette (Anna Faris) and Eleanor (Amy Poehler) who become the Chipettes, a female version of the Chipmunks. In a bid to get himself back to the top Ian organizes a contest between the two groups. As the girls’ popularity soars Ian’s true colours begin to show and his attempts at revenge are foiled when the two groups decide to work together instead of against each other.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Children having to act as adults; peer pressure; using others for personal gain

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence and accidental harm in this movie including:

  • Dave is accidentally knocked across the stage by a huge flying stage prop. He winds up in the hospital.
  • Toby says that he can’t be with the Chipmunks because he is busy playing “Fists of Fury.” He demonstrates his punching skills and goes back to the bedroom.
  • A high school jock threatens the Chipmunks saying that he is “going to knock those guys down to size.” He later threatens them saying that ‘if you so much as look at, think about, or talk to those girls again… you’re dead.’
  • A group of jocks chase the chipmunks threatening to kill them. The chipmunks give them each a wedgie.
  • The same jocks dunk Simon’s head in the toilet. They drop him in and he nearly drowns.
  • Some boys poke Theodore and call him “Fatty.” They make fun of his weight and Simon and Alvin attack them. The boys are later seen with scratched faces and torn clothing.
  • While playing dodge ball Simon and Theodore get flattened against the wall.
  • A boy picks up Simon and throws him in a rubbish bin.
  • Simon pulls Alvin into a dumpster and the two begin fighting.
  • Ian threatens to have the Chipettes barbequed if they don’t do as he says.
  • Ian chases Alvin and the Chipettes through the streets trying to recapture the girls.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Theodore has a nightmare about losing his family and Toby makes it worse by telling him that the only way what he fears could happen would be if a huge eagle swooped down and tore them apart. At school Theodore comes across a giant statue of an eagle. In his frantic haste to escape some bullies the eagle looks threatening and real for a moment. He panics and scurries away.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Alvin tells Dave that Aunt Jackie can’t come to the phone at the moment because she is busy pole dancing.
  • Alvin calls out to the crowd “Shake what your mama gave you!”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • The Chipettes wear tight tops and miniskirts and do lots of sexy dance moves while they are singing.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Dave is given a drug that makes him drowsy while he is trying to give last minute instructions to the boys.
  • The doctors give Alvin an injection to make him stop causing chaos in the hospital while he avoids being captured and taken home on a plane.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Insults such as “loser” and “fatty”

In a nutshell

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is an animated comedy, featuring computer animated graphics and toe-tapping musical numbers. As a family film it is likely to appeal to fans of the previous movie as well as to older generations who remember the original Chipmunks.

The main messages from this movie are to be true to yourself and your family and not to let other people’s opinions or actions influence who you are or who you are capable of becoming.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • loyalty
  • cooperation
  • forgiveness
  • tolerance and compassion

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • being deceitful or dishonest to others
  • neglecting your family and those you love
  • failing to keep promises
  • encouraging others to be something they’re not.
  • the price of fame.

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