Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5. PG to 8 (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: Chipwrecked
  • a review of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 September 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended, due to frightening scenes. May also lack interest for children of this age
Children 5-7 Parental guidance recommended due to 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length: 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked is the third movie in the Chipmunks series. Dave (Jason Lee), the Chipmunks adopted father, decides to take the Chipmunks and Chipettes on a family holiday on board a cruise ship. After a series of antics, mostly initiated by the mischievous Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), the Chipmunks and the Chipettes find themselves overboard and stranded on an isolated island without Dave. 

Dave attempts a rescue mission with the Chipmunks former boss, Ian (David Cross), but in the meantime the Chipmunks find the sole inhabitant of the island, Zoe (Jenny Slade) whom they are not sure they can trust. 

During their adventure the Chipmunks and Chipettes find another side to themselves as they attempt to survive the wilds of the desolate island and learn to become responsible for each other. 


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 separated from their father; gambling

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 in this movie including:

  • Simon is underwater and runs into a shark who bares his teeth and tries to eat Simon.Simon punches the shark in the nose and gets away
  • Zoe traps Jeannette, ties her up and aggressively forces her to steal the treasure for her. 

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 watches a scary monster movie and is visibly frightened.  The movie is not a cartoon and could be scary for children of this age.
  • There is a live volcano that is threatening to explode throughout the later part of the movie.  This element is suspenseful and could be scary for some children.
  • Spider climbs out of Simon’s shirt and bites him.
  • Zoe turns into a villian when Simon accidently discovers treasure on the island. 
  • As Dave and Alvin escape with Jeanette they cross between two very high cliffs via a tree stump.  Zoe finds them and tries to drag Jeanette back via her leg.  Whilst freeing Jeanette, Dave falls and is seen hanging from the tree stump.  Zoe is about to stomp on his hand, which would see him fall to his death, but Ian arrives.  It is implied that Dave is rescued but this is not seen- this is likely to be frightening and confusing for younger viewers. 
  • The volcano erupts as Dave, Ian and Zoe are running to the recue raft.  Ash is seen falling and almost hits them but they all escape unscathed.

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.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

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

Thirteen and overinfo

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

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Carnival- a brand of cruise liners
  • Youtube
  • UPS delivery
  • Swiss army knife

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Flirtations between Jeanette and Simon which include Simon professing his love in French

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • The Chipettes wear a variety of outfits that would be deemed revealing on a human - short dresses, low cut tops etc. In one scene the three Chipettes are seen wrapped only in towels.
  • Simon and Jeanette kiss, embrace and dance in a passionate way. 
  • Alvin flirts with a woman at the casino

Use of substances

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

  • Cocktails are served to sunbathing patrons on the cruise ship
  • A scene set in a nightclub where drinks are served
  • Dave goes to dinner with the Captain and wine is on the table

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked is the third movie in the Alvin and the Chipmunk series.  It is a generally family friendly movie about the mischievous Chipmunks and Chipettes, and their dad, Dave. However, the film may lack interest for children under five and has scenes that may scare under 8s.

The main messages from this movie are about family loyalty and commitment.

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

  • being prepared to take risks
  • loyalty
  • forgiveness
  • responsibility and trust

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

  • The Chipmunks and the Chipettes behave differently while on the island - Alvin becomes responsible, discovers that rebellious behaviour can be quite unlikeable, and considers how Dave must feel about his many antics. Simon becomes daring and Brittany discovers she is smart. Parents could discuss with their children the different elements to their personalities, how these make up the people they are and how they can change.