Alvin and the Chipmunks

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Chipmunk 2007 logo.jpg
1961 logo

Alvin and the Chipmunks are a fictional musical group of anthropomorphic chipmunks created by Ross Bagdasarian in 1958. The group consists of three singing chipmunks: Alvin, the mischievous troublemaker, who quickly became the star of the group, Simon, the tall bespectacled intellectual, and Theodore, the chubby, impressionable sweetheart.

The trio is "managed" by their human "father" and confidant, David Seville. In reality, David Seville was Ross Bagdasarian's stage name, and the Chipmunks themselves are named after the executives of their original record label, Liberty Records: Alvin Bennett (the president), Simon Waronker (the founder and owner), and Theodore Keep (the chief engineer).



On the covers of the first three albums (left), the chipmunks looked a lot more realistic than they do now. In 1961 (right), when they were reissued, the chipmunks were given their The Alvin Show incarnation.

Audiences often assume the characters started as cartoons and branched out into music, but that is the opposite of how they began. After first being brought to life in Bagdasarian's 1950s novelty recordings under the name David Seville and the Chipmunks, the characters were an unprecedented success, and the singing Chipmunks and their manager were given life in several animated cartoon series and motion pictures, including one that was released during Christmas 2007.

The voices of the group were all performed by Bagdasarian, who sped up the playback to create the higher pitched, squeaky voices. This process was not entirely new; Bagdasarian had also used it for a previous novelty song project, "The Witch Doctor", but it was so unusual and well executed it earned the "trio" two Grammy Awards for engineering. Although the characters were fictional, they did release a long line of "real" albums and singles, with "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" becoming a number-one hit single in the United States. After his death in 1972, the voices of the Chipmunks were subsequently recorded by his son, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., and his wife, Janice Karman, in all subsequent incarnations to date.


The Alvin Show

The first television series to feature the characters was The Alvin Show. The series ran from 1961 to 1962.[1]

From 1983 to 1990, 101 episodes of a TV series titled Alvin and the Chipmunks starring the above characters were produced, initially (1983-1987) by Bagdasarian Productions in association with Ruby-Spears Productions, and from 1988-1990 (renamed to simply The Chipmunks) by DIC Entertainment.

The show originally ran on NBC, and re-runs were aired during the late 1990s and the early 2000s on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

In 1990, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore also appeared in the animated anti-drug campaign TV movie Cartoon All-Stars to the rescue.

In 2015, another cartoon series often called Alvin started airing on Nickelodeon.


The series spawned the animated feature film The Chipmunk adventure, produced by The Samuel Goldwyn Company and released to theaters in 1987. It was followed by three direct-to-video sequels, Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein (1999), Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000), Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks (2005), and two live-action movies, Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2:The Squeakquel (2009).

Video game[edit]

Video game based on the 2007 film

A music video game based on the 2007 film was released for the Nintendo DS and other platforms.

Alvin and the Chipmunks and Furry[edit]

Most versions of Alvin and the Chipmunks and their Distaff Counterparts The Chipettes are popular with furries. Their 1980s-to-early 2000s and movie designs are the most popular.


  1. The Alvin Show at IMDB. Retrieved 2010 October 23.