Jason Lee     David Cross     Justin Long


 This charming, delightful film is perfect for kids, and has enough points and references for adults to keep them entertained.  Dave (Jason Lee) has decided to take his chipmunks on a vacation cruise, thinking that if he reminds them enough of the importance of good behavior, they will respond accordingly—a common parental illusion.  Of course, Alvin (voice of Justin Long) starts right off by getting ahead of the rest of the group, and spreading suntan oil on the deck so the chipmunks can slip and slide on it.  It is predictable who will discover them and land on his back.

 What follows are adventures—mostly off the ship, sailing through the air and ending up on a deserted island with a volcano.  Deserted, that is, except for a female “castaway” (recalling the Tom Hanks movie) who is after treasure.  Dave has gotten separated from the chipmunks, but eventually turns up with his nemesis, Ian (David Cross) in tow.  There is a very clever and funny sequence in which Simon (voice of Matthew Gray Gubler) gets bitten by an insect, which changes his personality into a Frenchman, “Simone”, who proceeds to gallantly court Jeanette (voice of  Anna Faris).  Tension surfaces when the volcano starts to erupt, and the whole party has to build a raft to escape.

 Besides being funny and beautiful to look at, this intelligently made film contains elements that are beneficial for children.  The point is brought home about the difference between having fun and destructive, risky behavior.  Resourcefulness is valued and shown to be essential for survival.  Forgiveness, loyalty, and caring are amply demonstrated as well.

Bottom Line:  A good movie for the young at heart and mind.

Grade:  B