The Single Most Unexpectedly Creepy Kids’ Movie Of All Time
Depending on which decade you were born in, the phrase "the Alvin And The Chipmunks movie" means something very different. The current cinematic landscape is bogged down by four installments of dead-eyed CGI rodents nasally ejaculating pop songs at an exasperated Jason Lee. But if you were conceived during the Reagan Administration or earlier, than the Alvin And The Chipmunks movie that likely comes to mind is 1987's The Chipmunk Adventure, an animated masterpiece featuring world-spanning action, a healthy rock-music-to-actual-dialogue ratio, and the most imaginative characters that a bunch of fired Disney animators could produce.
Indeed, if you can see only one Chipmunk adventure, let it be this one.
Except, you know, don't think about anything that happens in The Chipmunk Adventure for more than a second. If you do, you'll realize that there was some extremely shady shit going on in this lighthearted animated romp for children. For instance ...
The Villains Are Probably An Incestuous Couple
In the movie, some diamond smugglers trick Alvin, Simon, and Theodore into taking part in a race around the world as a front for their criminal operation. Said smugglers are Klaus and Claudia Furschtien, a brother and sister who clearly enjoy a very close relationship. Perhaps too close, if you know what we mean.
That little dog has seen some shit.
Let's go over the evidence: At no point do Klaus and Claudia reference any significant others in their lives, or show any interest in anyone except each other. They appear to do everything together, like dining in restaurants ...
Nobody in this group is making eye contact.
Getting half naked and drunk in the pool and their futuristic tanning chamber ...
And kidnapping children from the arcade:
Another traditional activity for couples.
Sure, we guess the Furschtiens could have lied to the children about being siblings ... but what would be the point of that? Being a married couple would make them seem less shady. And even if the writers wanted to imply they weren't actually brother and sister, most kids didn't get that. They just assumed the Furschtiens were related, and then wondered why Klaus walks around his sister's bedroom with no goddamn pants. The only reason to stroll pantsless into your sibling's room is to lay a window-rattling fart and bolt.
The Furschtiens actually spend most of the movie wearing less clothing than we'd like them to.
The Chipmunks Learn That Crime Is Awesome
If you're wondering why the Chipmunks' adult guardian would let them go on a trip around the world to be mules for a pair of shifty strangers, the answer is he didn't. David "AAAAAAALVIIIIIN!" Seville had gone on a legitimate business trip and left his sons/humanoid pet creatures under the care of their elderly babysitter, Miss Miller. Alvin and his brothers then trick the poor woman into letting them leave, taking advantage of her advanced age and obvious dementia. Watch as they manipulate her while she prepares them breakfast for the second time that morning, in a scene that should be heartbreaking but is instead played for laughs:
So, the Chipmunks run away from home to have a grand adventure, which isn't unusual in kids' movies (it was practically its own genre in the '80s). What is unusual is that, in the process, the movie makes diamond smuggling look awesome. As a result of getting into this racket, the Chipmunks get to fly on hot air balloons, visit the most beautiful and exotic locales in the world, and sing songs about how much fun they're having.
The dangerous consequences of diamond trafficking.
The film rewards their blatantly illegal and irresponsible actions with a larger-than-life journey out of our wildest dreams, teaching children everywhere the exact opposite of "stranger danger." Alvin even pitches a huge fit at the end of the movie about how stopping the diamond smugglers earned them jack shit, whereas partnering with them earned them a memorable globetrotting adventure and a potential fortune. Keep that in mind during career day, kids!
So where were the police during this child-endangering diamond smuggling operation? Glad you asked!
The Cops Are Creepy Bastards Who Would Happily Let Children Die
Throughout the film, the Chipmunks are being pursued by a demon-voiced Mafia Don and his huge, terrifying henchmen, with the apparent goal of either stealing the diamonds they're unknowingly carrying or turning them into fur coats. But in a huge climactic reveal, we learn that these knuckledragging gangsters are actually INTERPOL agents looking to bust up the Furschtien's racket.
This is just how everyone in Europe dresses, apparently.
These international cops are only attempting to retrieve the runaway children and the diamonds -- but for some reason, they've decided that the best way to accomplish their mission is to dress like Tarantino villains, continuously ambush the children and violently grab at them while growling with rage. Naturally, this does nothing but scare the pelleted shit out of the Chipmunks and make them fight back.
Just look at this fucking guy.
Also, we're consistently shown that the undercover INTERPOL agents are way more concerned with the diamonds than they are with the children's safety. At one point, a shark is attacking Brittany (of The Chipettes, the Chipmunks' rivals in the race), and one of the muscled goons (whom we later learn is an international policeman) ignores her completely to steal the diamond-filled doll she dropped.
"I'm sorry, but one day, these Beanie Babies will be worth millions."
When chasing the kids like rapey diamond-crazed villains doesn't pan out, Chief Inspector Not-A-Mafia-Don phones in a favor from an 8-year-old Arabian prince. As a result, the prince's men ground the Chipettes' balloon with sharp hooks, drag the girls kicking and screaming to his palace, dress them in creepily child-sized belly-dancer costumes, and add them to the prince's harem. It's specifically stated the young dictator wants Brittany for a wife. So yeah, the INTERPOL agents basically sold these girls as sex slaves to a prepubescent despot in order to recover the diamonds.
And in case you were wondering, yes, it gets worse.
Every Non-American Character Is A Villain And/Or Maniac
The '80s was a great time for Hollywood actors who could do menacing foreign voices, but this movie is like a "best of" for the cinematic xenophobia of that decade. The Furschtien siblings, in case you didn't guess from the name, are German. The creepy cops are vaguely European. The 8-year-old prince/burgeoning sexual predator is explicitly Arabian.
His turban is made out of several layers of pimp fabric.
Discounting animals and friendly people who only appear for a second in musical numbers, every non-American character in this movie is hell-bent on harming children. Even the ones that aren't supposed to be villains are dangerous maniacs. When the Chipmunks visit Mexico, they run into a gang of sombrero-wearing locals firing wildly into the air, only to (falsely) assure the kids that "There's no-theeng to be ofraid of!" in the Cheech-iest accent they could manage.
This dude is sweating buckets of alcohol onto that horse's back.
Later, the Chipmunks end up in an equatorial jungle somewhere, and are immediately kidnapped by a native tribe, who strips off all their clothes and ties them to stakes above a pit full of crocodiles. If it wasn't for the natives' inexplicable love for the song "Wooly Bully," we would have heard the Chipmunks' high-pitched screams as they were eaten alive (although in fairness, this wouldn't sound much different from their actual singing).
At this point, the fact that their chief is a man with saggy boobs is the least disturbing part.
In the entire movie, there is not a single zanily-accented character who doesn't almost get the Chipmunks killed.
The Children Are Weirdly Sexualized
Unlike in the recent CGI Chipmunk movies, the Chipettes in both the 80s cartoon and The Chipmunk Adventure are explicitly human, which makes the implied sexual tension between them and the Chipmunks profoundly unnatural. This disquieting notion is only made more uncomfortable by the fact that the filmmakers were adamant about continuously showing the little girls' underwear.
All of the animators who worked on this shot are now on a federal watchlist.
The movie goes out of its way to put The Chipettes in suggestive situations. As we mentioned before, they get sold into slavery by INTERPOL and are turned into scantily clad belly dancers. At another point, they run into a hurricane, which somehow manages to tear off just enough of their clothing to avoid being illegal.
And gives them normal '80s hairdos.
And in case that was too subtle, the Chipettes also sing a musical number about bestiality. While they're trapped in the 8-year-old pimp-king's sex prison, the girls try to escape by seducing some snakes via song. And the snakes are super into it.
These four frames are all we can legally show you from that entire scene.
Here's what these little girls are singing to their phallic reptilian jailers:
Prince wrote this song but declined to record it himself because he felt it was too on the nose.
In case you have the slightest doubt, the Oxford, Merriam Webster, and Macmillan dictionaries all define "getting lucky" as slang for convincing someone to have sex with you. So, The Chipmunk Adventure features a sequence wherein three preteen girls convince a room of snakes to let them free by promising to fuck them.
To be fair, the Chipettes don't have the monopoly on sexual inappropriateness in this film. The Chipmunks perform their own sexually-charged opus they use to seduce hot women (and children) while they're in Mexico:
This one has more of a Shakira vibe.
The song totally works, by the way, to Alvin's inexplicable surprise:
"We should start reading these lyrics beforehand!"
So, to recap, The Chipmunk Adventure is a movie about incestuous villains tricking children into going on an awesome diamond-smuggling adventure while murderously neglectful cops chase them, people of all races try to kill them, and little girls sing about doing it with animals. On second thought, maybe those CGI movies aren't so bad.
Nathan is a Christian and says things like, "Jesus Christ!" He is also called Treegnome, and is hilarious, usually here, on his website.
For more children's pop culture that no kid should ever watch, check out The 6 Creepiest Things Ever Slipped Into Children's Cartoons and The Filthiest Joke Ever Hidden In A Children's Movie.
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