Alvin And The Chip....People?

The originals had snouts.

Although, after taking a closer look, I have to say that the Chipettes are about as close to uncanny valley territory as any cheap cartoon art I’ve ever seen. Still not as bad as the CGI, though.

And prominent rodent buck teeth. You know they’re chipmunks, not humans.

@gdave: Agree about uncanny valley. Those CGI are eeevil.

I wonder how much the modern CGI ChipPeople were done that way simply as a matter of cost control. e.g. lots of existing code to animate human-ish /cartoonish faces and it would cost money to rejigger it to generate more Chimunk-ish pix.

My involvement with all things Alvin dates from the originals as shown just above. And I’ve not kept up with them since. IMO … Both the OP’s current CGI and the 1980s hand drawn versions are an abomination in my eyes.

All these uncanny problems would go away if they went back to the 1960s figures.

Although that leftmost Chipette has an eye-catching shirt for a ~6 yo. As another well known 'toon almost said: I’m not precocious; I’m just drawn that way.

That’s a ruffled frill, not a precocious protuberance. Although it is admittedly a rather suggestively drawn and placed frill…It’s also a bit disturbing that the pre-teen Chipettes all seem to have lipstick, rouge and eyeliner. Part of the uncanny valley effect for them is that unlike their male peers, they have defined, humanoid lips and eyelashes.

Quite right. I recognized that, but not until after a doubletake and some thought.

They could easily have chosen to draw her frilly shirt with 3 or 4 protuberances, not two. Color me skeptical that was an accident.

Chipmunks can live up to eight years in captivity. A 6 y.o. is actually getting rather long in the tooth. (snerk)

To say nothing of Eek and Meek, who began their lives as anthropomorphized field mice.

Yet another difference: The originals had rather shapeless bodies, as a result of their loose, floor-length shirts, which, even if they didn’t specifically look rodentish, at least left room for one to assume the body underneath might be rodentish. The new ones appear to have normally fitting and proportioned separate shirts and pants, which makes clear that their overall body shape is human.

Excellent observation!

All the more reason to think the animators just used off-the-shelf software that draws humanoids and gave them a faint face stripe and called it good.


In the original design the fur on their heads that has shape (their “hair”) is formed naturally without a base; it just is part of the general body. In the newer designs, it is clearly delineated from their bodies as hair, not just a suggestion of hair.

ETA: if y’all hadn’t mentioned the Chippettes, I never would have known they were not humans.

Alvin and the Chip People?

Wasn’t that a prog-rock band from the late '60s?

I think you mean mascara, not eyeliner. The eye countours of the Chipmunks and the Chipettes look the same to me.