Thinking way too hard about Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Sqeakuel

Call me a sucker for Alvin and the Chipmunks but I really enjoyed this movie, and my wife and I took our niece and nephew, their grandmother and mom for this one.

(In case you were wondering what a 40+ year old male with a beard and glasses was doing at a children’s movie)

2 questions burning in my mind:

[SPOILER] I noticed that Jason Lee, who played a prominent role in the first AATC movie as David Seville, seems almost written out of the script. He’s in the beginning, then gets injured, setting up a plot device where throughout the movie the Chips are raised by his ne’er do-well cousin, Toby (played somewhat ineffectively by Zachary Levi from “Chuck”).

The only other scenes with Lee are some phone calls back home to Toby and the Munks, and at the end when he shows up for a concert with crutches.

I find it hard to believe that a fairly big star the status of Jason Lee, who is a GREAT David Seville, would intentionally be written out of the script. My wife argues that the first AATC was all about David Seville and how he met and interacted with the Chips, and to put him back in the movie again would make it almost a repeat of the first movie. I contend that being a children’s movie, thats what the target audience would want, and you actually could have written in David Seville in place of Toby in most of the plot line anyway.

My theory is that they originally were not going to make a sequel, but the first movie did well, and when they went to shoot the sequel (or he he “Squeakuel” the shooting schedule didn’t necessarily accomodate Mr. Lee’s schedule to get it out in time for Christmas, which is when most people think of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Or is it that Mr. Lee was willing to do a smaller role for less money but points (the movie made $75 million so far)? Or is Jason Lee an ass and really didn’t want to do the movie, but was under contract to do so?[/spoiler]

  1. I don’t THINK this is a spoiler, [spoiler]but the great comic actor David Cross

. . . . . . reprises this role as sleazy agent Ian Hawke. How much do you guesstimate he got paid? In one interview, he claims AATC “paid for his house”.

Based on the ending of the first Chipmunks movie, there really was no compelling reason to bring him back. That said, he’s is great in this role, and really made the movie funnier. Of course, they could have hired another villain for much less, and still earned millions of dollars anyway.

But . . . .David IS starting to get comic gigs in movies, including Year One.

I’m guessing $200-275,000, but if its a house in LA, half a mil? And if David has a good agent, maybe a 1/4 -1/2 a point?[/spoiler]

Movie experts, what do you think?