One of the best things about streaming is that it gives people the chance to rediscover movies that were critically panned on release, letting them decide for themselves if the film is good or bad. And right now, a heavily panned sequel is dominating the Disney+ charts.
2009’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is currently the 7th most popular movie on Disney+ according to Flix Patrol, meaning that it is beating Avengers: Endgame on the service.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is a sequel to 2007’s Alvin and the Chipmunks. Which acted as a modern reboot of the novelty band and media franchise started by Ross Bagdasarian in 1958. The virtual group still holds the title of being the most successful children’s artist of all time and has won five Grammy Awards and had four Top 10 albums, and spawned movies and TV shows.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is a fully CGI animated movie that sees the three titular chipmunks, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, in the care of their manager’s twenty-something nephew Toby after Dave Seville, their actual manager, and his substitute are both injured in accidents. This also leads to them being forced to go back to school, which doesn’t go well for the young chipmunks as the other students naturally dislike the music stars. However, when the school’s music program is threatened with closure, the chipmunks enter a battle of the bands to win enough money to save it. However, they find themselves up against a group of female chipmunks called The Chipettes, leading to romantic and professional sparks flying.
The film did well when it was released, making $443.1 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie to never hit number one at the box office, thanks in part to it coming out at the same time as James Cameron’s Avatar. However, reviews were not kind to the film, and currently, it has a 20% critics score and a 49% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Critics accused the movie of being a lazy retread of the first film that relied on stale and overused jokes. Many also argued that Alvin, the group’s leader was utterly unlikeable, which only served to make the movie off-putting. Audiences were slightly nicer to it, with many saying that their very young children enjoyed the film. Even if it offered nothing for the grown-ups watching it with them and that, it was serviceable for what it was, even if there are much better children’s films available.
It is stunning to see what titles enjoy sudden revivals due to streaming services. Sometimes these revivals remind you of a long-forgotten classic or introduce you to a great film you missed out on the first time. And sometimes, they remind you of a movie that was hated at the time, giving you the chance to confirm for yourself that it is just as bad as you remember it being.