The only way a Chipmunks movie could be even remotely interesting would be for it to deconstruct the characters, à la Scrappy in the live-action Scooby-Doo: Make them evil bastards who secretly plan to drive Dave Seville (here played by Jason Lee) to suicide with their crazy antics and obnoxious helium voices. Needless to say, the Bagdasarian family, who created the furry beasts, aren't about to undermine their cash cow, so what we get instead are Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, lovingly rendered in fuzzy, huggable CG. Effects apparently sapped the movie’s budget so such things as continuity and art direction have gone out the window. And did nobody involved notice the irony of the film’s villain being a sleazy record-company executive (David Cross, giving it his all) who wants to milk the singing-chipmunk gimmick dry? Lee, acting through gritted teeth, barely musters the energy to yell "Alvin!" but the chipmunks themselves — voiced by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney — are surprisingly appealing, though their newly R&B-tinged rendition of "Witch Doctor" is godawful.