Los Angeles, Dec 15: Alvin, Simon and Theodore are back for their third feature film, "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked."
Jason Lee returns as the Chipmunks' beloved father figure, Dave. The actor and father of two (Pilot Inspektor, 8, and Casper, 3) insists the film isn't just for kids.
“I think because the parents grew up with the Chipmunks they still kind of own them. Yeah it does help that the references are current but I think it's also very cool that I'm a dad now and I'm watching my kids watch ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks' the way I did as a kid. And also too I think, very family friendly and great life lessons in these movies,” he says.
During an ocean cruise vacation, the talking, singing rodents find themselves stranded on a deserted island. The star-studded voice cast features Justin Long, Amy Poehler and Christina Applegate.
“I mean here's the thing. I make the movie and then after the fact and then the actors who do the voice work for the chipmunks and the chipettes, that's a whole separate process where they actually have to talk slower. It's the same recording device that Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. used in the 50's where you talk slow or you sing slow and then it's played back at normal, I think, or it's sped up and then they'll do - apparently they do a bunch of takes. And then Ross Jr. and Janice they listen to it and they pick the take they like best out of like nine and they go one line at a time. So apparently it's like a pretty arduous process,” says Lee.
Lee, as one of the only live-action characters in the film, spends most of his time acting opposite no one and holding beanbag stand-ins for his rodent children.
“I'm looking at nothing, tape marks, tennis balls, I'm holding bean bags to get the weight to make it feel real,” he says. “I'm emoting to like tan-colored bean bags that are supposed to be Theodore. It's a crazy technical process that's so rewarding when you see the end product and it looks real, they're there and the interactions are real so the challenge and the reward are the very cool parts of this kind of movie-making.”