Fox to bring back 'Chipmunks'

Fox 2000 Pictures, 20th Century Fox Animation and Bagdasarian Prods. will partner to produce a live-action/CGI feature based on the 1950s and ’60s icons “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

Move was announced jointly Tuesday by Chris Meledandri, prexy of 20th Century Fox Animation; Elizabeth Gabler, prexy of Fox 2000 Pictures; and producers Janice Karman, president of Bagdasarian Prods., and Ross Bagdasarian Jr., the son of the franchise’s creator.

No scribe or helmer is yet attached, but Fox said it plans to use a flesh-and-blood actor for the role of Dave Seville, the Chipmunks’ “dad,” with Chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore to be CGI.

Down to his last $200, Bagdasarian’s father, the late Ross Bagdasarian Sr., created Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1958. An overnight success, the high-voiced trio and their mentor Dave sold an astonishing 4.5 million records of “The Chipmunk Song” in seven weeks, breaking every previous record in the recording biz.

Over the years, the trio got their own animated primetime series, numerous primetime specials and Saturday morning cartoons seen in more than 100 countries in 40 languages.

“Alvin has three generations of fans who can expect an exciting new experience in the bigscreen version,” Bagdasarian said.

In June, Fox dusted off another cartoonish chestnut — the 1970s lasagne-loving feline “Garfield.” Voiced by Bill Murray and helmed by Peter Hewitt, “Garfield” scratched the $75 million mark in domestic B.O., then clawed its way to more than $114 million in worldwide B.O. coin.

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