A popular children’s movie has been branded the “most problematic ever” by adults re-watching it, as they claimed the characters had been sexualized.
The Chipmunk franchise, commonly known as The Chipmunks or Alvin and the Chipmunks, along with their adopted dad Dave, is well-known around the world after first appearing in 1958.
Created and voiced by Ross Bagdasarian, the trio—Alvin, Theodore and Simon Seville—captured the hearts of children and Bagdasarian released albums, Christmas specials, TV shows and movies featuring the rodents.
The brothers, instantly recognizable with their red, blue and green clothing, were joined by a trio of sisters, called the Chipettes, in 1983.
Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor Millar closely mirror the main characters in looks and personalities, with the female chipmunks joining the siblings in their first feature-length film, The Chipmunk Adventure, released in 1987.
But one woman who re-watched the film has spoken out over what she called the “sexualization in the chipmunk movie,” explaining the “problematic” points in a TikTok clip.
Lucy shared a clip to the site on Wednesday, which she captioned: “The most problematic children’s movie ever… The Chipmunk Adventure (1987). Still ‘slaps, though.'”
Using footage from the 77-minute movie, she said: “I’m not going to talk about the blatant racism, which is bad, I want to talk about this s***.
“This is eight-year-old Brittany, a chipmunk. As compared to this genderless blob of rodent. Do you see where I’m going with this?” she said, sharing a clip of the animated Simon.
She compares his appearance to those of the Chipettes, who are wearing make-up, have eyelashes, styled hair and gender-based clothing, and captioned the clip “#femalegaze” and “#malegaze.”
“Chipmunk? I guess… looks human to me,” she adds. Lucy continued: “Shout out to the men who not only decided to but also drew these little girls with skirts so short we could see underneath them at all times.
“Now, these are the plot points that happen to the Chipette’s during the movie, there are two of them.”
The on-screen captions said: “1. Brittany gets sold to a prince. 2. They learn how to be a mother.”
Lucy continues: “First, Brittany gets sold to a prince. So in order to flee the palace in which Brittany has been sold off, they have to seduce a room of literal snakes. You’re going to get really uncomfy right about here,” she says, pausing at a point where Brittany has the snake between her legs and is holding the tail up to her mouth.
The song which the girls sing and dance to is called “Getting Lucky,” IMDb reveals.
The TikTok clip cuts to the animated prince character saying: “But I want the girl, I will make her one of my wives.” It then cuts to Brittany saying: “By the way, how rich is he?”
Lastly, fast-forwarding to one of the songs in the film called “My Mother,” Lucy adds: “And then to make things more misogynistic, here’s where our children learn the importance of motherhood.”
The clip, which can be seen here, has been viewed more than 500,000 times, as people agreed with Lucy’s interpretation of the film.
She later added: “I would fantasize about a prince picking me for his wife.”
Commenting on the clip Kaelyn noted: “The girls literally sing a song called ‘Getting Lucky.'”
“Anyone that says kids wouldn’t care is lying. I watched this as a kid and I distinctly remember feeling uncomfy,” Vexity Violet.
Bonk thought: “Not only did they sexualize rodents… but they also supposed to be children.”
Allie reckoned: “This movie seriously was so problematic no matter how much I loved it as a kid. I’m glad you’re addressing it!”
Goth Sam added: “This was literally my favorite movie as a kid. I didn’t realize how problematic it was.”
After Bagdasarian died in 1972, the voices were performed by his son, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and his wife, Janice Karman. In subsequent years other voice actors have taken on the roles.
Over the decades the initial motion picture was followed up by four live-action films: Alvin and the Chipmunks in 2007, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel released in 2009, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which came out in 2011 and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, screened in 2015.
There were also three direct-to-video films released, Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein, released in 1999, Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman which came out the following year, and Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks, released in 2003.
The franchise is currently enjoying a revival with a CGI TV show called ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks, currently airing on Nickelodeon, part of Bagdasarian Productions.
Over the years the franchise and characters have won numerous awards, including Grammys, and the trio even have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Newsweek reached out to Bagdasarian Productions and Lucy for comment.