I’m a sucker for small, furry animals and animated movies. Combine the two with something cruise-related, and you’ve got me for sure. That’s precisely why I found myself shelling out $9 to spend a Sunday afternoon watching cartoon rodents wreak havoc on the high seas in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.” Although the bulk of the film takes place on a deserted island, about 20 minutes were shot onboard Carnival Dream. It was cute. It was enjoyable. But overall, it certainly wasn’t a work of cinematic genius, and it did leave me (and likely would leave any avid cruiser) with some questions….
1. Do I smell a new embarkation port? The movie’s opening scene shows Dave (Jason Lee), the Chipmunks and the Chipettes making their way to the ship for embarkation, along with a handful of other passengers. There were several things wrong with the scenario. First, where were the crowds of people? The security checkpoints? The gangway? Everything about it screamed “port of call,” rather than “port of embarkation.” After doing a bit of asking around, I discovered the scene was actually shot at the dock in Cozumel.
2. Can everyone expect a suite? I figured the in-cabin scene wouldn’t be shot in an inside stateroom. But imagine my surprise when the characters’ onboard digs appeared to be larger than my entire on-land apartment. Sure, they’re international superstars in the film, and of course it’s natural that Carnival would want to showcase its swankiest accommodations, but it paints a false picture for noncruisers.
3. Why was there nobody over the age of 50 onboard? We all know the stereotypes: Cruises are for old people. Obviously that’s not true, but after watching this film, you’d think it was completely the opposite. I didn’t see a single senior citizen onboard. In fact, it seemed 90 percent of the passengers were in their 20′s — and, naturally, 100 percent of those people were in perfect bathing suit shape.
4. Will we really see a man in a pelican suit on Carnival Dream? Uncle Ian (David Cross), stalwart Chipmunks antagonist, reprises his role — this time as a cruise-ship employee who walks around scaring children in a dopey-looking pelican costume. I just can’t help wondering if the bird is a new feature we can actually expect to encounter onboard.
5. What would happen to someone caught flying a kite off the side of a ship? The plot thickens when Alvin barters with an overweight child onboard — a plate of chocolate-covered donuts for the kid’s kite (which he just so happens to be flying off the side of the vessel). I won’t bore you with what ensues, and that’s mostly because I didn’t pay much attention. Carnival Dream’s big-screen debut was over, and I was too busy trying to figure out why somebody didn’t put a stop to the kite-flying and stick the kid and his squeaky-voiced friends in the children’s program.
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