Some time during the popularity of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, the squeaky-voiced, mischief making critters got their starring role in this animated feature. Employing Disney animators (laid off after the failure of THE BLACK CAULDRON) to produce its surprisingly crisp animation, this 76-minute tale is packed with just enough action, laughs, charm, and yes, music, in which the title characters and their female counterparts, the Chipettes compete in a (literally) around-the-world balloon race. But why are the police on their tails, and what is so prized and valuable about the dolls they are transporting at each stop? Finding out is only part of the thrill ride, and of course, the songs are lively and singable (my favorite being the toe-tapping "Girls and Boys of Rock 'N Roll", which is a lot of fun to bounce to, and "Off To See The World" is quite lovely as well). Children and fans of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS will surely get a kick out of this film, and it is easily superior to the CG-animated film from '00s. Only negatives: the (international) villains speak with thick accents, a stereotyped tribal village, a superfluous subplot involving a baby penguin, and questionable actions on the parts of the lead characters (they forge an audio tape of guardian David Seville's voice to their babysitter so as to "get permission" to go on the race). Otherwise, chipmunk fans enjoy!