The first thing that occurred to me when I started watching Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom was that the cartoon really didn't stand up to the test of time. I realize it's a television cartoon series from the 1990s, but the image was very blurry on my HD set; something I've grown unfamiliar with. It looks like it was mastered by a tape copy or something - definitely not digitally remastered. This is a shame, as the content was entertaining and the artwork seemed like it should look better. Also, it's rare these days to see a DVD release with a complete lack of features. This release doesn't even have subtitles or language selections. The titles screen simply lets you choose one of the episodes or to "play all."
I would say that all three of the stories included in Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to the Movies: Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom are family-appropriate. The DVD is not rated in the US, but it carries a Canadian Home Video Rating of "G."
Daytona Jones and the Pearl of WisdomThis is a spoof of the Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. Alvin plays the lead, Daytona Jones, while Simon plays his brother, Saratoga Jones. The story centers around the search for the Pearl of Wisdom, which is claimed to bestow upon its owner the answer to all questions. Alvin is attempting to secure this prize before his arch nemesis, "Bellyache" (a parody of "Dr. Rene Belloq"), who has a habit of stepping in at the last moment and stealing precious artifacts away from Daytona.
BatmunkSimon Seville is Batmunk, in this parody of the Batman movie with Alvin playing as his arch nemesis, the Jokester. It is interesting to see how this storyline plays off of the line from Batman where the Joker says, "Where does he get all those toys!?" In this story, Brice Wayne is a multi-millionare Toy maker and the Jokester is trying to pilfer his prized prototype plaything at a charity event. Theodore plays the part of Mr. Wayne's butler who secretly longs to get into the action himself. When things get tough, he gets his chance.
RobomunkAlvin plays the part of Officer Malone/Robomunk, while Brittany plays "Violet", Officer Malone's partner. I found it interesting how much Brittany's character reminded me of Nancy Allen as Officer Anne Lewis, Robocop's partner in the Robocop movie. I guess it had a lot to do with the S.W.A.T. - inspired police outfit being so similar, but it played well. As part of the parody spin put on this story, Robomunk uses a huge gum (as in chewing gum, rather than a gun) to take out the baddies and they are fighting grime, not crime, caused by the devious Mr. Pinky (Theodore), who is hoping to lower property values and then pick up the entire city for a ridiculously low price and create "Pinkyville."
Those who are looking for special features, commentaries, subtitles, surround sound or fancy-shmancy "scene selection," you're right out of luck. If you're just looking to get a DVD with one or more of the above listed episodes, then this does that. I would really prefer to view them in digitally remastered, high-definition quality with commentaries and interviews, but I don't know if that's ever going to be an option. It is what it is; you'll have to make the decision yourself as to whether this is good enough for your collection.