A Chipmunk Celebrationis the only episode in Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration that is actually Thanksgiving themed. In this episode, the boys are excited about participating in the community play, as it's going to be televised and all of their family members will be in town to see it. Well, they're excited until they find that instead of their usual assignments (Alvin as lead, Simon in charge of lighting and Theodore in charge of costumes), they are being forced to "try something new," with Alvin making the costumes, Simon playing the lead and Theodore controlling the lighting. They fight against it, tooth and nail, and then Alvin concocts a plan to get them out of performing in the play by (making people think they're) saving a woman's baby in the zoo, across town. Of course, to do so, they essentially put on a skit at the zoo, with each of the chipmunks utilizing the talents they were supposed to be using for the play, so they end up discovering they can do it and get whisked by police escort to the community center, just in time to perform in the play.
Food for Thoughtis all about finding a way to help Theodore study for his finals, when all he can think about is food. He is studying for his history exam and part of what he is studying is the story of the pilgrims, so that is what ties this episode into the Thanksgiving theme. This is a cute story, where the Chipmunks illustrate how to take a "handicap" and use it to one's advantage.
Cookie Chomper IIIwas... not at all what I was expecting. Parents - be warned: the Chipmunks' pet cat gets hit by a car (and dies) in this episode. There is no graphical depiction of anything, but it can be quite jarring for this to occur without any real forewarning; especially since death is something not usually encountered in a kid's cartoon, such as Alvin and the Chipmunks. This episode centers on how to deal with the loss of a loved one through grace, humor and compassion, but if I were showing it to my child, I would have to brief them on what the episode was about, so that it wouldn't be too much of a surprise.
Dave's Getting Marriedfinds Dave Seville falling in love with a woman who, at first, the boys don't like - mainly because Dave spends so much time with her. As they get to know her, however, they grow fond of her and eventually tell Dave so. Soon, they find that she has three sons of her own, that the Chipmunks don't get along with. Actually, she has a very similar counterpart for each of the Chipmunks, and it is this similarity that makes them dislike each other. I can only assume that the theme of families working through their issues is the theme in this episode that warrants its being in Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration.
The box has the phrase, "4 Fun-Filled Episodes" on it a couple of times. I would prefer to see "3 Fun-Filled Episodes and One Shocking Episode where an Animal Gets Run Over by a Car." Seriously, J.R.Nip and I were watching Cookie Chomper III and as soon as they get the kitten and get approval to keep it, it slips out of a window in the night and gets run over. Also, as someone who has an allergy to cats, I found it a bit offensive that they show Simon "reprogramming" Dave's cat allergy using flashcards in about a minute and a half. Animal allergies are chemical, not psychosomatic. Even in the cartoon, itself, Dave sneezes when he's around the cat, before he even knows of its existence.
If you're looking for holiday episodes of cartoons from your childhood, I would suggest getting Christmas or Halloween Alvin and the Chipmunks DVDs, instead. If, however, you're looking for a way to help a child deal with the death of a pet, Cookie Chomper III might help start some cathartic conversations. Otherwise, I don't think I would recommend this particular DVD, unless you are attempting to collect them all.