Alvin and the Chipmunks
Series title card (seasons 1–5)
Also known as
  • The Chipmunks (seasons 6–7)
  • The Chipmunks Go to the Movies (season 8)
Created by
Based on
Written by
Directed by
Voices of
Theme music composer
  • Ross Bagdasarian[1]
  • Janice Karman[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes102 (100 segments) (list of episodes)
Running time22 minutes (11 minutes per segment)
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 17, 1983 (1983-09-17) –
December 1, 1990 (1990-12-01)

Alvin and the Chipmunks is an American animated television series featuring the Chipmunks, which was produced by Bagdasarian Productions in association with Ruby-Spears Enterprises from 1983 to 1987, Murakami-Wolf-Swenson in 1988 and DIC Enterprises from 1988 to 1990.[4]

Much of the overseas animation was done by Hanho Heung-Up for Seasons 2-5.[5] The Murakami-Wolf-Swenson episodes were animated by A-1 Productions. The last Season was animated by Sei Young Animation.

The show aired from September 17, 1983, to December 1, 1990, on NBC and is the follow-up to the original 1961–1962 series, The Alvin Show.[6] The show introduced the Chipettes, three female Chipmunks with their female caretaker, Miss Beatrice Miller (who joined the cast in 1986). In 1988, the show switched production companies to DIC Enterprises; the first 11 episodes of season 6 were produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, and the series was renamed to The Chipmunks.[7]

In 1987, during the show's fifth season, the Chipmunks' first animated feature film, The Chipmunk Adventure, was released in cinemas by The Samuel Goldwyn Company. The film was directed by Janice Karman and featured the Chipmunks and Chipettes in a contest traveling around the world.

In the show's eighth and final season, the show's name was changed to The Chipmunks Go to the Movies. Each episode was a spoof of a Hollywood film like Back to the Future or King Kong. Several television specials featuring the characters were also released.[8] In 1990, the special Rockin' Through the Decades was produced. That year, the Chipmunks also teamed up with other well-known cartoon characters (such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Michelangelo, and Garfield) for the drug abuse-prevention special Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.


Voice cast




Main article: List of Alvin and the Chipmunks (1983 TV series) episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113September 17, 1983 (1983-09-17)December 10, 1983 (1983-12-10)
213September 8, 1984 (1984-09-08)December 1, 1984 (1984-12-01)
310September 14, 1985 (1985-09-14)November 16, 1985 (1985-11-16)
48September 13, 1986 (1986-09-13)November 1, 1986 (1986-11-01)
58September 12, 1987 (1987-09-12)October 31, 1987 (1987-10-31)
624September 10, 1988 (1988-09-10)February 18, 1989 (1989-02-18)
713September 9, 1989 (1989-09-09)December 16, 1989 (1989-12-16)
813September 8, 1990 (1990-09-08)December 1, 1990 (1990-12-01)

Original network run

The series made its debut on September 17, 1983, on NBC, originally under the name Alvin and The Chipmunks, and was animated by Ruby-Spears Enterprises. Beginning with the 1988–89 season, the series was renamed to simply The Chipmunks, and production switched to Murakami-Wolf-Swenson (for 11 episodes of the 6th season) and DIC Enterprises (for 13 episodes of the 6th season, and for the 7th and 8th season) for the remainder of the series' run. For its final season in 1990, the series was renamed again, this time, The Chipmunks Go to the Movies, as all episodes in this season were spoofs of popular Hollywood movies.

Syndication package

The series went into syndication in the fall of 1988 under the original Alvin and The Chipmunks title, distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures (and later Warner Bros. Television after Warner Communications' purchase of Lorimar, Warner Bros. would later buy the pre-1991 library of Ruby-Spears in 1996 as part of its acquisition of Turner, where the library previously sat). The package contained all 52 episodes produced by Ruby-Spears (#901–952), as well as the Valentine's and Reunion specials. To round the package out to the common-practice syndication package length of 65 episodes (5 days a week for 13 weeks, allowing for exactly four cycles a year), an additional 11 episodes were produced specifically for the package by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson. In the syndication order, these episodes followed the 54 Ruby-Spears shows; in the fall 1988 cycle (September 12 – December 9), they aired from November 25 – December 9. Episodes were time-compressed (similar to a PAL speed-up) and/or trimmed in an effort to make room for more commercials. Telepictures began distributing the series in June 1985[10] for $30 Million,[11] with the rights purchased for a record $385,000 a half-hour.[12] The syndication package did not include the episodes that aired on NBC from season six onward, meaning that the final thirty-nine episodes of the series were not shown in reruns outside of the network.

The 65-episode syndication package was later carried by Nickelodeon, then Cartoon Network, and finally Boomerang in the United States. In Canada, the original run of the series was aired on the Global Television Network, while the package was later carried on Teletoon Retro until that channel's dissolution on September 1, 2015. After the dissolution of Teletoon Retro, the show hasn't aired on television in North America since then, but in the United States, the show hasn't been seen on U.S. television since Cartoon Network's last run of the series on May 31, 2002.

The syndication package was also carried overseas in the mid-1990s when it aired on Cartoon Network, later Nickelodeon, and finally Channel 5's Milkshake! block in the United Kingdom. In Australia, the original run of the Ruby-Spears show aired on Network Ten, while the later episodes by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson and DiC were aired on ABC. The syndication package there was picked up on Nickelodeon for a short period of time. In Brazil, TV Globo aired the syndication package with Brazilian dubs. During that time, HIT Entertainment distributed the series outside North America.[13]


  1. ^ a b Cawley, John; Korkis, Jim (1990). Encyclopedia of Cartoon Superstars. Pioneer Books. Retrieved June 16, 2015. Bagdasarian and Karman also wrote new songs for the show, including the theme song, 'We're the Chipmunks.'
  2. ^ "Alvin And The Chipmunks Celebrate Holidays On Stage". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  3. ^ "Top 100 animated series". IGN. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  4. ^ "How Did a Disc Jockey's Joke Inadvertently Lead to an Alvin and the Chipmunks Comeback?". 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  5. ^ "Dream Creator Hanho". Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  6. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 24–26. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  7. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 75–78. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  8. ^ "Alvin And The Chipmunks – The Chipmunks Go To The Movies". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  9. ^ a b c "Grounded Chipmunk". Alvin and the Chipmunks. Season 8. Episode 127. 2008-08-29. NBC.
  10. ^ "Syndication Marketplace" (PDF). Broadcasting. NewBay Media: 99. June 10, 1985 – via American Radio History.
  11. ^ Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. July 1, 1985. ((cite news)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Weekly Variety; June 12, 1985 issue; Page 38
  13. ^ "HIT ENTERTAINMENT CATALOGUE". 3 July 1998. Archived from the original on 3 July 1998.