A Chipmunk Reunion is a 1985 animated special produced by Bagdasarian Productions, in association with Ruby-Spears Enterprises, and is spun off of NBC's popular animated series, Alvin & the Chipmunks, starring The Chipmunks and The Chipettes. The special originally aired on NBC on Saturday April 13, 1985, as a primetime special, in between seasons two and three of the series. When the series went into syndication in the fall of 1988, this special was included in the syndication package as a regular episode.
The special begins at home one night when Alvin, Simon and Theodore were arguing about when exactly they were born. Theodore insists they were born on the 12th, Alvin insists it was the 15th, and Simon insists that it was the 18th. But not even their adoptive father, Dave Seville, knows the exact date (he celebrates their birthday on the day he found them), so Alvin decides that the only way to find out, would be to look for their long lost mother. However, Dave would never let them go, so they decide to have their female friends, The Chipettes, take over the house. When Dave comes downstairs the next morning and sees the girls there, he realizes that the boys went to find their mother, and fears that they could get hurt by wild animals in the forest. So, he sets out to find them, while the girls join him on his search.
Meanwhile, the boys are in the forest, after having been told by a Forest Ranger that the great winter drove animals over Eagle's Peak. As they continue their journey, they imagine what their mother might be like (except Alvin, who wonders why their mother abandoned them), while asking other forest animals about her (with no such luck), climbing mountains, and swinging across rivers. Later that night, the boys decide to go home, when they encounter a wild boar that is presumed to have escaped from hunters. It chases them into a log. Then, it grabs the log by its tusks, and throws it to the bottom of a mountainside, knocking them unconscious. However, someone at a nearby home finds them, and takes them in for shelter.
When the boys wake up the next day, they find themselves inside the home of their long lost mother named Vinny, who is happy to see her boys again. Meanwhile, Dave and the Chipettes are right on the boys' trail, while Dave wonders why they left him. However, the girls assure him that just because the boys are looking for their mother, doesn't mean that they don't love him anymore. Back at Vinny's home, the boys reminisce with her about when they were babies, and then she tucks them in with a tendersweet lullaby that she used to sing to them when they were babies.
The next morning, the boys, hoping to have waffles for breakfast, end up disappointed when they hear that they're having maple leaves, berries and nuts. A bitter Alvin then claims that Vinny never loved him and his brothers to begin with, because she left them on a stranger's doorstep. However, Vinny then tries to explain that she had her reasons for doing this, those reasons being that the boys were too young to survive the long winter, and that there was a severe food shortage. That it was the great winter that was very cold and wasn't getting any better. However, she knew of a man (Dave Seville) who was very kind to the forest animals, and had no choice but to leave them there with him. She then admits that giving them up was the hardest thing she ever had to do. Alvin feels guilty for the thoughts he had before. Suddenly, the boar reappears, and tries to ram its way into the house several times, but soon notices a small rabbit, and chases it instead. Meanwhile, Dave and The Chipettes are still looking for them.
Back at Vinny's home, after noticing the door being completely broken, the boys decide to have her come with them to live with Dave. But she tells them that she doesn't know anything about life in the city, and that she wants them to live with her. Alvin, failing to understand and not wanting to leave Dave behind, walks away to a nearby log, while Simon and Theodore try to comfort him, telling him that they can't expect her to live in the city, that it would be like them trying to live in the forest, and that their lives are completely different, even though it doesn't mean that she doesn't love them. Suddenly, the Boar comes back and attacks them. After missing the boys, the boar sees Vinny, and rams into her, injuring her badly. A weakened Vinny then backs up by the cliffside, and jumps up to a nearby branch, while the boar misses and falls into the river to his death. The boys hurry to their mother and fear the worst. They take her home and tend her wounds, while Alvin recites something that Simon and Theodore told him.
The next day, the boys find that Vinny is nowhere to be seen, and when they reach downstairs, they learn that Vinny and the others are throwing them a surprise party, and that she tells them she never forgets their birthday and that she always celebrates it on the 14th. They then celebrate with some blues music. Dave and The Chipettes, all of whom are tired and exhausted, find them, but decide not to disturb them. However, the boys notice Dave, and run up to him and give him a hug, telling him that they are coming back with him after all, but they'll be back in the forest for visits. After another celebration at Vinny's house, this time with Dave and the girls, the special ends with the boys later that night back at home in bed with their birthday presents. They thank Dave for the presents. Then Alvin, after being asked what his birthday wish was, says that he initially wished they were like other families, but he has now realized that they have parents who love them very much. A teary but happy Dave then closes the door as he leaves, after hearing this.Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. - David "Dave" Seville, Alvin, Simon
Janice Karman - Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor, Allie
June Foray - Vinny
Frank Welker - Boar
Mother and Child Reunion - Written by and originally performed by Paul Simon
Shake It Up - Written by Ric Ocasek and originally performed by The Cars
In the scene where The Chipettes are making breakfast for Dave, there's a shot where Jeanette slips and gets eggs all over the newspaper that is lying on Brittany's head. But in the next shot, Brittany is covered in eggs.
This was the first appearance of the Chipmunks' long lost mother Vinny. She made her second and final appearance in a season six episode of the original Chipmunks series titled "Vinny's Visit" (the sequel to the special in episode form). By that point, the show was now simply called The Chipmunks, and was now being co-produced by DiC Entertainment (that episode was not included on the series' syndication package, and has never been released on home video).
Dave says that he celebrates the Chipmunks' birthday in the spring when he found them abandoned on his doorstep, but Vinny says she abandoned them during the winter.
This special has been released twice on home video. The first time was on VHS in 1989 on Alvin and the Chipmunks in The Chipmunk Family Tree (from The Chipmunk Video Library), along with the season 1 episode "The Chipmunks Story". The second time was on DVD on September 8, 2009 as part of the set titled The Very First Alvin Show (from Paramount Pictures), along with the first episode of The Alvin Show and the special Rockin' Through the Decades.