‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked’ director Mike Mitchell talks about making quality films the entire family can enjoy.
Mike took the time to talk with us during the L.A. press junket last week. He chatted about making family films, ‘Glee’ opening the doors to mashup songs, and having the best job when it comes to location!
‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked’ is the only rated G movie out there this holiday season that the whole family can have fun watching. Mike shared his passion for making this type of film: “I really try to make movies that are for adults and kids. And you can do it. Because it shouldn’t be torturous to take your kid to a movie.; We should all enjoy it. And my favorite thing is when we have a friends and family screening, when a little girl is laughing at a joke and she looks up at her daddy and he’s laughing, too. I’m like, ‘Yes.’ It’s great to have laughs for both of them. But, when they laugh together that is magic to me. “
Mike had the “oh so difficult” job of filming in Hawaii and on a cruise ship for this third Alvin installment. He shared: “It was so fun and the weather was perfect and you get to be on a beach. And then, right after Hawaii, it was like, ‘How ’bout we go on a real cruise, a real cruise ship?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, yes. It’s got to be authentic.’ So, we got to take a real cruise ship out, so that was neat. And then, the rest was just really cool big jungle sets.”
The ship was a working ship and the guests aboard were excited about the movie filming and some of them were able to play extras in the film: “We had a lot of people on there that were wanting to see the chipmunks and play with the chipmunks and talk to Jason Lee and David Cross. So it was kind of cool because the people on the ship wanted to help and be a part of the film. And we used them for a big dance scene when the Chipettes are dancing.”
The music always plays a huge role in any Chipmunks project. Mike shared with us that he tries to make it as natural as possible. So that the music is helping to tell the story – not that the story stops so they can squeeze in a musical number. He wants it to flow. There is a really great number at the end and he credits ‘Glee’ for making it possible: “Glee really opened the door to make it hip to do these mashups.
And I don’t think they’ve done that in a past film before, either. But, mashing up two songs, three songs together is, one, really fun, really cool. “
Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox