It's goodbye eardrums and hello bedlam as rockin' rodents Alvin, Simon and Theodore return for more highly animated, high-pitched antics. With mentor Dave (Jason Lee) in hospital, the furry pop idols are sent for their first taste of high school. But just as Alvin is enjoying a new wave of popularity, along comes competition in the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, all-female form of new singing sensations The Chipettes. Squir'ls aloud!
Through cartoons, TV puppet shows, Grammy-winning records and now CG-enhanced movies, Alvin And The Chipmunks have been entertaining kids and giving their parents tinnitus for over 50 years.
When their hapless human guardian Dave (Lee) is hospitalised during a typically rowdy gig, cocky Alvin, speccy Simon and pudgy Theodore are sent to live with his aunt... who is immediately hospitalised.
Left in the dubious care of Dave's socially challenged cousin Toby (Zachary Levi, TV's supergeek 'Chuck'), the trio are plunged into the equally chaotic world of the classroom.
The girls love them; even the Principal is a secret fan. The jocks, however, don't take kindly to being out-cooled by talking vermin.
As is his wont, Alvin gradually wins them over, though sometimes shamefully at his brothers' expense. But when the band agrees to represent the school in a big fundraiser, their popularity is sealed.
Until, that is, their sneaky ex-manager shows up demanding a showdown with his latest discovery - the all-singing, all-dancing, all-female Chipettes. But there are some lessons to be learnt as the big sing-off approaches.
Powered by noisy rough 'n' tumble and CG cutes, the world's first Squeakquel will have the primary-age set bouncing off the walls.
But after inducing headaches from the get-go, there seems little point in trying to engage older viewers by having Alvin trot out quotes from movies like Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, and The Silence Of The Lambs. Kids won’t get them and grown-ups will already find him irritating enough.
And you have to wonder why the producers forked out for 'name' comedians Anna Faris, Amy Poehler and Christina Applegate to voice The Chipettes - alongside Justin Long's Alvin - when everyone sounds the same once they've gone through the Squeakqualiser.
In a crowded cinema, this is every post-pubescent's nightmare. But as long as they’re free to leave the room, grown-ups will appreciate it for what it is: an ear-ringing endorsement of brotherhood, integrity, and pest control.