It is time for the last installment of these looks at the classic animated movie, The Chipmunk Adventure.
Today’s post takes a look at time frames. Specifically, how long it would take to make dolls, how long to make this trip, and whether or not Dave is an absentee father.
One of the major plot points of the movie is that both the Chipmunks and Chipettes must switch dolls at each of the locations. These dolls are the front for the whole diamond smuggling operation, with half of the dolls full of the precious stones and half with cash. The rodents of rock n’ roll agree to this hot air balloon race, trick Miss Miller with the fake call from Dave, and are en route around the world within a day or two.
As my three year old likes to say, “but how?!”
To break this down I reached out to someone I met through blogging who is now a designer for a major toy producer. How long does it take from conception to product in hand? His answer, “at our very fastest, is 90 days. 180 days is average.”
This is a huge modern day company with every tool of creation and distribution at their disposal. You know, things a couple of diamond smugglers wouldn’t have access to. If a major company in 2016 takes, even on the fast side, 90 days, then two criminals 30 years ago are going to have a slower turn around time. Yet within days these dolls are not only created, but distributed around the world with instructions for trade put in place among their criminal cabal.
A possible explanation is that the Chipmunks and Chipettes, being rock stars, had their own stuffed animal likenesses already out there for consumption. Therefore it would be easy for any of these thieves to make a stop at their local department store and buy a couple of plushes to gut and fill with contraband. And on short notice as well. The only problem with this explanation is keeping known international diamond hustlers off the radar during their mass purchases of dolls based on the likenesses of underage mammals.
Back to the passage of time. Thanks to an episode of Drunk History I learned that there has been actual hot air balloon races around the world. The team record for non stop was set in 1999 at 19 days and 21 hours. Non stop, two experts, with every possible tool at their disposal. Still took almost 20 days. Almost three weeks. Non stop. Adjusting for time, experience, many stops, adventures along the way, impromptu concerts, and being furry children it must be assumed that the Chipmunks and Chipettes would take a longer amount of time. I think it is only fair to double the estimate. The journey taken in this movie must have lasted between 6-8 weeks. Around two months.
During which no one realized that the two biggest anthropomorphic rock bands on the planet were being used as pawns for international smugglers, not even their adoptive father.
Poor Dave. He has to discipline constantly. Mostly Alvin. A business trip overseas must seem less like work and more like a vacation. Good for him. He deserves it. Sure, Miss Miller is a bit of a nut case and we all like to avoid talking to the crazy ones. But if it takes a little small crazy talk in order to speak to your child, well, so be it.
Yet in the theoretical two months that both Dave was on his business trip and the boys and girls were soaring over the world in hot air balloons, there was only one call home. One. “Available for what?”
Maybe Dave is a letter writer. There’s a time zone difference. The boys are busy with band practice and learning how to walk without tripping while wearing foot length t shirts. Just because he didn’t call his kids didn’t mean that he wasn’t thinking about it. I meant to call! Daddy Dave is just down the street buying cigarettes!
The Chipmunk Adventure could be called What I Did on My Summer Vacation.
(I just want to point out how much I love this scene. The dolls are tied to the poles as well. Such a small touch but i found it hysterical.)