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Lee Becomes 'Chipmunks' Father Figure


It's been a while, but "Alvin and the Chipmunks" is back in style with an assist from Jason Lee.

According to the industry trade papers, the "My Name Is Earl" star and apparent family film go-to actor will play Dave Seville, human companion to the titular rodents in the upcoming Fox 2000 production.

Alvin, Simon and Theodore, the central singing chipmunks, will be CGI-animated courtesy of 20th Century Fox Animation. The long-stalled film will be directed by Tim Hill, who mined similar terrain "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties," which was a smash hit in mainland China.

David Seville was originally the stage name for "Chipmunks" creator and songwriter Ross Bagdasarian, who also voiced the original animated character. The Chipmunks were the Monkees before the Monkees, a spunky fabricated trio responsible for a number of hit albums and a variety of animated TV successes. The basic premise is that songwriter Dave Seville (Lee) has to both manage and raise three absurdly large talking and singing rodents, improving them as both people and musicians.

This is becoming familiar terrain for Lee, who also voices the main character in this summer's mostly live-action adaptation of "Underdog." Other credits for Lee include the less family-friendly "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy."

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