Stage 1
3 Images

Scene Stealer: Alvin and the Chipmunks

The hand belongs to a veterinarian checking Theo’s tonsils to see if has laryngitis. It’s really the actor who’s pretending that Theo’s there at all. Guide wires helped position the tongue depressor at the proper height to where the chipmunk would be. (Twentieth Century Fox Animation)
Next, Rhythm & Hues rough-animated Simon and Theo interacting with the tongue depressor. These grey, hairless models make the animation easier to adjust to the other elements in the scene. (Twentieth Century Fox Animation)
Finally, it’s time to harmonize the chipmunks’ color and lighting. Forget that cuddly digital fur — check out Theo’s kisser. “We really paid attention to their mouths,” Shifflett says. “Hopefully it adds to a reality that’s not over the top.” (Twentieth Century Fox Animation)