When a reader asked me to research Jason Lee’s bungalow in the kids’ movie Alvin and the Chipmunks, I thought she was joking.
Then I got another request for it (and another, and another).
I finally broke down and watched it to see what the fuss was about, and I’m glad I did. It’s charming!
Let’s take a look at the bungalow court where the movie was filmed and the sets designed for it.
The House from “Alvin and the Chipmunks”
Songwriter Dave Seville (Jason Lee) lives in a bungalow that provides some much-appreciated eye candy for the moms and dads watching the movie with their kids.
An Overhead View of the Courtyard-Connected Bungalows:
This is a real apartment complex in Hollywood known as St. Andrews Bungalow Court.
They were built in 1919.
They were once slated for demolition but were rescued and renovated.
According to Hollywood Community Housing:
This project now provides 16 homes to formerly homeless individuals and households living with disabilities.
St. Andrews Bungalow Court is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has received numerous renovation awards, including a 1996 Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation.
Brian worked on the film and says:
“The entire interior and walkway in front of the house was built on a soundstage at Sunset-Gower Studios in Hollywood. The director, Tim Hill, did a great job of mixing the exteriors shot at the apartment complex with the footage shot on stage.
Actors Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney were the voices of Alvin, Simon and Theordore.
Brian explains why their voices sounded nothing like them:
“The voices of the Chipmunks are recorded by speaking very slowly into a tape recorder, then speeding up the tape. The trick is to be able to have emotion in your voice while you’re talking so slowly.”
In this shot, shown from the chipmunks’ point of view, you can see the vaulted ceilings:
Those pesky chipmunks make a mess of the kitchen:
Looking from the kitchen into the dining room (love the retro fridge):
When Simon, Alvin, and Theodore make their own breakfast, they set off the smoke alarm:
They wreak havoc in the living room, too:
Dave’s Music Room:
“The Chipmunk Song” (sometimes called “Christmas Don’t Be Late”) was written by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. (a.k.a. David Seville) in 1958.
It was also performed by Bagdasarian. It hit #1 on the Billboard Pop Hit Singles chart and sold more than 4.5 million copies.
According to Wikipedia:
With the release and popularity of the film Alvin and the Chipmunks in December 2007, “The Chipmunk Song” re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #70.
At the same time, a remixed version of the song that appears on the Chipmunks’ 2007 album (and soundtrack to the film) Alvin and the Chipmunks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, peaked at #66 and was credited as “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) (2007 Version)”.
The address over Dave’s front door is 1958, the year “The Chipmunk Song” was written.
A lot of you have asked me if it’s the same as the one from the Goldie Hawn movie Swing Shift.
I looked into it and wrote about those bungalows here.
Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see the others I’ve featured, listed from A-Z.