Alvin and the Chipmunks, originally David Seville and the Chipmunks or simply The Chipmunks, are an American animated virtual band created by Ross Bagdasarian for a novelty record in 1958. The group consists of three singing animated anthropomorphic chipmunks named Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. They are managed by their human adoptive father, David "Dave" Seville.
Bagdasarian provided the group's voices sped up to create high-pitched squeaky voices (which wasn't entirely new to him, having worked on "Witch Doctor" earned the record two Grammy Awards for engineering).
"The Chipmunk Song" became a number-one single in the United States. After Bagdasarian died in 1972, the characters’ voices were provided by his son Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and the latter's wife Janice Karman in the subsequent incarnations of the 1980s and 1990s.
A CGI-animated TV series reboot, titled ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks, premiered on Nickelodeon on August 3, 2015. In 2019, The Chipmunks received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Through the successful franchise, the Chipmunks have become one of the most successful children's artists of all time. It has garnered two number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and won five Grammy Awards, having four Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 and three certified platinum albums. "The Chipmunk Song" became one of the best-selling singles of all time at 5 million physical copies sold.
On November 2, 2021, Bagdasarian Productions announced it would sell the property for $300 million. Paramount Global was reported as one of the interested buyers.