Time travel stories are a frequently used story trope; either in a dream sequence, a fantasy, or for real. The 1980s Alvin and the Chipmunks not only used this concept, but also decided to have some fun with the notion that it was a reboot. See, the Chipmunks didn’t just meet their younger selves when they went back in time. No, their younger selves happened to be the versions last seen on television in 1961 on The Alvin Show.
For the final season where the show was renamed The Chipmunks Go to the Movies, they abandoned original stories in favor of having adventures based on popular films. “Back to Our Future” written by Dianne Dixon, based on Back to the Future, saw inventor Clyde Crashup (Matt Hurwitz) arrive in the present to tell the Chipmunks that Alvin (Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.) in the past has decided to give up on music and pursue a more mundane career. He takes the 80s Chipmunks back to 1957 (the year they were created) so Alvin (also Bagdasarian) could try and talk some sense into himself. To help things along, they send the 1957 Chipmunks to the future to see how things turned out if they stuck with music, but they end up enjoying the future and fame and want to stay. The 80s Chipmunks find themselves having to now convince them to go home or else they’ll end up losing their careers—and lives—to their past selves.
|The 1950s Chipmunks play for their right to stay in the present.|
Along with Clyde and the Chipmunk character designs, the episode went all-in on emulating the animation style of The Alvin Show with the backgrounds. The present Chipmunks themselves pointed out to the audience how flat everything looked. They even brought back “The Alvin Twist” as the song the two generations of Chipmunks used in a battle of the bands between them.