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The Doc Option: Instead of “Chipwrecked” Watch “Chumming With Chipmunks”

The Doc Option: Instead of "Chipwrecked" Watch "Chumming With Chipmunks"

I know, you’re so excited about the new “Alvin and the Chipmunks” sequel, “Chipwrecked,” but the theaters are going to be packed with obnoxious children all weekend so why not wait a bit? In the meantime, I have another Doc Option for you.

This alternative is not part animation, it doesn’t feature hit songs redone with high-pitched voices and it doesn’t include jokes about Sarah Palin and “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” Still, if you like chipmunks, you’ll love the 1921 silent short film “Chumming with Chipmunks.” It’s actually more reminiscent of Disney’s chipmunks, Chip ‘n’ Dale, especially given that there’s a Christmas component at the end. The doc was made by Irene Finley and husband William L. Finley, a wildlife photographer and conservationalist who helped the founding of federal bird reservations and wildlife refuges in the early 20th century. Originally the film was released with affiliation from the National Association of Audobon Societies (aka the National Audobon Society) along with other educational docs teaching kids about birdfeeders and birdhouse building. Watch the cute film below:

Prefer something with sound? While not an actual documentary, below we have a selection of unused newsreel footage from British Pathe, which they’ve collected under the title “(CHIPMUNKS).” It’s more your typical nature film stuff, observing the animals doing their stuff while a voiceover narration tells us, often redundantly, what we’re seeing. You can find more recent, unrelated nature footage of chipmunks at NatureFootage.com. Click on the box below (British Pathe’s embed doesn’t seem to be working correctly) to watch this footage.


Finally we have a 1998 episode of the nature documentary series “Marty Stouffer’s Wild America,” titled “Chipmunks of Yosemite.” Don’t worry, even though there’s reference to chipmunks getting run over by cars and eaten by birds, there’s no such scenes here. Watch it in two parts below:

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