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Anyone have $300 million squirreled away? 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' is up for sale
Now you can be the proud owner of pop culture's most famous band of high-pitched singing rodents.
Alvin...Alvin?...ALLLVIIIN!!! Pop culture's favorite high-pitched singing rodents, Alvin and the Chipmunks are officially up for sale. Per a new report from CNBC, the property's owner, Bagdasarian Productions (named for original creator, Ross Bagdasarian) is looking to unload the 63-year-old multimedia franchise of TV shows, films, toys, music, and more for a cool $300 million.
The company — which is run by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and his wife, Janice Karman — has reportedly explored potential deals with major conglomerates such ViacomCBS, but nothing is set in stone yet. ViacomCBS would seem like a good fit though, since the media giant already has an Alvin and the Chipmunks animated series running on Nickelodeon.
But no official contract is in place, so if you've got enough money squirreled away (or rather chipmunk-ed away), you can be the proud new owner of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore — who skyrocketed to fame with their 1958 single, "Christmas Don't Be Late." The single soared to the top of the charts and ended up nabbing Bagdasarian Sr. a pair of Grammy wins for Best Comedy Performance and Best Recording for Children.
Prior to its acquisition by Disney in March of 2018, 20th Century Fox produced four live-action movies based on the IP with the titular chipmunks brought to life with CGI (the trio was voiced by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney). Jason Lee — of Mallrats and The Incredibles fame — took on the role of their owner/father, Dave Seville.
Ross Bagdasarian Jr. attended law school following the death of his father in 1972 and graduated three years later. He had no intention of becoming a lawyer, but wanted to gain a better academic understanding of "music publishing and the things that I would hope to create later. I wanted to know how to hold onto them as my dad had done," he told NPR in 2017.
"I didn't want the Chipmunks to pass away as suddenly as my dad did," he continued (his father died at the relatively young age of 52). "I wanted to figure out some way to try and bring them back. So when I met Janice and she had loved the characters growing up — it was one the shows that her folks let her watch. I now had another believer with me and I said, 'Jan, I wanna see if we can do this for just a year in kind of a tribute to my dad and then we'll go and do all the other things that we're interested in doing."
That trial period continued beyond a year, and the rest, as they say, is history.