I'm about as excited for Alvin and the Chipmunks being out on DVD as I was for it to be up on the big screen. Which is to say... not so much. It's all about the casting.
They needed someone kind of innately uptight for the role of Dave. Someone like a David Hyde Pierce, who just looks like the kind of guy who'd lose his shit when a bunch of poop-eating, pop-singing, smartassy rodents disobey him. Someone who's really too high maintenance to be sharing his house with a trio of hantavirus carriers, but who'd be just frustrated and stubborn enough stake his entire career and livelihood on them. Jason Lee, who I've loved since his first turn as Kevin Smith's Brodie, just doesn't scream "uptight" to me. I know it's acting, of course, but the association Lee brings to mind is that of a skateboarding, easygoing messenger of karma. He'd be the guy stumbling into an Alvin and the Chipmunks concert, thinking he was on a helluva trip and enjoying the ride. Casting Lee for the role is like casting squirrels for the chipmunks. They're both great! But not quite the right fit.
Actually, you know who would have been perfect for the role of Dave Seville? Tom Cruise. No, seriously. I mean, there's no way he would have touched this movie with a ten foot pole (if only for the fear of the inevitable Leno/Letterman jokes about being cast as one of the chipmunks himself) but otherwise? Who better to bring that certain high-strung need for order to a role? Can't you see him working himself into a froth over Alvin's irrepressible singing? It wouldn't have been the first time a Big Movie Star made the transition to kiddie pics, either, especially with "well, I have kids now" as a convenient explanation.
Save Jason Lee for movies you can bring your grown-up friends to see, or TV shows about miscreants-gone-good. Leave the CGI rodent nostalgia for the other guys.