The Chipettes are a fictional trio of beautiful singers first appearing on the show Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1983. In this related materials, the Chipettes served as female featured characters in their own right, starring in several episodes in which their male counterparts did not appear. The title of the show was changed from Alvin and the Chipmunks to simply The Chipmunks in 1988 to reflect this reality. In the tv live airing and the accompanying feature films, all of the Chipettes were voiced by their creator, Janice Karman, wife of Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., son of Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., originator of The Chipmunks. Karman also wrote and voiced the Chipettes' dialogue on all of their studio albums, while studio singers such as Susan Boyd, Shelby Daniel, and Katherine Coon provided their singing voices. In the Japanese language version of the feature film The Chipmunk Adventure, the voices for the Chipettes are provided by Mayumi Suzuki, Mika Doi and Ikue Ōtani.
The first character designs for the Chipettes were drafted by Corny Cole for their 1983 debut. These were later revamped by Sandra Berez for The Chipmunk Adventure and the later seasons of the show.
The origins of the Chipettes can be traced to the 1982 Alvin and the Chipmunks album "The Chipmunks Go Hollywood". On this album, Alvin sings a duet with a female character billed as Charlene the Chipette. Charlene is featured on the song You're the One That I Want from the soundtrack of the motion picture Grease. Charlene was depicted on the album cover as having a long, blonde ponytail, and seems to have been the basis for the later character of Brittany. She later made a visual appearance in 1993, in Rockin' with the Chipmunks, where she danced and lip-synced in the music video for Crocodile Rock by Elton John. The orginal 2009 concept art inculding Jeanette wth Simon's old 1980's glassesThe CGI Chipettes, like the Chipmunks, they were originally created for the musical medium, and later crossed over into Real life. According to their creator, Janice Karman, she and Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., "...had been doing the albums at that point... We couldn't do the girl songs. I wanted to do female chipmunks that have counter personalities to the Chipmunks so we could do some girl tunes."
Bagdasarian also added in reference to the Chipettes characters, "It enables you to deal with issues that girls are going through that boys wouldn't necessarily be dealing with... We had a baby girl at the time. We wanted to let her know she can be president, or a soccer champion, or whatever... With the Chipettes we can handle those sorts of things."
It is worth nothing, however, that the Chipettes on TV Live (Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor) appeared on the small screen before appearing on any albums. Their first appearance on the Chipmunks album was on 1984's "Songs From Our TV Shows" which was released on March 4, 1984, nearly seven months after the Chipettes debuted on the first episode of the Alvin and the Chipmunks television series on September 17, 1983.
Although the Chipettes featured prominently on many Alvin and the Chipmunks albums, they received equal billing with the Chipmunks only on 1988's "Born to Rock."
There has been some speculation that the Chipettes may appear in a sequel to the popular Alvin and the Chipmunks film released in 2007. “There has been a lot of talk about it,” revealed Janice Karman, one of the film’s producers. “A lot of people have been asking about the little girls." It has been confirmed that they will appear in the sequel.
Brittany Miller, the defacto leader of the chipettes is also the lead singer. She wears pink, but has been seen in other colours. She is oldest in the group, but not the tallest. She and Alvin have a love/hate relationship.
Jeanette Miller, the tallest, and middle sister in the group, wears royal blue and purple as her signature colors, and is also imcredibly smart. She along with Simon wear glasses because of their poor eyes sight. She and Simon love each other but have only had two dates..
Eleanor Miller, the youngest and plumpest wears spring green in almost all her apparel. She loves to cook, and despite being a chipmunk, has often been said to have a weight problem because no matter how hard she tries she can't get rid of her baby fat. Eleanor is like a gold medal winner in any sport. Her and Theodore love each other openly.
Although there is no proof of it in their decidedly American accents, the Chipettes were apparently born in Australia and orphaned at a very early age. Fortunately for them, their species seems to mature faster than human beings, and the Chipettes were able to walk, talk, and to some extent fend for themselves while they were still in their infancy, and no larger than the size of a human's hand. Under unexplained circumstances, the sisters came to be living in the care of a young Australian girl by the name of Olivia. Olivia was herself an orphan, living in an institution run by a mean-spirited and exploitative woman called Ms. Grudge. Unfortunately for the young chipettes, Grudge noticed their innate singing abilities and attempted to exploit them for her own benefit. Fleeing the orphanage, the Chipettes traveled to New York as stowaways on a freighter dubbed the "American Dreamer". For a time, the girls lived on the city streets, working at a variety of menial jobs, until Brittany saw an advertisement calling for singers to feature at a hotel in California. The sisters managed to scrape together bus fare and set out for Los Angeles, where they eventually landed the gig, taking on the professional name of "The Chipmunks".
During an engagement at another hotel, the girls encountered the original Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon, and Theodore) and their manager, David Seville. After a brief conflict over the Chipmunk name, Alvin ( with help from Brittany) dubbed the girls the "Chipettes".
The Chipmunks and the Chipettes became fast friends, and the Chipettes eventually settled in the Sevilles' suburban Los Angeles hometown and enrolled in the local school system. At this time, the girls lived on their own in an elaborate and well-furnished tree house. Unfortunately, school officials found out that the totally self-sufficient girls lived alone, and after a disastrous meeting in which Alvin and the Chipmunks posed as the parents of their friends, the girls were once again faced with the threat of life in an orphanage. In order to avoid this undesirable eventuality, the girls were adopted by Miss Beatrice Miller, the former leader of the World War II era dance troupe known as Miss Miller and the Thrillers, and a family friend of the Sevilles. It was at this time that they took on the surname of "Miller". Initially the girls felt frustrated with Miss Miller's old fashioned views and tastes (for example, she refused to let them go to school unless their skirts reached down to their knees), but eventually bonded with her after they realized she shared their love of music.
Together, the Chipmunks and Chipettes shared a variety of adventures, perhaps the most exciting of which was their balloon race around the world. Over the years, each of the Chipettes engaged in on-again-off-again relationships with their Chipmunk counterparts-- Simon with Jeanette, Theodore with Eleanor, and Alvin with Brittany. However, the relationship between Alvin and Brittany rarely went smoothly, as their similarly aggressive, egotistical personalities often clashed, in contrast to the more mellow interplay between Simon and Jeanette or Theodore and Eleanor. Alternatively, they were also shown to date human boys, just as the boys often showed an interest in human girls. It is notable that the Chipmunks and the Chipettes inhabit a relatively "realistic" world, in which theirs is the only sapient species aside from human beings, as opposed to a world full of anthropomorphized animals.
The Chipettes apparently lack the body fur of the Chipmunks, and also have more human-like hair on their heads, in what may be a case of sexual dimorphism in the species. This made them look more like humans. In the live-action film, they look just like Chipmunks (but are computer animated) and the chipmunks' love interest.