Alvin and the Chipmunks do Hairspray, Part 2

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Rehearsals were to begin in earnest at school the next day, and there was much discussion about the show that evening.  Leaning against the side of the bath while Theodore cleaned his teeth, Simon asked, 'Are you feeling okay about tomorrow, Theodore?'

'I feel fine,' said Theodore.  'How about you, Alvin?  I hear Brittany's pretty upset about finding you kissing Eleanor this afternoon.'

Alvin's head popped out from behind the shower curtain, demanding, 'How do you know about that?'

'Eleanor told me.'

'Jeez, Theodore, don't you two have any secrets from each other?'

'Sure we do,' said Theodore, as Alvin disappeared back into the shower.  'She doesn't know I ate an entire cheesecake in an hour when I was worried about Dave being sick that time.  And she doesn't know I'm nervous about playing Edna.'

'Well,' said Alvin, 'she did ask me if… never mind.'

'You mean you're not okay with it?' asked Simon.

'No, I'm fine,' said Theodore.  'But everyone gets nervous.  You must be nervous.'

'I'm not nervous,' said Alvin.

'You're not normal,' said Simon.

'I don't want you to worry about me, Simon,' said Theodore.  'I'm capable of making my own decisions.'

'What about your costumes?' asked Alvin.  'Do you still want me to do those?'

'Oh… no, that's okay,' said Theodore, hesitating only for a moment.  'You're much too busy.'

'Well,' said Alvin, 'I am kind of busy.  I've got soccer practice tomorrow, and football practice on Wednesdays, and basketball practice on Thursdays, and I'm in the show… but I'll do your costumes if you want, Theodore.  I'm not going to make you get fitted by girls if you're not comfortable with it.  Pass me a towel, somebody.'

'It's okay, Alvin,' said Theodore, as Simon responded to the request for a towel.  'I'll never be able to play the part unless I'm comfortable in my own skin, and part of that is letting girls measure me and try dresses on me.'

Alvin smiled behind his towel, while Simon clapped his little brother on the shoulder and said, 'Good for you, Theodore.'


Mr Rochelle was not happy about his two leads missing the after school rehearsal to go to soccer practice, and he was even less pleased to learn that Alvin planned to disappear on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons as well.

'I cannot go through another Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Alvin!' he said, emphasising his words with dramatic gestures.  'If you have to drop out of the lead again, I'll just die!'

'Don't sweat it, Mr Rochelle,' said Alvin.  'I'm a professional.'

'You know, Mr Rochelle,' said Brittany, appearing at Alvin's side, 'I have cheerleading practice two afternoons a week.'

'What?' said Mr Rochelle, looking at her for a moment as though he had never seen her before.  'Oh, that's okay, sweetheart.  You don't have nearly as much to do.'

At this Brittany began to fume quietly and, with a poisonous look at Alvin, she stalked into the wings and buried her face in her script.


At half past four, Alvin and Eleanor walked home from soccer practice together, having just missed the departure of the Hairspray cast and crew.

'You know,' said Eleanor, as they approached their houses, 'maybe you should talk to Brittany.  I think she was upset by what Mr Rochelle said earlier.'

'How is that my problem?' said Alvin.  'She's your sister.'

'Right,' said Eleanor, frowning slightly.  'I'll see you tomorrow, then.'

She headed for her front door, and Alvin for his.  Once inside, he went straight to the fridge and helped himself to a soda.

'Alvin,' said Simon, appearing behind him.  'I have to tell you something.  When we arrived home earlier, Brittany goosed me outside the gate.'

Alvin spat half the contents of his soda can all over himself.  Then he wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve, and said, 'So?'

'So,' said Simon, 'will you please go and talk to her?  I think she did it because she's still upset about what happened yesterday.'

'She's not upset about what happened yesterday.  She doesn't care about anything that happened yesterday.  She's upset about what Mr Rochelle said.'

'Well, then she's still upset, isn't she?  Please just go over there and see her.'

'All right, Simon, if it means that much to you.'

'It does,' said Simon, as Alvin passed him.


Brittany was staring morosely at her script, and having her shoulder patted by Jeanette, when the doorbell rang.  Eleanor answered it, and moments later she brought Alvin into the living room and pulled Jeanette out into the hallway.

'What do you want?' asked Brittany, throwing down her script and getting to her feet.

'I was just wondering,' Alvin said slowly, 'if you wanted to help me practise my song, seeing as I missed the after school rehearsal and everything.'

'Why would I do that?' asked Brittany, frowning.  'Eleanor backs you up on that - why don't you sing it with her?'

'Oh, well,' said Alvin, 'she's probably sick of me after all that soccer practice, and she has so many other songs to learn, and… well, I'd rather sing it with you.'

'You would?'

'Sure I would.'

'Oh.  Well… okay then.  The CD's already in the machine, if you want to put it on.'

Alvin switched on the CD player and selected track six, then began to sing along to the music without the aid of his script.  Brittany needed hers, however, and she skimmed through the lyrics while Alvin warbled his way through the first four verses.  Then, when he reached the lines, 'So come closer, baby, and whisper in my ear,' Brittany belted out a loud and long, 'Yea-ea-ea-eah!' in obedience to the stage directions, which stipulated, 'in anything but a whisper'.

'That you're my girl…' Alvin sang.

'I'm your girl,' Brittany responded.

'And I'm your boy.'

'You're my boy…'

So they went on for another two couplets and a few refrains, finally finishing on a long and slow, 'It takes two-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooh.'

When they had finished, there was a moment of silence.  Then Brittany said, 'Well, did that help?'

'Absolutely,' said Alvin.  'I just… wanted to make sure I knew it.  So how's your solo coming?'

'Oh.'  Brittany looked at her feet.

'What's wrong?'

'I'm… having some trouble with it.  See, I'm not… I'm not…'

Alvin moved a step closer to her.  'You're not what?'

'I'm not funny!' she blurted, and then she flung her arms around his neck and began to sob.  'I can't do it, Alvin!  I can't play the part!  It's not enough to be beautiful and talented with a show like this.  Oh, why couldn't we have just done Grease?'

'Aww, Brittany, don't cry,' said Alvin, patting her awkwardly on the back.  'You can be funny if you just practise.'

'I can't!  I'm not an all-round entertainer like…'


'No one.'  She moved away from him suddenly, sniffed and wiped away the tears.  'I didn't mean that.  It's just… well, you were pretty funny on Saturday, weren't you?  How did you do that?  Weren't you worried about looking silly?'

'You mean "Welcome to the Sixties"?' said Alvin.  'Well, I wouldn't have done that for just anybody.  I was trying to make it fun for Theodore.  Maybe you need to think less about yourself and more about your audience.'  He went to the sofa where she had dropped her script, picked it up and flicked to 'Cooties' near the back.  'See, you won't look silly doing this unless you feel silly.  You could make this really good.'

'How do you know that?'

'Because I can just imagine how it should go.  Look, I'll tell you what.  Why don't I show you how I think you could perform this song so that everyone will laugh?  With you,' he added, 'not at you.'

'Really?' said Brittany.  'You'd do that for me, Alvin?'

'Sure, why not?  I'm in a helpful mood.  I already sewed like a thousand sequins on that dress for Theodore.  And before you ask, I'm not doing that for you too.'

'Just the song, then,' said Brittany, unable to keep from smiling.  'That would really help me out, Alvin - thank you!  Do you need a dress or a wig or anything?'

'No,' Alvin said pointedly, as he made his way to the CD player.  Then he thought for a moment, and said, 'Well, if you have one of those stiff skirt things from the sixties… that's what Amber wears, right?'

'Oh, sure, I have some of those in my vintage clothes collection,' said Brittany.  'Are you going to use it to do a dance or something?'

'Yes,' said Alvin, frowning in concentration at the lyrics.  'Well, maybe.'

'This ought to be good.'

'Yeah, well, you'll owe me big time.'


Over the next few weeks, Alvin helped Brittany with her solo a few times more, when she was in a frame of mind to ask him, and rehearsals at school began to go very well.  When he saw what Brittany had done with 'Cooties', Mr Rochelle began quietly instructing the female ensemble in how to back her up, and gave nothing away until they had performed a flawless rendition in full costume.

'Sweetheart,' he said, sitting three rows back from the stage and looking up at Brittany, his fingers pressed together and his face blank.  'There was never any question that you could sing in a trio with your sisters, lead a dance troupe or act like a brat.  But I did not know what to expect from that solo routine.  Well let me tell you, Brittany Miller, that was amazing!  You are Amber!  You live Amber!  That, my dear, was what we in the business call a rounded performance.  Brava!'

'Huh,' said Alvin, who was mooching around in the wings with Eleanor and Jeanette.  'I notice she doesn't give me credit for any of this.  She'd have been quick enough to blame me if Mr Rochelle hadn't liked it.'

'Perhaps she thinks you'd rather not have it spread around,' said Eleanor.  'You'd be the first to complain if she told anyone you taught her that comedy skirt-swish.'

'Yeah, well,' said Alvin, 'she doesn't have to go into details.  Just a little bit of gratitude would be nice.'

'Alvin,' said Jeanette, clearly having heard nothing of the conversation so far.  'My dress feels very tight around the underarms, especially when I do those three beats of the twist.  Do you think you could adjust it for me, please?'

'Well,' said Alvin, 'I'm not really doing - okay, fine, come over here.'

A second later, Brittany arrived to find Alvin with his arms around Jeanette's upper torso.  He smiled sheepishly at her, but she evidently felt no need to complain.  Instead she said, 'I think there could be a little more resistance in this skirt when I smack it around, Alvin.  Is there anything you can do about that?'

'I am not the costume department!' said Alvin.  'And let me make it clear that I don't actually like making clothes.  Ooh, Theodore, my dress looks great on you!'

'Thanks,' said Theodore, as he approached the group.

'Okay, people, get ready to rehearse the finale!' Mr Rochelle shouted to the auditorium at large.  'I need everyone on stage for this!  Tracy, Link, Amber, Velma, Corny Collins and ensemble - on you come right now, please.  Waiting in the wings I need Wilbur, Edna, Seaweed, Penny…  Penny!'

'That's you, Jeanette,' hissed Eleanor.

'Oh.'  Jeanette looked round, turning her attention away from Alvin's assault on her underarms.  'Yes, Mr Rochelle?'

'You should not be in your geek costume now!  We're doing the finale!'

'Oh.  Sorry.'

There was some delay as Jeanette disappeared into the costume cupboard.  She called for Alvin to follow her, and threw her chequered dress over the top of the door at him.  He then found a needle and thread and began solemnly making adjustments to the costume.

'Alvin!' cried Mr Rochelle.  'Enough costume making!  You are my Link!  Link Larkin does not sew!'

'Hey,' said Eleanor, appearing at Theodore's side.  'That dress really does look good, Theodore.  Do you think I could have it after we've done the show?'

'Of course, Eleanor,' said Theodore.  'I probably won't wear it again, so I don't think Alvin will mind.'

'No, no, no!' cried Mr Rochelle, as Jeanette stumbled out of the cupboard on high heeled shoes and almost fell onto Alvin's sewing needle.  'Surely you can walk in those shoes by now!  And take off your glasses!'

'Oh no, Mr Rochelle, I'm not ready!' cried Jeanette.

'Jeanette!' said Brittany, who had been wearing high heels all day, and she rushed over to her foundering sister.  'Remember what I told you.  Come on, let me walk you round the stage a few times.'

'Oh, we'll never be ready in time!' cried Mr Rochelle, practically weeping.  'I can't go through another Jekyll and Hyde - I just can't!'

'Eleanor,' said Theodore.  'I… I'm a little nervous about this finale.'

'We all are, Theodore.  Is there any special reason for you to be more nervous than the rest of us?'

'Well… it's the "I like the way I am" line.  I was feeling a lot better about playing Edna, but now we're getting so much closer to the real thing, I've started to remember why I was scared of performing to so many people.  Even if I do like the way I am, it feels weird to get up there in front of everyone and sing about how fat I am.'

'But Theodore,' said Eleanor, 'you're not singing about how fat you are.  You're singing about how confident you are, just like I am.'

'Playing Tracy doesn't scare you one little bit, does it?' Theodore said with a smile.

'Only as much as any other performance.  I'm proud to be playing somebody who knows that it's okay to be just whoever you are, whether you're fat or thin, black or white, rich or poor, human or chipmunk…'

'That's not really an issue in the show, is it?'

'Not at all,' said Eleanor.  'It's funny how I'm the only chipmunk character with chipmunk parents, isn't it?'

'Okay, she can walk!' said Mr Rochelle.  'Places, people!'

'Oop, that's me,' said Eleanor.

'Wait.'  Theodore grabbed her hand as she made to go.  'Eleanor, I'm feeling a little bit confident right now, so I just want to tell you… when we're rehearsing, and you tell me not to listen to people who just want to put me down because they're jerks… I know that's not just Tracy.  So what I'm trying to say is… well… thank you.'

'Oh, Theodore…'


Eleanor squeezed Theodore's hand, and then made her way to centre stage to begin the whole cast rendition of 'You Can't Stop the Beat'.


The performance at last took place on a clear, warm evening late in May.  The entire school day was spent in the preparation of the cast, the school orchestra, the props and scenery for the show.  Spectators began to arrive about half an hour before the show was scheduled to start.  As soon the auditorium started to fill, Theodore found himself peering through a small gap in the curtain, his brothers standing just behind him.

'Are you okay, Theodore?' Simon asked him.

'I'm fine, Simon,' Theodore said, in wavering tones.  'Just a little nervous.'

'Don't sweat it,' said Alvin.  'They'll all be looking at me.'

All three were in full costume, and Theodore had begun to feel rather self-conscious in the drab, frumpy dress he was to wear until he changed into Alvin's sequin-trimmed number about a third of the way into the show.  He was also aware that he would have to take the red dress off and put it on again, and concentrated on worrying about that.  Alvin was wearing a sixties-style jacket, tight jeans and a black wig with a kiss curl, while Simon had been kitted out in an unimaginative shirt and trousers.

'Here come Dave and Miss Miller,' said Theodore.  'Oh no, I can't remember any of my lines!'

'Calm down, Theodore,' said Simon, pulling his brother gently away from the curtain.  'This is completely normal.  Once we get started, it'll all come back to you.'

'Hi, boys!' called Brittany, waving as she approached with her sisters.  'Alvin, do you like my beehive?'

'Do I like your what?' asked Alvin.

'My hair.'

'Oh.  It's okay.'

Brittany scowled.

'You look like the sixties, Brittany,' said Theodore.

'Like Audrey Hepburn,' Simon added.

'I do, don't I?' said Brittany, smiling and patting her mound of stiffened hair.  Her costume was a lace-trimmed pink strapless dress with several layers of stiff, fanning knee-length skirts, and a pair of white high-heeled ankle boots.  Jeanette had on her simple chequered dress, which now fitted perfectly around her underarms, and her hair was in straggly pigtails.  Eleanor wore a pencil skirt and white blouse, and her hair had been ratted to about three times its usual size.

'Is that all yours, Eleanor?' asked Simon, indicating the back of her head.

'Right now it is,' said Eleanor.  She had, as everyone knew, a hairpiece lined up for when Tracy took her do to a new extreme halfway through Act One.  'Hairspray is the right name for this thing.  Brittany and I have used up an entire bottle each.'

'Places, everyone,' said Mr Rochelle, in a voice too low to be heard by the audience.  'Eleanor, I need you in that bed right now.  Everyone else, off, off, off!'

Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany and Jeanette scampered off to the wings with the rest of the cast, while Eleanor slipped into the prop bed in which she was to start the show.  The bed's surface faced the audience, and she stood behind the sheet with her head to one side and her eyes shut, giving the illusion of a bird's-eye view of her sleeping form.  Then, almost at once, the orchestra started playing the rousing intro to 'Good Morning Baltimore'.  Eleanor snapped her eyes open and began to sing.

'Oh, oh, oh, woke up today…'

In the wings, Jeanette leaned towards Brittany and whispered, 'Okay, Brittany?'

'Why wouldn't I be?' Brittany hissed back.

'Admit it,' Alvin said on her other side.  'It's killing you.'

Brittany silenced him with a slap on the arm.  Then soon enough, the other five chipmunks were needed on stage.  Eleanor's character had to drag Jeanette's home from school, where Theodore was doing his work as a laundress, so that they could watch - among others - Alvin and Brittany on TV in The Corny Collins Show.  Meanwhile, Simon's character arrived home from work on Theodore and Eleanor's part of the stage, said a few lines and went largely unnoticed by the audience.

No one ever knew that Theodore felt a little uncomfortable when, as Edna, he explained to Simon why he wanted to keep their chubby daughter away from the beauty-obsessed media.  He then provided backing, along with the other two mother characters, through the Chipettes' flawless rendition of 'Mama I'm a Big Girl Now'.

Next came another number from Eleanor, then one from the girl playing Brittany's mother, both backed up by other members of the cast.  Then came Alvin's big moment.  Everyone but Eleanor had to leave the stage while he sang 'It Takes Two' and pretended to play the guitar, Eleanor joining the vocals in the last verse.

'Look at Alvin, lapping up all that attention,' Brittany hissed to Jeanette.  'Doesn't it make you just sick?'

'Your moment's coming, Brittany,' Jeanette whispered back.  'You're doing the penultimate number, remember.  Everyone will remember that.'

The next song was 'Welcome to the Sixties'.  In this Eleanor, the girls playing The Dynamites and a few extras sang to Theodore about confidence and dressed him up in his Alvin Seville original.  Brittany's character had to antagonise Tracy and Edna after that, led by her mother.

'Well,' said the girl playing the part, looking down her nose, 'you'll stop traffic.'

'Bye, Tracy,' Brittany said nastily, before disappearing back into the wings.

'Now, Mama!' said Eleanor, as Theodore's face crumpled into a look of sheer misery.  'Don't you listen to one word she says!'

They walked off holding hands when the scene was over, and Theodore gave Eleanor's a quick squeeze before she had to get back on stage.  Brittany was in the next scene, attacking Eleanor during a dodgeball game.  Then she had to make way for scenes involving Eleanor, Jeanette, Alvin and the boy playing Seaweed.

'I'm not sure I like playing a character everybody hates,' Brittany said to Simon, when she found him waiting in a corner.  'Not all pretty girls are mean, you know - that's a negative stereotype.  I really hope we'll do Grease next year.  I can do pretty and sweet standing on my head.'

'You might not get picked for the lead,' said Simon, 'whatever we do.'

'No,' said Brittany.  'I never do, do I?  My beehive's not flagging, is it?'

'It looks stiff as a board to me.'


Brittany had to wait several minutes before going on stage to try and drag Alvin away from Eleanor and friends' civil rights demonstration.  This scene marked the end of Act One, with almost all of the female cast being arrested when the demonstration turned into a full-scale riot.

'Wow,' said Eleanor, sinking onto the first chair she could find.  'This show is exhausting!'

'You're doing beautifully, sweetheart,' said Mr Rochelle.  'Remember, we're more than halfway through!'

The second act was indeed shorter than the first.  It opened with a song from everyone who was in prison, then progressed through a reprise of 'Good Morning Baltimore', followed by the song Alvin, Eleanor and Jeanette sang with the boy playing Seaweed.  Soon after that came Simon and Theodore's rendition of 'You're Timeless to Me'.  Brittany sat through all of it looking twitchy, but then a powerful ballad about the arduous pursuit of a world without prejudice seemed to sober her.  Simon, who was also waiting in the wings, noticed her sudden loss of eagerness.

'Are you okay?' he asked her.

'My solo's coming up,' said Brittany.  'I'm just a little… well…'


'Is my beehive really okay?'

'It's fine, but I'll give you another squirt of hairspray if you want.'

'Oh, that would be wonderful.  Thank you, Simon.'

When at last Brittany came out to perform 'Cooties' on The Corny Collins show, the nerves did not show at all.  Alvin stood watching in the wings, biting his lip and giving nothing away.

'Tracy Turnblad,' Brittany said in her most obnoxious voice, 'this is for you.'

Then she began to sing, trying to maintain the comical silliness in her voice and swishing her skirts around stupidly, just as Alvin had shown her.

'Long tailed, sharp nailed, fuzzy legs, laying eggs…  Eww, get 'em away from me, get 'em away from me, ewww!' she squealed, frantically beating the imaginary 'cooties' off her skirt, whose buoyancy brought a whole extra dimension to the routine.  To Brittany's delight, everyone in the audience laughed.

Then it was a sprint to the finish.  After a few shenanigans involving the TV station's security staff, Eleanor turned up to lead the entire cast into the relentless 'You Can't Stop the Beat', which lasted for a good ten minutes with the occasional interruption by characters, including Alvin and Eleanor's kiss.

'Tracy, if I don't kiss you now I just might bust a gut.'

'Well, I certainly wouldn't want you to hurt yourself.'

They got through it like true professionals, and afterwards no one ever spoke of it again.  Meanwhile the newly glamorised Jeanette, without even her glasses to guide her, fell over in her high heels only once.  She was caught by Simon, with whom she had crossed paths perhaps once or twice during the performance.

'After all,' he said to her, as they walked off after the final curtain, 'you are my daughter's best friend.  It makes sense that we'd acknowledge one another.'


The after party was not as energetic as the one that had taken place after Mr Rochelle's last production.  Dave and Miss Miller found the Chipmunks and Chipettes sprawled on some gym equipment in a dark corner.

'Oh, girls, you were wonderful!' said Miss Miller.  'And Eleanor, you were in practically every scene!  You must be so proud of yourself.'

Eleanor, who was slumped over the top of the vaulting horse, answered with a groan.

'No song this time, guys?' asked Dave.

'We figured everyone had had enough songs for one night, Dave,' said Simon.

'I can never sing again,' said Eleanor.  'My voice hurts and my feet hurt and I absolutely insist that somebody else play the lead next year.'

'Maybe we should all put in a word for Grease,' said Brittany.

'Awesome!' said Alvin, with more energy than the others possessed.  'I can use the same wig again.  Well, I'd have to cut off the kiss curl, of course.'

'You're quite the costumer, aren't you, Alvin?' said Dave.  'I told you, didn't I?  The well trodden path -'

'Rarely leads to discovery,' said Alvin.  'I know.  But I'd just like to remind everyone that I do not like making clothes.  I just happen to be really, really good at it.'

'Thanks for adjusting my costume, Alvin,' said Jeanette.  'I was really quite comfortable right up until I had to change into that sparkly thing and high heels.'

'No problem,' said Alvin.  'What about you, Brittany?  Did your skirt have enough resistance?'

'I can't tell,' said Brittany.  'I'd have to watch my performance back.'

'Well,' said Alvin, 'I think it did.  I must have done a really good job, because that "Cooties" routine… well, it looked pretty good from where I was standing.'

They exchanged the briefest of smiles, then Alvin turned to his youngest brother and asked, 'How was it for you, Theodore?'

'Good,' said Theodore.  'It was good,' and he and Eleanor also exchanged a smile.

'Simon?' said Jeanette, turning to face him.

'I thought it was a great success,' said Simon.  'Everyone performed brilliantly.  Alvin, I absolutely bought your performance as a fame-obsessed young fool.'

'Why, thank you, Simon,' said Alvin.  'And I must say, you excelled yourself as a middle-aged man.'

'Well, isn't that just fine?' said Miss Miller.  'Now, if you kids are really all that tired, would you like us to just take you home?'

'Yes please, Miss Miller,' Eleanor said sleepily.

'And to think, Dave,' Alvin said, as they walked to the car.  'I didn't blow up the auditorium once!  In fact, I've been like a godsend throughout this whole thing, fixing people's costumes and helping them with their performances and stuff.  I think someone as selfless as that deserves some kind of a reward.'

'A reward isn't a reward if you ask for it, Alvin.'

'Who's asking?' said Alvin.  'It was merely an observation, Dave.'

'Well, we don't need to hear about it now.  Everyone's exhausted, so could you please just be quiet for a while?'

'Not if it means changing who I am.'


'You can't stop the beat, Dave.'

Here's a little fanfiction, for a change. This was fun, and very much influenced by my trip to see Hairspray in London a couple of years ago. If you know the show, you'll have some idea what's going on besides all the conflict etc., but hopefully this is a good read for AATC fans who don't know the show. (If it's the movie you know, please bear in mind that it's rather different from the stage show. :P)

Part 1 of 2 is here: [link]
© 2013 - 2021 ThornyEnglishRose
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GSnail's avatar
I've never watched Hairspray. Or Alvin and the chipmunks, actually. But I know the basics. And this was a really cute piece of fanfic!
ThornyEnglishRose's avatar
I thought everyone had watched at least a little bit of AATC. You freak! But anyway, thanks. :)
GSnail's avatar
I may have caught the end of one of the movies, they were singing "everything's gonna be alright" , but the rest is pop cultural osmosis.