Unfortunately for parents, this is one of those movies we have to slog through and fake laugh for the sake of our children. It’s not torturous, thanks to the svelte 85-minute running time.

The latest in the Alvin and the Chipmunks anthology, “Chipwrecked” comes on the heels of a particularly strong family film season with the “Muppets” reboot, “Arthur Christmas,” “Hugo” and the soon-to-be-released “The Adventures of TinTin.” All those movies are vastly superior to the latest chapter of rodent antics from the helium-voiced singing and dancing chipmunks.


Unfortunately for parents, this is one of those we have to slog through and fake laugh for the sake of our children. It’s not torturous, thanks to the svelte 85-minute running time. And while older children might be clued in to the cheesy computer-generated critters and bored with the one-note jokes, the 6-and-younger set will have the most fun watching the mischievous Alvin raise hell – and his “dad” Dave’s blood pressure – by squirting grownups with water guns, and other physical gags that only go so far.


Onboard a cruise ship for their third big-screen adventure, the Chipmunks – Alvin, Simon and Theodore and the Chipettes (Brittany, Eleanor and Jeanette) – accidentally go overboard and end up marooned on a remote island (chipwrecked, get it?). Their human friends, Dave Seville (Jason Lee) and their nemesis, the smarmy record executive Ian (David Cross), set out to find them. While on the island, the gang meets up with a demented treasure hunter named Zoe (SNL alum Jenny Slate). Cross’s villain makes a decent foil for nice-guy Dave. And Lee again taps into those likable-lunkhead qualities exemplified in his hit TV series, “My Name Is Earl.”


Back providing the voices of the Chipmunks and Chipettes are Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate.


Directed by Mike Mitchell, this entry has less song-and-dance than its predecessors and is more narrative driven, which makes the proceedings much less grating. The script written by “Kung Fu Panda” scribes Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger is infused with corny nods to pop culture (follow me on Critter) and a few jokes (one about Alvin’s acorns) that sail right over the kiddies’ collective heads. There’s also a running spoof of Tom Hanks deserted-island flick, “Cast Away,” that’s somewhat inspired. There’s also nods to other stranded-on-island stories like “Lost,” “Gilligan’s Island” and “Lord of the Flies,” which is all a bit deep for a Chipmunks flick, but nonetheless appreciated.


In between the G-rated mischief making, the big conflict is between Alvin and Dave. Alvin wants Dave to lighten up; Dave wants Alvin to be more responsible. Once trapped on the island, though, it’s all hands on deck working together to be safe and to get rescued – all good lessons for kids and parents.


Dana Barbuto may be reached at dbarbuto@ledger.com.


ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED (Rated G). Cast includes Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate. 2 stars out of 4.