Birthday Star 01

From Cheese-E-Pedia


Birthday Star 01

Release Date: 2001
Length: 2:47

Released On:

SVHS (R12 '93+)
SVHS (3-Stage '93+)
DVD (Cyberamics)
DVD (3-Stage)
DVD + Floppy (Studio C)


Birthday Star 2001 is a birthday show produced exclusively for Chuck E. Cheese's in January 2001.

It is the third edition of the long-running Birthday Star show (not counting the re-issue of Birthday Star '95 in September 1998) and succeeded both Birthday Star '95 and Birthday Star '98. In essence, it is a modernized version of the latter show as by this point the Disney-era voice acting and instrumentation was incredibly outdated and no longer representative of the current direction and image of the shows. Directed by Jeremy Blaido and featuring the then-current cast of voice actors, Birthday Star 2001 made its debut alongside the January 2001 show.

Upon its release, Birthday Star 2001 was released on three formats for the three main show types in stores at the time. For the 3-Stage and CEC Stage, (R12) versions of the show, it was released on CyberStar SVHS tapes paired up alongside whatever live show was valid at the time and separated by a birthday break. For the Studio C version of the show, it was released on a DVD + Floppy disk combo and would be queued up on command from the Studio C Manager Panel. In addition to the two main stage types, Birthday Star 2001 was also included in the January 2001 Road Show CD, the first birthday show to do so. Road Shows were live shows that took place outside of the showroom and stores were provided with CD boomboxes to play live shows anywhere in the restaurant.

In April 2002, it would be joined by a new birthday show written from the ground up simply titled New Birthday, the first time since the 1980s in which different birthday shows were valid for play at the same time at Chuck E. Cheese's locations. True to the established longevity of Birthday Star, it would end up outliving New Birthday and would remain valid for play in stores until January 2008 when it was officially replaced by Birthday Extravaganza. As of 2022, it currently holds the record for the single longest-running birthday show, valid non-stop officially for exactly 7 years.

Summary

Birthday Star 2001 is a modernized update of Birthday Star '95 and builds on the foundation established by that show. Barring a couple additional lines it is lyrically identical to its predecessor and contains the same time signature and hip-hop styled beat. Instrumentally, however, it goes for a jazz and R&B inspired style akin to the instrumentation of the shows being produced at the time, featuring eclectic drum rolls, crooning organs and bombastic horns throughout.

The show opens with a jazzy horn fanfare as the curtains open and Chuck E. Cheese emerges from his dressing room and greets the birthday stars and their guests. As the music begins to play, Chuck E. says "Oh boy, I just love birthday parties. And look, there's the guest of honor!" and begins dancing with the birthday stars lined up in front of the stage. Chuck E. and the band then shout "Haaaapppyy Birthday!" with Chuck E. then quipping "Come on, let's celebrate!" Each of the band members then follow with their own interjections; Munch exclaims "Yeah, let's bring out that birthday cake", followed by Pasqually shouting "Now clap your hands, who is followed by Jasper shouting "Get on your feet" and finally Helen shouts "We're gonna share a special treat!". The band leads the audience in the famous call-and-response identical to that from Birthday Star '95. Chuck and Helen say "We say happy, you say birthday! Happy! *birthday* Happy! *birthday*" with Munch, Jasper and Pasqually responding with "Birthday!" alongside the audience. Chuck E. proceeds with "Clap your hands, *clap clap clap* and stomp your feet *stomp stomp stomp* and the band leads into the song's chorus. Chuck E. and the band lead into the happy birthday chant once more, followed by Jasper singing the bridge as Chuck E. dances with the crowd of kids. Chuck E. and the band then exclaim "Now let's not think ahead that far, today you are a birthday star!" with a reprise of the happy birthday chant performed afterwards same as before. Chuck E. then leads the audience into singing the traditional happy birthday song, instructing "Alright everybody, let's sing happy birthday! 1, 2, 3!" and the band sings the traditional happy birthday song as the party hosts light the birthday candles. With the song sang, the band prepares the birthday stars to blow out their candles as the piano slowly crescendos note by note. The birthday stars blow out their candles and the entire showroom gives them a thunderous applause. Without missing a beat, the band breaks out in a reprise of the chorus, then again in a higher key, and finally they lead the audience in the birthday chant one last time. As the show reaches its finale, the song has another key change as the band join together and sing "Happy birthday from Chuck E., happy birthday to you! Yeah!" The song is closed out by an emphatic trumpet blast and the audience gives a round of applause as the curtains close and Chuck E. returns to his dressing room.

Voice cast

  • Duncan Brannan - Chuck E. Cheese
  • Annagrey Labasse - Helen Henny
  • John Bowen - Mr. Munch
  • Jeremy Blaido - Jasper T. Jowls
  • Earl Fisher - Pasqually the Chef

Showtape Release

Birthday Star 2001 was released in January 2001 alongside the January 2001 show. It was released on CyberStar S-VHS tapes for 3-Stages and CEC Stages, on DVD + Floppy for Studio C shows and on CD for road shows. The show would continue to be included with new shows as is, even after the release of New Birthday, for several years. Starting with the Holiday 2004 show, Chuck E. Cheese's would begin to transition existing stages from using S-VHS tapes to DVDs for playing show data. While DVDs had been in use for Studio C since August 1999 mostly out of necessity due to the overwhelming production costs of LaserDiscs, it had been decided to transition 3-Stages and CEC Stages to DVD as VHS was falling out of favor as an archaic fragile format and DVD costs were continuing to go down. Birthday Star 2001 would be included on CyberStar DVD shows beginning with the first one in November 2004. As was the case with Studio C, the birthday show was included on the same disc as the main show and would not require a separate disc for live shows and birthday shows. As the transition progressed slowly over the next two years, VHS shows continued to be produced for stores that hadn't transitioned yet and remained valid for play. The last known VHS show to be issued was the January 2007 show, however it is presumed that the VHS version of Birthday Star 2001 remained valid through the rest of the show's run.

Birthday Star 2001 and New Birthday would remain valid for play well into the 2000s. In the summer of 2007, select test markets were issued a new birthday show titled Birthday Extravaganza, with additional stores receiving it through the end of the year. In January 2008, both shows were officially discontinued and invalidated across all stage types and Birthday Extravaganza was rolled out company wide as the new standard birthday show.

Release Year Showtape Format
2001 VHS Tape - January 2001 - January 2008 3-Stage Post-93, R12 Post-93
2001 January 2001 show - CEC Happy Holidays 2007 Studio C DVD + Floppy
2001 Road Show CD - January 2001 - 2007? Road Show CD
2004 CEC Happy Holidays 2004 - CEC Happy Holidays 2007 3-Stage DVD, CEC Stage DVD