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|“||Dave, we go way back. We both come a long way since college. You, not so much. I wanted to like that song, but, you heard it... not that good. If I wasn't your friend, I'd say, "Dave, you go right back out of this office and you keep writing music, you'll get there someday." But I am your friend, so I'm going to tell you that there is no sense in writing songs that no one is ever, ever, going to sing.||„|
|~ Ian criticizing Dave's song.|
Ian Hawke is the main antagonist of Alvin and the Chipmunks and its sequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and the secondary antagonist-turned-anti-hero in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. He is Dave Seville's best friend and temporary enemy and Alvin Seville's former arch-nemesis.
Ian was always quite an arrogant and unpleasant individual. However, he was also not quite bad enough to be considered a true villain; but this changed when Alvin and the Chipmunks started to become popular in the first film and his greed began to shine through, quickly revealing him for the control freak he truly was. Ian was a heartless bully, a shameless glory-hound, and above all else, a man who would go to any lengths to get what he desired — caring very little for anyone else (he is also, arguably, a parody of the music industry itself, treating his "stars" badly and using them to boost his own career).
By Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Ian's personality had darkened considerably and while he still managed to convince the Chipettes that he was a "good" guy and that the Chipmunks are evil (and that Alvin had literally spat on him, which definitely was not true), he was much quicker to reveal his true colors — being obsessed with regaining power and being openly abusive towards the girls. At the end of the sequel, it is hinted that Ian has gone slightly insane as he desperately tries to cling to fame, even when being booed off the stage by his once adoring public.
Ian is a short, balding man wearing glasses. He usually dresses in business suits. In Chipwrecked, his dress style was somewhat more casual. He also has crooked bottom teeth.
Since college, Ian was Dave's roommate. However, he is no longer roommates with him, but is instead his "best friend" (but not a true one). This eventually led to Dave and Ian's bitter rivalry, thus breaking their friendship. However, in the third film, he starts off as Dave's rival, and later reforms and somehow becomes friends again with Dave, the Chipmunks, and the Chipettes.
Alvin and the Chipmunks
In the first film, Ian is 43 years old, he is visited by Dave, who presents a song he wants produced to Ian. However, he refuses and bluntly tells Dave that he thinks it is bad and he hated it. He proceeds to tell Dave that he should quit writing music that he thinks no one will ever sing or give attention to.
Once again, Dave visits Ian to present to him Alvin and the Chipmunks in order to convince him that they would be JETT Records' next big hit. Unfortunately, the audition goes horribly as the nervous trio refuse to sing because of intense stage fright. He is unknown until the end of the film.
Later on, in his house, Ian hears a door bell and thinks it is just kids. It happens upon the Chipmunks who sing Ian "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" and greatly impress him and make him realize that Dave was right. He welcomes them into JETT Records and later calls Dave in the supermarket, calling him his favorite songwriter and to tell him of the song's success and also informing him of the video that got 10,000,000 hits on YouTube. Later, at a Christmas concert, Ian tries to convince Dave to let him work with the Chipmunks. However, Dave quickly realizes that Ian would only exploit the Chipmunks and refuses, as well as pretending not to hear his proposition. This angers Ian and he warns Dave not to go against him, further claiming that he never loses. He later tries to manipulate the Chipmunks by telling them that Dave is holding them back and that he could be making them 20,000,000 dollars a day and that Dave doesn't view them in a positive light. At Dave's house, after an argument and a misunderstanding with Dave as Dave tells the Chipmunks that Ian isn't their uncle and that they should live with Ian instead of Dave since they like Ian, a heartbroken group of Chipmunks contact Ian to see if they can live with him.
When the Chipmunks move in with Ian, life at first seems grand as they are given a plentiful amount of toys and activities without any rules. However, things begin to take a turn for the worse as Ian begins to overwork and exhaust them. Finally, at the concert in Los Angeles, Dave wants to visits the Chipmunks, but is flatly refused by Ian. Ian then further hurts the Chipmunks' feelings by claiming that Dave sent back tickets for their concert. Dave later attempts to sneak into the Chipmunks' performance, but he is blocked by security guards. Claire, however, sneaks Dave in by pretending that he is a journalist for a local magazine and giving him a press pass. When Dave enters the theater and calls out their names, the overjoyed group of Chipmunks quickly realize that Ian had lied to them and proceed to ruin the show and cause significant amounts of chaos.
Despite their efforts, Ian manages to once again capture the Chipmunks and quickly whisks them away in a cat cage. However, they easily escape and trick Ian with their doll doppelgängers and reconcile with Dave. As Ian is chauffeured away toward the airport, Ian discovers the dolls and proceeds to yell in defeat. In a post-credits scene, it is revealed that the Chipmunks' escape cost Ian the world tour, as well as his career and fortune. So he tries to get three squirrels to sing, but, of course, fails.
In the second film, Ian is depicted as a shadow of his former self: Jobless, as well as broke. It seems that he is such a poor state that he even eats a piece of muffin that had been in the garbage and a rat had gotten hold of. However, Ian ends up as the adoptive father, caregiver, and manager of the Chipettes. But he only adopted them to get revenge on the Chipmunks and he kept this a secret and didn't tell the Chipettes. The two bands later met up at school, but Alvin and Brittany were the only ones that ended up distrusting each other (until Alvin saves her and her sisters from Ian). Throughout the film, Ian manipulated the Chipettes into believing the Chipmunks were evil and that Alvin literally spat on him. Despite this, he still wanted only the "B-girl" (Brittany) as a star and didn't allow Jeanette and Eleanor on Brittany's way. Turning on Ian, Brittany crosses her arms and refuses to perform without Jeanette and Eleanor as they are a family and proceeds to jump off of Ian's hand and lock hands with her sisters.
Ian nonchalantly accepts this and then asks if they like barbecues with a fake smile, earning confused looks from the Chipettes. Suddenly, Ian roughly grabs them by their tails, hurting them, and leaves them dangling. Ian then threatens to cook them in a barbecue restaurant if they don't do as he says. Terrified, the Chipettes are forced to follow Ian's orders. Once again, Ian loses his fortune after the Chipettes escape just as the Chipmunks did in the first film. He is last seen defeated when he got hit by Alvin's motorcycle.
At the end, tries to pass on on the Chipettes at Staples center, but the crowd boos him. Security guards are called and drag Ian away and tosses him into a dumpster.
In the third film, Ian is now working as an employee on the cruise ship, dressed up as a pelican. He tries to crack the Chipmunks and Chipettes' relationship with Dave and ruin his life. Ian, knowing that the Chipmunks get in trouble a lot, keeps watch over them and reports any misbehavior he spots to the point were the Chipmunks and Chipettes are only allowed to play shuffle boarding.
Alvin and the others tie a kite to Dave's chair, but the kite gets out of control and pulls the chair overboard. Dave runs to a paraglider, but Hawke refuses to let Dave cut in the line waiting to use it. After a brief struggle, the two end up falling off the boat as well. Stranded on the ocean, Hawke spots an island the two float there. Although they initially cannot get along or agree on a plan, Ian does, in a way, re-kindle his relationship with Alvin and his brothers, along with Dave and the Chipettes by helping Dave rescue the chipmunks and the Chipettes.
After Zoe is revealed to be hunting for treasure and tries to use Jeanette to help her, the island starts erupting and everyone flees. Dave falls off the log connecting the two cliffs on the island together, barely holding on. Zoe, angry that her treasure lost forever, attempts to throw Dave off. Ian enters, and convinces Zoe to help Dave up instead, and not let revenge consume her, as it did with him. At the end of the film, when the Chipmunks and Chipettes perform at the International Music Awards, Dave and a fully redeemed Ian work together with them to keep them famous and happy, becoming friends again. Ian says that he sold Zoe's story to Hollywood, which resulted in a massive bidding war, which finally earned Ian his fame and wealth back.
Powers and Abilities
Ian does not possess any superhuman or mystical powers, being an ordinary human — however, he was once a rather successful and rich businessman with great power, which he lost because of his own bullying nature: By the Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel, Ian had been reduced to a pathetic excuse for a human being so devoid of power he was literally forced to wrestle with rats for food, though he was still good at manipulation (though he was considerably more skilled at it in the first film, his bitterness in the sequel making him a much more obvious villain). In the third film, Ian's personality hasn't changed. However, in the end, he somewhat restores his friendship with Dave, the Chipmunks, and the Chipettes and isn't evil and sneaky.
- Ian is believed to be the live-action film version of "Uncle" Harry.
- Hawke has appeared in every Alvin and the Chipmunks film except for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip.
- James Suggs is the new main antagonist of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. Suggs is similar to Ian, but he has bigger plans than him.
- Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was the last CGI film to feature David Cross as Ian Hawke.