The Chipmunks found her after days of searching. Alvin gets upset because he didn't understand why she abandoned them. Their mother explains that the year she abandoned them there was a horrible winter and all of the animals in the forest were forced to leave their homes. She realized that her boys wouldn't survive the journey if she brought them with her, so she decided to leave them with a nice man who was always kind to the forest animals, Dave Seville. She told them that when spring came, she would finally return to get them but she saw how happy they were with Dave and thought they would be better off with him.
Vinny is a kind, good-natured chipmunk. She appears to have a somewhat more "wild" mindset than her boys, as she seems to be like a fish out of water when she comes to visit the boys in the city. She is very protective of her children and defended them from a wild boar. Her favorite soup is acorn soup.
Vinny lives alone in the woods, in a house constructed within a hollowed out tree. Her birth is unknown as are her parents, though it's possible that Grandpa, from the Easter special The Easter Chipmunk, is her father. Her age is never specified, but she is obviously old enough to have children and to live on her own. The Chipmunks' biological father has never been seen, mentioned, or referenced.
She wears a blue dress and has green eyes. She is also shown to wear glasses, like Simon, although it does not appear that she needs them like he does. Vinny also wears a locket around her neck. Inside there is a photo of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore as babies.
She has a beautiful singing voice, a hint at where the boys' talent came from, and the only song she has sung by herself is named after her; a lullaby she wrote for the boys called "Vinny's Lullaby."
- In the first CGI/live action film Alvin and the Chipmunks, Simon states that chipmunks only care for their young for a week while Alvin adds that their parents were hippies and left early to join a commune, a contradiction to everything Vinny says to the boys.