This Friday May 20th, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers premieres on Disney+, over 30 years after its initial TV debut as part of Disney Channel’s Saturday morning cartoon lineup. We rejoin our favorite Chipmunk duo (the SUPERIOR chipmunks) as they adapt to a world that has left them behind. Now, we have been asked to refrain from spoilers, cameos, character developments and detailed story points, so how on earth can I convey the greatness of this film? Well, hop into our own Ranger Plane and take a gander at our spoiler-free review!
Growing up as a child of the 80’s, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers was a part of my own weekend routine. Nestled in front of the TV with cereal that had enough sugar to fuel a rocket, my eyes were glued to the rodent crew of Gadget, Monterey Jack, Chip, and Dale, with their insect pal Zipper in tow as well. Chip and Dale were the obvious stars of the show, with Chip sporting the Indiana Jones ensemble of leather jacket and fedora, while Dale donned a Magnum PI inspired Hawaiian Shirt. However, when this team came together each week for whatever ridiculous situation they got themselves into, it was pure magic for my young eyes. There are plenty of similar cartoons that could find themselves in need of a reboot, but what works here is the lovability of the characters, and the way the filmmakers have effortlessly transported them to present day.
Reflecting on their own series short-lived nature, three decades later, we now find Chip and Dale have ditched their high-pitched squeaks for the voice talents of John Mulaney (Chip) and Andy Samberg (Dale). Although they separated due to the nature of the film industry, the two find themselves back together to look for an old friend. It’s plain to see that while Chip has remained his old animated self, Dale went the route of re-invention with some ‘CGI-surgery’ in an attempt to reignite his brand. There is definitely still some magic left in the Rangers Detective Agency as they trek across town, interacting with many forms of animation, and a treasure trove of cameos for eagle-eyed viewers. The film is interesting enough to keep kids happy, funny enough to keep adults entertained, with some splashes of nostalgia for both parties to enjoy as well.
The concern for those whose childhood memories lie with the cast of the 80s will be happy to know that both Mulaney and Samberg honor their counterparts, and create something new for the next generation of audiences. There is so much in this film to unpack, but for now, we will stick to our promise made to Disney, and simply encourage everyone to see for themselves. This hybrid live-action/CG animated action-comedy is well worth a viewing. For my fellow fans of the original, know that there’s no case too big, no case too small, when you need help just sit down and watch Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers this Friday May 20th on Disney +.