Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers launches on Disney+ on Friday, May 20th.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is an animated pop culture extravaganza, a fast and fun roller coaster ride into a whirlwind of cartoon characters, with clever gags, inventive action and enough heart and depth to make a story stick.
Directed by The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer. this A Rescue Rangers Special Outing is a meta affair portraying the famous chipmunk BFFs as actors who starred in the Rescue Rangers television series decades earlier. Now, appropriately washed up in typical E! In true Hollywood story fashion (thanks to Dale’s attempt at a solo career), Chip and Dale must bury the past to rekindle their friendship and truly save the day.
This hybrid piece of live-action/animated silliness is perhaps the closest thing to a follow-up to 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and not just because Roger Rabbit himself makes a brief appearance. This is a world — a Los Angeles, to be more precise — where people and cartoons coexist, and where every cartoon that makes it big in show business films their movies just like any other cast member, except on an animated set. It is by no means an exaggeration to imagine what Roger Rabbit’s LA would look like 70 years later.
Oh, and let’s not forget the seedy underbelly of La La Land, which is the other noir element present here that contributes to the Roger Rabbit vibes. Not everything in the cartoon world is hand-drawn sunshine and computer-generated puppies. Criminal activity is afoot, and when Chip and Dale’s former Rescue Rangers co-star Monterey Jack (Eric Bana) goes missing, the estranged friends reunite to rescue him amid stinky cheese vendors, Muppet patrons -Fighting and tracking down a gangland run by smugglers. No, no illicit alcohol – bootleg animated films featuring kidnapped performers now look like fakes for foreign markets.
John Mulaney and Andy Samberg voice Chip and Dale, respectively. Mulaney lends his analytical, deranged demeanor to Chip’s cerebral idea-maker, while Samberg gives his man his all as Dale, the duo’s impulsive jerk. Will Arnett is there as the villain (which makes this film feel like a Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands reunion of sorts), while the rest of the voice cast features recognizable efforts from Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, JK Simmons, and Tim Robinson. Tress MacNeille, original voice actor for the Rescue Rangers, reprises her role as Gadget, while KiKi Layne literally towers over the proceedings as an inexperienced police detective, helping our heroes solve the case. It’s a strong cast able to pull off the quick jokes – as well as a nicely placed part from Seth Rogen (which incorporates his story in animated voiceovers).
However, it’s not the cast that deserves the most attention — it’s the sheer shock of the intellectual property collision. Of course, this isn’t a new trick. In 1988, Roger Rabbit Disney churned us out with Warner Bros. mixed with King Features Syndicate, Fleischer Studios and more, but the studios were less hording and more open to sharing a minor hit back when animation overall was underway. Now we have things like Ready Player One and Space-Jam: A New Legacy that bring audiences crossover battle royales on a scale we never dreamed of. And yet, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers surprises on that front. There will be a few tense attempts at humor with every meta-project, and this story isn’t entirely devoid of that, but for the most part the tongue-in-cheek jokes and use of cartoon cameos are on point, filling the world with expansive ideas rather than one-offs To roll one’s eyes.
The human story — or chipmunk story, actually — at the heart of this madness revolves around two friends who put aside old differences and rediscover the spark that first made them friends. That arc doesn’t resonate as strongly as it could have, given the world of quirky claymation cops, Coca-Cola polar bear henchmen, fan conventions with the likes of Lumière and Tigra, and other gags taking precedence, but it always does still cute enough balance the film and tone down the banter, and together Mulaney and Samberg deliver some very funny banter. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a much better and far more fun animated hodgepodge than some of its recent predecessors.
https://www.ign.com/articles/chip-n-dale-rescue-rangers-review-disney-plus Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers Review