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Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) – Review – A Delightful Film That Features a Bunch of Fun Surprises

May 19, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B+ – Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a lot of fun. There’s loads of cheeky non-Disney cameos, big laughs, and a wild amount of welcome nostalgia. If you’re looking for a Who Framed Roger Rabbit meets The Lonely Island mashup, it doesn’t get any better.

I have no idea why, but Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers went completely under my radar until I received the screener for it. After reading the synopsis, combing through the stacked cast of voice talent, and learning that Akiva Schaffer directed it, I knew I was in for a treat. I’m a big fan of the Schaffer and Jorma Taccone’s films Hot Rod, Popstar Never Stop Never Stopping, MacGruber and The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, so I knew the experience would be an entertaining one. The movie doesn’t disappoint as it combines old school animation techniques, with CGI characters, and sprinkles in likable actors who try their best to be 1/10th as good as Bob Hoskins was when he acted next to nothing in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (he should’ve received an Oscar nomination – Listen to our WFRR episode!).

The movie takes place in a universe where Chip (John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg) are actors who appeared in the show Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, which aired from 1988 until1990. The duo met in elementary school and formed a bond because they were the only chipmunks in the school and didn’t have any other friends. The two lived in a suburbia where animated and human characters coexist and you see tiny two-story homes (that are quite large for the chipmunks) next to regular-sized homes meant for humans. It’s the kind of world where chipmunks have chipmunk-sized cars that drive alongside regular-sized vehicles, and there are skyscrapers meant for rodents that stand next to regular skyscrapers. This isn’t a segregated world like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where the toons have ToonTown, and the humans have their own area, this is a fully united world where I kept worrying that the tiny lead characters would be squashed at any moment. Oh yeah, it’s worth noting that Dale undergoes CGI surgery to look less two-dimensionally animated. It’s a beautiful idea that makes me smile whenever I think about it. 

The plot revolves around Chip and Dale reuniting to help a friend after decades of not speaking to each other. After finding success with Rescue Rangers in the late 80s and early 90s, Dale, tired of playing second banana to Chip, drops Rescue Rangers, and accepts the lead role on a spy show that didn’t make it past its pilot episode. Without Dale, Rescue Rangers was canceled, so Chip left show business and became a successful insurance salesperson who enjoys listening to heavy metal music. Decades later, the two are reunited when Monterrey Jack (Eric Bana) is kidnapped by shady businessman Sweet Pete (Will Arnett), and his uncanny valley-eyed henchman Bob the Warrior Viking (Seth Rogen – very funny) and forced to act in Pete’s knockoff movies (Think Dip and Snail: Helping Officers level knockoffs) because he couldn’t pay back his cheese debts (I love this movie). What follows is a Los Angeles-based detective film that features terrible whale raps, wild amounts of cameos, and a detective named Ellie (Kiki Layne) who may or may not be as helpful as she seems. 

Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers isn’t afraid to get weird, and has a very playful side that showcases the vocal talents of Samberg, Mulaney, Arnett, and J.K. Simmons. The idea of animated characters being forced to act in cheap knockoff movies is inspired, and the amount of mockery aimed at Disney is surprising because it’s a Disney movie. It’s nice that the film relies on funny gags that involve Sonic the Hedgehog and his teeth from the wildly maligned first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog, and a gumby character who keeps getting things stuck in him. There’s so much going on that a second viewing is almost mandatory if you like the movie. 

Final thoughts – Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a delight.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2022 4:26 pm

    Wow! I would have never watched this one unless the kids whined. Now I’ll point it out to them. Sounds like fun. Thank you.

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