‘Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers’ is a new look for Disney+

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) Review Thread (WARNING Spoilers: RT  82%, MC: 68) | ResetEra

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022)

Directed by Akiva Schaffer

On the first day of third grade—the day the titular chipmunks first meet—Chip’s mom (or was it Dale’s?) tells her son, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk at all.” It’s a motif that’s repeated throughout “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” based on the short-lived cartoon from 1989-1990. And it’s a motto the Mouse House must have been telling itself when it created (and released on Disney Plus, of all places) this winkingly self-referential movie for millennials. That’s not to say young kids won’t get a kick out of some of the movie’s slapstick humor, but a movie that begins with a tongue-in-cheek joke about 18th-century cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale can only be so much fun for an eight-year-old…right?

Chip and Dale (voiced by John Mulaney and Andy Samberg) were on top of the world in 1990, when their series “Rescue Rangers” was a huge sensation. But when Dale was cast in a new show without his friend, their series ended and the pair became estranged. Years pass before Chip and Dale are brought back together by an old costar, Monterey Jack (voiced by Eric Bana), who’s now in some financial trouble. Jack, an animated mouse, got himself addicted to stinky cheese. He got so hooked, he borrowed some money from a notorious gang led by Sweet Pete (voiced by Will Arnett). Shortly after their reluctant reunion, Chip and Dale hear about Jack’s disappearance and decide to help the police (including a Gumby rip-off voiced by J.K. Simmons and an IRL KiKi Layne) find Jack and some other old toons who have gone missing. (From the start, I was reminded of 2018’s flawed but underrated “The Happytime Murders,” which saw a world where Muppets and humans lived side-by-side. In that movie, too, old crime-solving partners teamed up to save stars of an old cartoon.)

CHIP 'N DALE: RESCUE RANGERS Trailer Is a Goofy Nostalgia Trip - Nerdist

“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” pulls from an endless number of intellectual properties, including many that Disney doesn’t own (at least, not that I’m aware of). It’s a movie full of fun character cameos, but sometimes I wished the ones with speaking parts would’ve been voiced by the actors who played them before. When Dale sees Baloo at a fan convention, you dare to hope that he’s voiced by Bill Murray, like he was in Disney’s 2016 remake. Nevertheless, I had fun trying to spot all the random characters this movie incorporates. But with so many shows and movies to pull from, I would have loved a movie that incorporated more of them in bigger roles. Really milk it for all its worth. We spot Phineas and Ferb’s mom briefly in the background of a shot, so what was stopping the movie from letting Perry the Platypus play the cop that assists Chip and Dale on the case? The knowledge that nobody cares about a Disney Channel show that ended seven years ago, I guess. But I would have enjoyed it!

“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” is a lot of fun for anyone who recognizes most of the characters. If you don’t, its severe mix of animation styles might be jarring. Disney took a risk, I think, with this movie. I’m curious how it performs on their streaming service. But for the culturally literate, “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” has a lot of fun in store.

7/10

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