‘Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers’ Review: A Reboot Worth Watching

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For those who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers was a childhood staple. The show seemed always paired in a Disney four-pack, along with Darkwing Duck, Ducktales, and Tail Spin. You could find me every Saturday Morning with my bowl of Fruity Pebbles and my color-changing spoon, completely mesmerized by these Disney classics.

So when Disney announced a Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers film reboot, you could say I was worried. Would this movie honor the legacy of this show, or would it feel like a money grab? I was unsure about how I felt about the film, even after I started watching it. But let’s jump into the Ranger Plane and fly off together, as we explore Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers the movie!

[Warning: Spoilers from Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers are Below!]

Chip ‘N Dale to the rescue once again!

These aren’t the same chipmunks from Disney’s vault. Long ago they were brothers, however, this story begins with Chip (John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg) finding each other at school. In a world inhabited by both humans and cartoons alike, the two form a friendship that seems unbreakable.

Grown-up, the dynamic duo moves to Hollywood with dreams of becoming stars, which eventually leads to Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers. The same show from my childhood, which is only the beginning of the Chip ‘N Dale metaverse.

Like many successful groups who rise quickly in stardom, Dale lands a solo show, effectively canceling Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers and his friendship with Chip. Thirty years later, the two Chipmunks have moved on with their lives, with Dale working the fan convention circuit, longing for a return to fame with a Chip ‘N Dale reboot, while Dale works as an insurance salesman, living with a dog ten times his size. 

Chip (John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg) in Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney)

Both seemed relatively set in their adult lives, that is until they receive a call from their friend Monterey Jack (voiced by Eric Bana), a co-star in their show.

Monterey Jack, appearing disheveled, informs Chip and Dale that he owes a ton of money to the Valley Gang, led by Peter Pan (voiced by Will Arnett), due to his stinky cheese addiction. Chip is reluctant to help at first, especially about working once again with Dale, but the two are thrust into the mystery after Monterey Jack is kidnapped.

With both new allies and old friends, Chip and Dale set out to find their old friend and perhaps save the toons of the world from becoming second-rate knock-offs in the process. Together, they not only save the day but discover the magic of Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers once again!

The Best Bits in Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers

I was pleasantly surprised but the quality of the film and the story. Telling a story about the Rescue Rangers, but in a world where the Rescue Rangers are also a show, could have easily been a mess. In my experience, movies that take a similar approach never seem quite right. However, Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers seemed to pull it off spectacularly.

The story had a great balance of humor and action, with the Disney charm that was present in the original series. It also had a lot of heart, which is usual for a Disney movie, but felt even more special in this reboot.

The changes in voice actors from the original series at first felt out of place, but within the first twenty minutes or so, I completely forgot that Mulaney and Samberg are new to voicing Chip and Dale. Both embodied the distinct personalities of Chip and Dale perfectly, creating the same dynamic I remember from my childhood. It was exciting to see Chip and Dale in similar and yet extremely different circumstances than we have seen them before.

Something that I totally wasn’t expecting when I went into this movie was the sheer amount of cameos from other cartoon characters. Like sure, I expected some Disney ones, but come on, who could have predicted the appearance of Ugly Sonic.

It cracked me up that Disney was able to add so much humor with appearances from characters owned by other studios. Not only was Ugly Sonic one of the best parts of the entire film, but it also shows that studios can work together to make great content. There doesn’t have to be just one studio winning, all studios can win if they work together.

LtR Monterey Jack (Eric Bana), Chip (John Mulaney), Dale (Andy Samberg), Zipper (Dennis Haysbert), and Gadget (Tress MacNeille)

Problems for the Rescue Rangers to solve

As much as I enjoyed the film, the story itself felt a little chaotic. It moved quickly from scene to scene, like a mouse on the trail of some stinky cheese, but there were moments when I wish I had time to figure out the mystery. Instead, the story felt like it was trying to stay in front of the viewers. This wasn’t a huge negative against the film, nor did take away from the overall experience.

Less a problem for this film and more hope for the future, but I would love to see the entire Resue Rangers group in action once more. This film focused more on Chip ‘N Dale, with cameos and assistance from Monterey Jack, Gadget, and Zipper. If another film is produced, it should focus on all five zipping around in the Ranger Plane, solving crimes. That would make the child Brian in me cry tears of joy.

Overall impressions

Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers is definitely worth a viewing. For those like me that cut their teeth on the cartoon, you’ll enjoy seeing these characters back on screen. If you have a family with younger children, order some pizza and flick it on. You and your children will love it.

There is something for everyone, but it is a film that is enjoyed on a higher level if you have the emotional connection of the original series. There are jokes for children, humor for adults, and laughs for everyone in between. As we go into a holiday weekend, if you are looking for something fun to enjoy, I urge you to check out Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers.

My rating for this film: 

★★★★ / ♥♥♥♥♥

Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+. When you see it, let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter!

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