Film Review: Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers


The new Disney Plus original film Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers just released. The film is a “satire” of the classic Disney Afternoon show and tells the story of has-been television stars having to team up once more to save the day.

So far the reaction from critics seems to be mostly positive while the fans are a bit more mixed on certain aspects. So let’s see if this is the Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers movie fans have been wanting to see all these years.

Full disclosure, I wasn’t around when the show originally aired, I saw the series on re-runs on Toon Disney, so I am familiar with the source material.

WARNING: The following section contains SPOILERS. Please continue at your own discretion.

So the film begins showing that Chip (voiced by: John Maulaney) and Dale (voiced by: Andy Samberg) met in the 3rd grade. They grew up and friends and had aspirations of being famous. They eventually got their break and starred in the titular Disney Afternoon cartoon. But once Dale decides to leave the show and pursue other ventures the group splits up.

Fast forward years later we see Dale got “CGI Surgery” and is doing the convention circuit, Chip selling insurance, Gadget (voiced by: Tress MacNeille) and Zipper (voiced by: Dennis Haysbert) are now married with 42 children *eew* and Monterey Jack (voice by: Eric Bana) getting involved with “Stinky Cheese” (an allegory for drugs). 

Once Monterey Jack goes missing Chip begrudgingly agrees to join Dale in finding and rescuing their friend. They find out that the gangster called “Sweet Pete” (voiced by: Will Arnett) is actually Peter Pan.

After his starring role he grew up and was fired by Disney. After that he got into the bootlegging business, making knockoff movies (kinda like Goodtimes Entertainment). He’s been kidnapping well known characters and transforming them into bootleg versions to sell his movies.

Chip and Dale, along with a young detective named Ellie (played by: KiKi Layne) try to coordinate a way to stop his illegal bootlegging operation. Once Chip and Ellie are kidnapped Dale recruits Gadget and Zipper to help rescue their friends.

After the rescue Sweet Pete is then turned into an amalgamation of various cartoon characters and tries to destroy our heroes. But he is stopped by the police and we end the film with the Rescue Rangers getting a reboot and becoming popular again.

So first off, if you are a fan of the original Rescue Rangers show there is a high percentage you will not care for this film. The film is “Rescue Rangers” in name only. The story itself isn’t necessarily bad but it’s obvious that they used “Chip ‘n Dale” to get people’s attention.

Some of the jokes are alright, but some come off as mean spirited and sometimes even very cringeworthy. One running joke is the “Bad CGI Sonic” aka Ugly Sonic from the original trailer for the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog movie. He’s not just a quick joke, he’s actually a recurring character that is relevant to the plot.

Also the elephant in the room. Yes, the fact that Peter Pan is the villain due to growing up and getting fired by Disney and going down a bad road is very reminiscent of the real life Peter Pan actor Bobby Driscoll and his tragic later years and death. Was this intentional? I don’t know. But it does feel very insulting if you know the full story. If it was intentional this was a VERY low blow. 

Overall Rating: 4.5/10

Even though this film does have some funny moments here and there and has some imaginative visuals, the big issue is that this is NOT the Rescue Rangers. Instead of seeing cute animals save people/animals that are in danger from villains like Fat Cat it’s a meta commentary on Hollywood Has beens trying to be relevant again. It’s full of fan service and nostalgia bait to try and distract from its predictable plot and is a disservice to all the fans of the original show. 

What would have made this film better? Perhaps make up original characters instead of pre-existing ones. This film is being called “The Next Roger Rabbit” by some. Well imagine if Roger Rabbit used Mickey Mouse as the lead instead? It wouldn’t work as well because we as the audience are already familiar with the character and wouldn’t be used to seeing them depicted this way. Seeing the Rescue Rangers in this context feels more parody than genuine story. So the film doesn’t really work is that way either. 

If you want a film that’s about the spectacle then by all means feel free to watch it. But if you wanted to see a “Real” Rescue Rangers movie you’ll sadly be missing out. I personally cannot recommend this film.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.