The Rescue Rangers are back in action after a three decade long hiatus. Disney+
A spoiler-filled review of Disney+’s Rescue Rangers movie
After 32 years of silence, “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” is back and, boy, did they make quite a reentrance. Released on May 20, the Disney+ original movie provides a great amount of laughter, drama and nostalgia, making it quite enjoyable for viewers of all ages. With its unconventional plot and absurdity, it is difficult to determine if the film is fantastic or terrible.
“Rescue Rangers” starts off with a summary of the events after the cancellation of the “Rescue Rangers” TV series in the 1990s. The cast of the show are all actors and after a bit of drama between Chip (John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg), they all go their separate ways and lose touch.
One day, Monterey Jack (Eric Bana) calls the chipmunk duo for help since he bought a bit too much sticky cheese, which is the equivalent to drugs in this world, and faces the possibility of being bootlegged to make terrible rip-off films. After he is inevitably kidnapped, Chip and Dale are thrust into a “bootleg” mystery case, just like their old adventures, involving an underground bootleg trade business, an abundance of cliches and ugly Sonic (Tim Robinson).
With a world resembling that of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” with toons and real people mixed together in the same environment, it was interesting to see how the writers handled the world-building of the film. All the “Ranger” characters were revealed to be actors that live normal lives after the cancellation of the show. We see Chip has become an insurance worker, Dale continues to chase after fame, Monterey Jack becomes a junkie and it was especially amusing to see Gadget (Tress MacNeille) and Zipper (Dennis Haysbert) married with over 40 hybrid kids.
The toons are often trafficked by shady characters and then bootlegged. They are essentially altered to look like those cringey designs found on the covers of rip-off movies, like “Tappy Toes” or “Toy Fable.” To the toons, it is a fate worse than death and, honestly, that’s totally understandable. I too would be absolutely tortured being forced to participate in the production of such atrocities.
“Rescue Rangers” is very generous with its use of clichés and callbacks. We see the previously famous protagonist with an office, specifically insurance just like the Incredibles. The sheriff of the police turns out to be the bad cop and often-used confession scene when Chip thinks Dale is dead. Seriously, that stuff should be addressed before one of them kicks the bucket, saying all that stuff afterwards is rather pointless since, if he was really dead, nobody would hear it.
The comedy within the film is very tasteful, incorporating old-fashioned gags that still haven’t lost their touch and some more modern humor. Out of all of them, the best joke and one that recurs a lot is the cameo appearance of ugly Sonic. His appearance remains unsettling, especially with his human-like mouth and teeth, but after a while it becomes less so as time passes. It’s nice to see him doing well for himself after the outcry caused by Sonic fans when the design was first released.
The reveal of the 2D animated Peter Pan from 1953, aka Sweet Pete (Will Arnett), as the main villain of this film was quite a shock. With his beer belly, 5 o’clock shadow and disheveled appearance, the character comes off as rather sad. His villain origin story was rather believable. He had to do what he had to do to survive and in this case, he turned out for the worst and now participates in a criminal lifestyle.
Chip and Dale have always been close in the past cartoons they were featured in and it was a shame to see them separate at the beginning of the movie. However, it did make for some good character development and they reunited again at the end. Their chemistry remains strong and viewers get a glimpse at a more intimate part of the duo as they work out their differences and learn to communicate better than they did before.
“Rescue Rangers” was fun and a joy to watch, but the movie might not appeal to everyone. The toons all appear in different animation styles that do not always fit with each other, like how Dale is now the only 3D animated character. After such a long hiatus, it was insinuated that a new series might be underway or a possible Darkwing film might be next. Whatever this world has in store for the future is sure to be another treat.
Updated May 28 at 4:44 a.m to add actor names