Lewis and Clark; Simon and Garfunkel; Abbott and Costello. What do all of these people have in common? They’re iconic duos, people who made their mark on the world, just like Chip n’ Dale. For 79 years, these two chipmunks have been entertaining fans across multiple incarnations. Yet of all of their roles, none is more famous than that of Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, one of the hallmarks of the famed Disney Afternoon block. The cartoons of the Disney Afternoon were iconic, and now that it’s been thirty years since they ended, they’re nostalgically profitable. So Disney got dollar signs in their eyes and decided to give them the reboot treatment.

Sorry, it’s a comeback, not a reboot.

Rebooting an existing IP’s a risky business. In the best-case scenario, people will say it’s unoriginal. In the worst case, fans will outright despise it. However, much like DuckTales before it, Chip n’ Dale hits the ground running in this hilarious film that mocks and respects the entertainment industry. It’s like the second coming of Roger Rabbit-and I’m not just saying that because Roger Rabbit has a cameo in it.

Chip n’ Dale: The Story You Never Knew

In an alternate world populated by humans and animated characters, Chip n’ Dale once had it all as the stars of the Rescue Rangers. They were a part of the famous Disney Afternoon Block and beloved by kids across the country. However, things drove a wedge between the two chipmunks, their show fell apart, and they went their separate ways. Chip becomes an insurance salesman, while Dale struggles to recapture his glory days with the fans. 

Then one day, one of their former castmates disappears, kidnapped by a gang of criminals that makes bootlegged films to sell overseas. Chip n’ Dale needs to reunite, rediscover their past as the Rescue Rangers, solve the case, and save their friend and the day!


I will be the first to admit it: the Disney Afternoon Block was before my time, so I have no emotional connection to it the way some fans will. However, I fell in love with the 2017 reboot of DuckTales, so I decided to give this a try. I’m glad I did because this movie is hilarious on so many levels.

Firstly, there’s the meta-humor. Framing the film’s story in a world where the Rescue Rangers was a fictional show, one done by cartoon actors, gives the movie a lot of freedom. The film’s team then uses that freedom to make playful jabs about its premise and the premise of reboots in general. There’s one line near the end of the film where they talk about the idea of remixing the song for their show to something sung by a famous pop star when all the fans want is to hear the original version. It’s a pretty funny moment in a film filled with funny moments. 

How Did Disney Afford All These References?

The humor’s not limited to just the Disney Afternoon block or even merely Disney. In one of several moves called back to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there are references and cameos from every corner of the Entertainment Industry. Famous cartoon stars like He-Man and Skeletor make cameos; Nickelodeon gets name-dropped, and Randy Marsh makes a quick cameo at one point! It’s impressive how many IPs Disney was able to include outside of what they own and helps to sell the film.

Chip' N Dale Rescue Rangers Movie-Randy Marsh Cameo

Did I mention that Ugly Sonic is a character in this film? Because he is, and he’s as ugly and bitter as one would expect.

Chip' N Dale Rescue Rangers Movie-Ugly Sonic
Source-Twitter, Disney

The greatest sources of humor in Rescue Rangers, though, come from the meta-commentary on the nature of fame and success. By having all the animated characters play themselves rather than as their real-life actors, the film’s ability to cast a look on the darker side of fame. Many of the cartoon characters are people who’ve fallen on hard times since their shows and movies ended, forcing them to turn to often illicit means to get by. Others, like Dale, try to stay relevant or cling to the past, but with little success. It’s a sad reminder of what can happen when a person’s fame fades away, but it’s done in a way that’s never too depressing.

The Iconic Duo’s Relationship

Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers Movie
Source-SFGATE, Disney

At the heart of the film, though, we have the relationship between the chipmunks themselves, Chip n’ Dale. Besides the gang of bootleggers, much of the film’s plot comes from the strained relationship between the former co-stars. Dale tries desperately to cling to his glory days because he misses Chip so much. Meanwhile, Chip claims to not feel bitter over their falling out when it’s apparent that it’s the opposite. 

These two chipmunks spend the whole film trying to sort out their feelings of betrayal and inferiority, unable to tell each other how much they mean until it’s almost too late. It’s cliche, but at the same time, very heartwarming to watch. Plus, like any good duo, they bounce off each other incredibly well.

Make More Like This, Disney!

With Disney seemingly set on profiting off the nostalgia for the Disney Afternoon block, does Chip n’ Dale meet the fan’s expectations? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s hilarious; it’s self-referencing, self-deprecating, and just enjoyable to watch from start to finish. Eagle-eyed animation fans will likely spend hours combing the film for every reference, and there is plenty to look for. I may need to go back and rewatch the Rescue Rangers again after this!

Also: Disney, when’s that Disney Afternoon fighting game that the fans want?

Chip' N Dale Rescue Rangers Movie-Disney Afternoon Fight Game
Source-Twitter, Disney

I Give Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers a 4.5/5