May 20th, 2022
MOVIE: CHIP ‘N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS
STARRING: ANDY SAMBERG, JOHN MULANEY, KIKI LAYNE, WILL ARNETT, ERIC BANA, J.K. SIMMONS
DIRECTED BY: AKIVA SCHAFFER
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
If Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers is for an audience of one, then it is a big hit, because I am a massive fan of this one. Surprisingly, it’s a kids movie, arriving on Disney+ this Friday, so I think that makes me a big kid, because this Who Framed Roger Rabbit? style and teenage nostalgia humor is exactly what I loved. I grew up watching The Rescue Rangers, with Chip ‘N’ Dale sporting Indiana Jones and Magnum P.I. inspired outfits, with their friends Monterey Jack, Gadget, and Zipper, saving the world from rodent bad guys; It was an after-school delight, filled with fun adventures, and some laughs along the way. It was somewhat a gateway to cinema and director Akiva Schaffer has found a way to tap into that gateway, with a human-animated character hybrid universe, where Chip (voiced by John Mulaney) and Dale (voiced by Andy Samberg), must set aside differences and work together to save fellow animated friends being kidnapped and turned into bootleg versions of themselves. The final result is a great mix of childhood fun and comedy gold. This time it’s Chip ‘N’ Dale to the Rescue!
We get a bit of background on where Chip ‘N’ Dale started, the success of The Rescue Rangers, and the highs and lows of their celebrity. We then see the moment where the two cuddly characters went separate ways, with Rescue Rangers at the top, but Dale opting to try his own show with “Double-O-Dale”. Years passed, the show was canceled, and now Chip is selling insurance, and Dale is basking in his glory days at comic-con events. It’s life as usual until Chip receives a voicemail from a concerned Monterey Jack (voiced by Eric Bana), who is worried about cheese debts he has with a group of tough toons- led by Sweet Pete (Will Arnett voicing an overweight Peter Pan with a face full of stubble), an angry Coca-Cola polar bear, and a video game Warrior Viking (Seth Rogen). When Monty goes missing it leads Chip and Dale back together, working on the case to find their friend, along with superfan detective Ellie (Kiki Layne), helping by working behind the back of her Captain Putty (J.K. Simmons) to find the perpetrator taking some of the world’s favorite cartoons and turning them into something less than animated.
Before I sat down to write about Chip ‘N’ Dale, it took me a bit of time to think about what star rating I could give this movie, which is not necessarily high art, but it’s certainly not the kind of movie we see enough of today. This is arguably going to be the funniest movie we see in 2022, where director Akiva Schaffer, along with writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand have an affection for what Roger Rabbit did, but also an appreciation for comedies such as Top Secret or The Naked Gun. So it may be a bit much to give this 3 ½ stars, but it’s certainly better than most 3 star movies, and it’s a new comedy that parents can watch with their kids while being in on all the jokes. It’s all of that and much more why this trip to ToonTown is a refreshing delight.
The other half of what makes Chip ‘N’ Dale work is the presence of Mulaney and Samberg as the voices. The two comedians lend their brand of humor perfectly, mixing in their own personalities to these characters. Chip is a bit dejected, broken by the sad ending his Hollywood career had, and perfectly comfortable at home with his non-animated dog. Mulaney’s dry, “I’m bored” persona fits that, willing to tell Dale he’s an idiot to his face. As for Dale, his oblivious and ridiculous nature is in step with Samberg, where he leans a bit into his Popstar Conner4Real persona. The laughs keep coming when Dale breaks into a rap song where he can only rhyme Dale with whale and sings a song about not eating whale for three minutes. It’s absurd, not even entirely funny, but just pure goofiness. It’s a true example of a carefree approach to this comedy, not afraid to be silly, and not too proud to be imperfect.
As far as the plot goes, yes there is a bit of Rescue Rangers that feels too much like a copy of Roger Rabbit, but that’s ultimately more of a positive than a negative. Plus, the biggest laugh factor is how meta the story is about movies in general. Yes, it’s a bit weird to see a movie that makes fun of Disney while secretly hiding it’s own movie on their streaming platform, but Schaffer and his crew still have their fingers on the pulse of animated cinema today. Chip ‘N’ Dale is unafraid to make fun of generic kid fluff, the way some characters are CGI vs. old school animation, and a running gag about the original Sonic that had me in stitches. That’s only the tip of this tooniverse. Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers is a delightful mixture of family fun, animated adventure, and gut busting comedy. It made me feel like a kid again.
CHIP ‘N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS IS PLAYING ON DISNEY+ FRIDAY MAY 20TH, 2022.
3 ½ STARS
Written by: Leo Brady