On top of that, the action throughout Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is excellent. There’s a fantastic escape through the sewers that involves a Rapunzel doll which is most exciting. The aforementioned chase through the convention, FanCon, is also thrilling and filled with some excellent gags. Once the initial rift and Monty’s disappearance are set up, the pacing never lets up. The editing is great, maintaining the comedy and action equally without missing a step.
Then there’s the cast. At his insurance job, Chip’s co-workers try to be his friend, but he doesn’t ever take them up on their offer. This self-isolation, a defense mechanism for never feeling betrayed or hurt again, marks every decision he makes. Mulaney brings this forlorn attitude to life believably while still nailing the comedic beats. Samberg imbues Dale with manic energy without sacrificing the drama. KiKi Layne as the officer helping Chip and Dale, interacts with her animated co-stars wonderfully, helping sell them as real people.
Then there are the copious amounts of cameos and supporting turns from several pop culture characters. The biggest shock is just how many stem from outside the Walt Disney corporations. The most interesting of the bunch include Ugly Sonic from the unaltered Sonic The Hedgehog trailer, E.T., and a slew of Seth Rogen-voiced animated characters. This is on top of background characters from Big Mouth and TMNT, as well as the brilliant production design posters/sight gags lampooning the film industry with irreverence but heart. Fast And Furious Babies anyone?
“The blending of animation and live-action is incredible…”
But Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is not without its issues. The main one is how low the stakes feel. Despite the story centering on several beloved characters, including Flounder, being abducted and forced into labor, there are only a few scenes that feel truly dangerous. The first is the introduction of the unsavory puppet Bjornson the Cheesemaker, and the second is when Chip and Dale are in direct danger of being “bootlegged” themselves.
However, because screenwriters Dan Gregor and Doug Mand focus their script so intensely on Chip and Dale, there’s great character development for them both. Their respective arcs are engaging and feel complete by the end. Many of the supporting characters, notably Sweet Pete and Ugly Sonic, are also pretty well developed. It should be noted that there are some uncomfortable parallels between Sweet Pete and Peter Pan voice actor Bobby Driscoll’s fading stardom. Whether intentional or just a weird coincidence, it adds a certain bittersweetness to the main baddie’s dark but fascinating story.
The blending of animation and live-action is incredible, the pacing is swift, and the cast gives it their all. When combined with the strange but excellent sense of humor and strong characters, the picture becomes a lovely surprise. Overall, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a fast-paced, humorous, action-packed ride the whole family will get a kick out of.
"…sight gags lampooning the film industry with irreverence but heart."