Skip to main content

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers review: A wild, welcome return

For kids of the 1990s, DuckTalesChip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, and TaleSpin were the holy trinity of afternoon animation. The series aired as part of the Disney Afternoon lineup and helped cement the then-recently launched Fox channel’s status with a generation of young audiences.

It’s been nearly three decades since the series was removed from syndication, but with the wildly successful launch of a DuckTales reboot just a few years ago, it was only a matter of time before Disney turned its attention to Rescue Rangers. And what a return it is for the series’ chipmunk pals, who return to the screen in the feature-length Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers film that blends various forms of animation with a brilliant creative team and voice cast, along with a collection of cameos that’s one of the most wide-ranging you’ll find in a film. (That’s saying a lot, too, given the last few years of movies.)

Dale and Chip walk toward the camera in a scene from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Directed by Saturday Night Live veteran and Lonely Island comedy trio member Akiva Schaffer, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers casts John Mulaney and Andy Samberg as the voices of the titular chipmunks, who find themselves reunited 30 years after the cancellation of their series when their friend and fellow Rescue Rangers actor, Monterey Jack (voiced by Eric Bana), goes missing under sinister circumstances. The script, penned by How I Met Your Mother writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, takes a Who Framed Roger Rabbit-esque approach to the world, with humans existing alongside animated characters, from The Simpsons to My Little Pony characters, who all try to make a life for themselves in the same shared universe.

It’s a familiar, but fun premise on its own, and it’s made even more entertaining — and unique — by the film’s clever script, which wastes no opportunity for jokes that cast a surprisingly wide net. Along with all the requisite humor for younger audiences, Rescue Rangers offers plenty of gags aimed at viewers who grew up with the original series, poking fun at ’90s pop culture, celebrity trends, and countless other topics that might go over younger kids’ heads, but never feel too “adult” for Chip and Dale’s world.

Chip and Dale stand in front of a doorway where a bearded dwarf with an axe looks past them in a scene from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The wide net cast by Rescue Rangers is evident not only in the film’s humor, but also the animation styles represented in the film. Along with presenting Chip and Dale themselves as hand-drawn and 3D, digitally animated characters, respectively, the film also features characters depicted with claymation and stop-motion animation, as well as various styles (and eras) of digital animation. Lumped together, it’s a mix that shouldn’t blend well, but does thanks to the smart storytelling wrapped around all of those visual elements.

Without offering any spoilers, there is one particular plot point that might irk a small (Ok, tiny) portion of the audience, however.

The film makes the capital city of New York, Albany, a key location in Chip and Dale’s investigation, and suggests that the city has a very particular relationship with the history of the Rescue Rangers series in the ’90s. As anyone from Albany (for example, the author of this review) can attest, the connection between Albany and Rescue Rangers described in the film is, well … not true at all. A world populated by animated characters and talking chipmunks is perfectly fine, of course, but playing fast and loose with the history of an underappreciated state capital could very well be a step too far for certain, very specific, overly critical audiences.

Chip and dale walk through a room as a large, animated rat follows the scent of cheese behind them.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

All joking aside, though, Rescue Rangers is a spectacular, heartwarming love letter to animated storytelling and the characters it’s given us across generations of audiences.

It’s also a nice reminder of how far the medium has come, and how fresh it can still feel with creative people behind it. Mulaney and Samberg are two of comedy’s best and brightest stars, but it’s a testament to both the film’s storytelling and their talent that they never feel too big for the characters they’re voicing. Whether you’re a kid of the ’80s or ’90s, or the child of one of those aforementioned, grown-up kids, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a wonderful little film that feels bigger than it is, and it’s proof that with the right amount of humor and heart, good characters never get old.

Disney’s Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers will premiere May 20 on the Disney+ streaming service.

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022)

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Genre Comedy, Animation, Family, Adventure, Fantasy
Stars John Mulaney, Andy Samberg, KiKi Layne
Directed by Akiva Schaffer

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
How to watch the free Bayern Munich vs Manchester United live stream
A side angle of a soccer stadium.

Bayern Munich vs Manchester United sees the two sides kick off their Champions League run with both sides keen to make an impression. The German side is considered to be the favorite with new addition Harry Kane no doubt keen to make an impression. Whichever side you're backing, there's only one way to watch the game -- via Paramount Plus. It kicks off at 3 PM ET/12 PM PT. We've got all you need to know about how to watch the match online including how to see the Bayern Munich vs Manchester United live stream for free.
Watch the Bayern Munich vs Manchester United live stream on Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus is a relatively new streaming service having began in March 2021 after previously being known as CBS All Access. It's the home of the UEFA Champions League so you need to sign up to it to catch the whole tournament. It costs $6 per month but you can watch solely the Bayern Munich vs Manchester United live stream for free by signing up for a Paramount Plus free trial. It only lasts seven days but it's a good taste of what the service has to offer. Keeping on top of what's new on Paramount Plus is a great idea but you can also be guaranteed of all things Star Trek as well as all things South Park, along with the Scream franchise and both Top Gun movies. There's also Yellowstone and its spin-off prequel, 1883, and Mayor of Kingstown too. Other soccer also features like the Europa League and Italy's Serie A.

Read more
How to watch the free Arsenal vs PSV live stream
Massive open air soccer stadium with a game in play.

Arsenal is back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2017. At 3 PM ET/12 PM PT, it kicks off its competition with Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven taking place. Whichever side you're backing, soccer fans won't want to miss out on what happens next. That's why we're here with guidance on how to watch the Arsenal vs PSV live stream for free. In just a few taps, you'll be able to watch the game unfold with the game exclusive to Paramount Plus.
Watch the Arsenal vs PSV live stream on Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus is one of the newer streaming services having launched in March 2021 after previously being known as CBS All Access. It's the home of the UEFA Champions League tournament so that's where you need to head to watch Arsenal vs PSV. Even better, there's a Paramount Plus free trial so you can watch Arsenal vs PSV for free with the trial lasting seven days. While that won't provide you with the rest of the Champions League, it's a good taster session before you pay $6 per month. As the name suggests, Paramount Plus has all things Paramount like Top Gun Maverick, all Star Trek movies and shows, along with the Scream franchise. Extra content is added regularly so it's a good idea to check out what's new on Paramount Plus to see what changes. New movies and shows are added all the time with an extensive library of CBS content like South Park, NCIS, and CSI.

Read more
The best romantic comedies on Netflix right now
Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality.

When you're tired from a busy week and you don't feel like scrolling to find a movie to watch, you can always fall back on the best romantic comedies on Netflix right now.

One of the most popular genres in cinema, it's not surprising that Netflix is chock-full of rom-coms to choose from. Fortunately, we've done the digging to identify the best ones. Read on for our newly updated list!

Read more