Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Disney+ reboot can't seem to settle on whether it's for kids or kids at heart.
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I’ll be honest with y’all – I wasn’t a huge “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” fan as a kid. I probably should’ve been as one our titular heroes dresses like Indiana Jones and the other like Magnum, P.I. Of The Disney Afternoon programming block, I was always more of a “DuckTales” dude.
My primary interest in checking out the rebooted live-action/animation hybrid “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” movie – which begins streaming exclusively on Disney+ Friday, May 20 – is the participation of The Lonely Island comedy troupe, of whom I am a big backer. (Akiva Schaffer directs and cameos, Andy Samberg voices Dale and Jorma Taccone turns up for a few fleeting bits.)
Chip and Dale meet as young chipmunk outcasts at school. (As youths they’re voiced by Mason Blomberg and Juliet Donenfeld respectively.) Their friendship extends into adulthood where they star on a successful syndicated series alongside Monterey Jack (Eric Bana), Gadget (“The Simpsons” vet Tress MacNeille, reprising her original voice role) and Zipper (Corey Burton, also reprising his role). The show hits the skids when Dale takes a solo shot at stardom with “Double ‘O Dale.” The pilot goes unaired and “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” promptly gets its plug pulled.
We flash forward almost 30 years. Chip (John Mulaney) is working as an insurance salesman and lives a life of isolation aside from his pooch pal Millie. Dale had CG surgery, which leaves him looking like the fourth member of the live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks” flicks. He clings to his long-lost fame by stumping at fan conventions alongside other has-beens.
The duo is reunited when Monterey Jack, deep in the throes of a debilitating cheese addiction and deeper in debt to Sweet Pete (Will Arnett), reaches out to his former co-stars and friends for assistance. Pete is not a guy you want to be in the pocket of and as such Jack goes missing. Chip and Dale team with police officers Ellie (KiKi Layne, doing decent enough work with the tough task of often being the only human surrounded by cartoons) and Captain Putty (J.K. Simmons) in order to rescue their fellow ranger.