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Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers Review

Ever since Who Framed Roger Rabbit? graced our screens back in 1988 – with director Robert Zemeckis perfectly integrating animation techniques with live-action – studios have long since tried to replicate the magic of seeing an unprecedented number of cameos from beloved characters on screen. IP-driven projects and shared universes packed full of cameos have increasingly become the norm in Hollywood – particularly following the phenomenal success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – which can be seen in various successes throughout The Lego Movie, Ready Player One and more recently, Space Jam: a New Legacy. But studios need to find the right balance of fun and nostalgia-driven cameos with a decent narrative – not just wheeling out a greatest hits parade for quick audience applause. Can the latest attempt from the House of Mouse replicate that winning formula when it heads to streaming service Disney+ later this week?

Directed by Akiva Schaffer (The Lonely Island), Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers centres on an older Chip (John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg) who have long since put their adventuring days behind them. Following the end of their TV series and a failed solo spinoff, Chip now works in insurance sales while Dale is still attempting to relive his glory days by making money on the fan convention circuit, but has since had an expensive CGI makeover. However, the pair shockingly discover that their friend and fellow Rescue Rangers star, Monteray Jack (Eric Bana), has been kidnapped, and the estranged duo attempt to work together to track down and save their lost friend. Especially as they discover his disappearance may be linked to a criminal gang of toons, lead by ‘Sweet Pete’ (Will Arnett).

On paper, this straight-to-streaming service film shouldn’t really work, however the undeniable charm and wit which abounds the central adventure (amidst the unbelievable amount of cameos and Easter Eggs!) really does win you over. With an absolutely gag-packed script from How I Met Your Mother and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, Chip and Dale explore a world packed full of self-referential humour and fun meta-commentary – and the pair surprisingly never shy away from making Disney the butt of the joke. Gregor and Mand gleefully play around in one of the biggest sandpits to date – thanks in part to the crossover characters from numerous major studios, but one scene involving a Muppet puppet parody is pure brilliance. On the surface, it’s a relatively straightforward and by-the-books detective case narrative – but underneath the many hilarious cameos, (your pause button will definitely be used throughout) is a charming tale of friendship and an intriguing observation on the continual reboots and the fickleness of Hollywood.

Andy Samberg continues to cement his voiceover talents alongside Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s John Mulaney, with the central duo sharing a brilliant comedic energy and timing throughout. With such a stacked cast, it’s brilliant to see each and every voice actor fully committing to the spirit of the meta-comedy with real gusto and spirit – particularly JK Simmons and Seth Rogen. The latter is also afforded a brilliantly hilarious sequence in the third act which demonstrates Rogen isn’t afraid to make fun of himself!

The action-comedy clearly takes inspiration from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – blending live-action (and puppetry!) with a mix of animation styles, ranging from cartoons to claymation to 3D animation. This really is a love letter to how far animation has come over the years. As previously mentioned, there’s also an INSANE amount of easter eggs and cameos in an entertaining and sometimes unbelievable IP parade – particularly guests at the “FanCon” conventions (to say anymore would spoil a brilliantly hilarious gag.) While there’s plenty of cartoon characters for kids to enjoy, Gregor and Mand have cleverly also added a number of nostalgia-driven appearances aimed at parents too.


Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers is an enjoyably entertaining adventure celebrating the medium of animation. There’s also plenty of cameos and Easter Eggs sprinkled throughout which will keep all ages to on their toes (and pause button!) trying to spot them all. However, the backstory surrounding the main villain could be viewed as problematic, so do bear this in mind.