I've been writing on various websites since 2017. Being a film buff, I like to provide thought-provoking analyses on movies and web series.
Cast & Crew
- John Mulaney as Chip
- Andy Samberg as Dale
- Will Arnett as Sweet Pete
- KiKi Layne as Detective Ellie Steckler
- Keegan-Michael Key as Bjornson the Cheesemonger
- Eric Bana as Monterey Jack
- Dennis Haysbert as Zipper
Cameos and Meta-Commentary
An animated, pop-culture-laced spectacular, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a fast-paced and laugh-inducing roller coaster ride full of cartoon characters, clever gags, imaginative action, and a touching story.
Directed by The Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer, this film is a meta-commentary, as it portrays the famous chipmunk friends as actors who once starred in the Rescue Rangers TV series decades earlier. Now, aptly in typical E! Pee-Wee Herman fashion, Chip and Dale must overcome their differences and come together to save the day.
John Mulaney voices Chip, the sensible side of the duo act, while Andy Samberg voices Dale, the instinctive dumbass. For better and worse, Will Arnett plays the role of the villain, while voices from Tress MacNeille, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, J.K. Simmons, and Tim Robinson give recognizable performances. New to the role is KiKi Layne, who brings life to a new police detective character. The cast can fire off the rapid jokes with skill, but it also includes a clever Seth Rogen appearance.
Chip and Dale live amongst humans and cartoons in modern-day Los Angeles, but their lives are different now. The chipmunks haven't seen each other in 30 years since their Disney show was canceled. Chip is an insurance salesman, the picture of suburban domesticity. Meanwhile, Dale has had CGI surgery and spends his time on the nostalgia convention circuit reliving his glory days. They reunite to save an old friend and co-star Monterey Jack, whose cheese addiction puts him in debt to a charming antagonist named Sweet Pete. Monty gets kidnapped in a heist by Pete. He changes all the cartoon appearances and sells them to other countries as a bootleg items.
A Fun Juxtaposition Between Old and New
If there is a film you never realized you needed, it would be Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Often described as a comeback and not a reboot, this hybrid live-action/CG-animated movie about decades-old chipmunks is hilariously relevant in all the right ways. One of the reasons for this is the meta-verse director Akiva Schaffer (Lonely Island, Saturday Night Live) and writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, who have successfully pulled off this tough challenge. The film is packed with cameos from classic and cherished cartoon characters, but because the world is constructed with great detail, the cameos make sense in context.
Disney had the guts to make fun of themselves, playing the satirical card and going the extra mile to entertain people. As someone unfamiliar with the iconic series, there was no difficulty understanding the backstory of the titular characters, Chip and Dale. Narratively, the story is set in the modern-day, during a time of social media and live streaming, making for a fun juxtaposition between the old and new.
Verdict: Rescue Me!
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is not the first movie to mix live-action and animation as a way to fuse together a comedic meta-adventure—see Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)—but it's very enjoyable and uses its nostalgic properties well. Andy Samberg and John Mulaney are vibrant and wacky. They feel right in the lead roles, bringing these chipmunks back to life. There's a good mystery, a lot of comedic moments, superb animation done in many different styles, and the heart of the original show despite also being meta as hell. This new Chip 'n Dale is absolutely worth your time.