Andrea’s film review – Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Thirty years after their popular television show ended, chipmunks Chip and Dale live very different lives. When a cast member from the original series mysteriously disappears, the pair must reunite to save their friend. Available to watch on Disney+

It’s ironic that out of all the family releases in the past few months (Pixar, Marvel, Disney and so on), the funniest and most original and most clever of the lot is actually this “straight-to-streaming” little unassuming animated film about Chip & Dale. The film pays homage (as well as being a sort of sequel) to the TV series with the same name from the late ‘80s and ‘90s.

While the plot itself might not be the most refined and interesting thing in the film, the overall message is still a positive one, but for the most part, it’s the huge amount of cameos and in-jokes from anything that’s Disney and beyond as well as pop culture references from past and present cartoon icons that makes this such a surprising delight. I could fill a whole page just by mentioning all the appearances and I’m sure I would still miss some.

The film combines live action and different styles of animation, depicting a world lived in by both humans and cartoon characters, so reminiscent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (incidentally Roger Rabbit appears too). Even the two heroes Chip and Dale actually appear differently from each other.

Dale’s look is in fact photorealistic computer-animation as opposed to a 2-D hand-drawn Chip, which leads to one of the many inspired jokes in the film: “I got CGI surgery”. Another one is about the “Uncanny Valley”, a place where all those early CG-animated characters go, with their dead eyes and stilted movements. Indeed some of the jokes as so niche that probably only real nerds like me will get.

The tone of the cartoon is anarchic, irreverent, and very self-referential. A lot of that will apply more to the adults watching this, rather than the kids themselves, but those will be captivated by the fast-faced action/adventure and content with the slapstick and comedy.

In short, this feels like a Disneyfied version of Ready Player One and it’s a rare example of something which aims a lot higher than the title might suggest and it is actually so much better than it has any right to be.

(… and it’ll make you want to go back and watch the TV series too!).

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is available to watch on Disney +

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

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