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Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney+) is a wild spin through throwback cartoon references and wacky humor from director Akiva Schaffer who features his Lonely Island cohort Andy Samberg and comedian John Mulaney as the titular duo, whose world is one hybrid of animation and live action. When a good friend is kidnapped, it’s up to Chip and Dale to save him, and their life becomes a reboot adventure modeled after their long-lost Disney show.

The essential: In 1982, Chip (John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg) bonded over a gag that went wrong in their classroom, and the two pals never looked back. “Chip was so funny and thoughtful,” Dale says, “and I never thought of anything! We were perfect together. They hit LA, auditioned around and landed bit parts. (Cue an extract of Full housewith Chip and Dale rocking out to Jesse’s guitar solo.) And then came their big break, being cast on the Disney Afternoons program Rescue Rangers alongside Monterey Jack (Eric Bana), Gadget Hackwrench (Tress MacNeille) and Zipper the Fly (Dennis Haysbert). It’s 1990, and Tic and Tac are living their dream, partying with toons and humans on the show’s wrap party. But everything goes wrong when Dale tries to go solo.

Years later, Dale skates with limited notoriety and desperate nostalgia. He is also the recipient of three-dimensional “CG surgery”, which in this world where humans and cartoons co-exist is the same as aesthetic body work. As for Chip, he’s the same old 2-D toon and a salesman for Coercive Insurance. Out of the blue, Monterey Jack calls them for help, and it’s an awkward reunion. But Monty, their old pal, is in real trouble. He was targeted by Sweet Pete (Will Arnett), a fat, old-fashioned version of Peter Pan who now operates a counterfeit animation studio alongside his henchmen, Jimmy the Polar Bear (Da’Vone McDonald) and Bob (Seth Rogen), motion capture. dwarf. Chip and Dale teams up with police detective Ellie Steckler (KiKi Layne) and Captain Putty (JK Simmons) to take Pete down and save their buddy.

The search for chipmunks leads to crazy places. In a streetscape full of cartoon dogs blowing bubbles, carefree animated children, and kind shopkeepers, Dale tells Chip that all is not what it seems. “Sometimes when I’m short on money, I sell my fur to that wig shop,” he says. In fact, all manner of illicit toon activity exists beyond plating. (Two words: “Muppets fight.”) And when the buddies access a living room for stinky cheese tops – “I’ve got scent lines that’ll lead you through the ceiling,” Bjornson the Cheesmonger (Keegan-Michael Key) tells them – this leads directly to Sweet Pete and his black market cartoon business.

CHIP N DALE RESCUE RANGERS DISNEY PLUS MOVIE
Picture: Disney+

What movies will this remind you of? Andy Sanberg channels his character Johnny from the Hotel Transylvania movies here, playing Dale as a bright-eyed fool who happily navigates his way through life. And while the Rescue Rangers The afternoon TV show was never one of Disney’s legacies, this film shares with the recent Cruel a desire to tear apart the establishment’s DNA and pull the Mouse House in a contemporary direction.

Performance to watch: As Captain Putty, the bizarro chief investigator Gumby of the Sweet Pete cartoon smuggling ring, JK Simmons continues his streak of powerful voice work. (He played Claggart in the 2021 animated adventure The seal team.) But it’s doubly funny, because Simmons gives Putty the exact rudeness he would give a real police captain character, which is exactly what Putty is in the half-toon half-human world of Rescue Rangers.

Memorable dialogue: Chip learns the horrible truth from Monterey Jack about what Sweet Pete is doing to all the kidnapped legacy toons. “’Bootleg’ you? What does that mean?”

Mony spells it out. “Did you hear what happened to that little guy Flounder? When he fell behind on krill payments? They kidnap the guy, erase his mouth so he can’t scream, then change him to try and sneak around copyright laws, then smuggle him overseas to a black market studio , where he would spend the rest of his life. being forced to make terrible counterfeit films. And just like that, The little Mermaid becomes “The Small Fish Lady”.

Sex and skin: Come on, forget it. Unless you’re still into Gadget Hackwrench.

Our opinion : Of all the common reference gags inside Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangersis Dale’s giddy exclamation on the 1990 wrap-up party for their (then) hit show – “I do the Roger Rabbit with Roger Rabbit!” — which really stands out, because there’s nothing this movie loves more than to tug and stretch the reboot concept into sardonic new forms, even as it simultaneously resets the entire Disney universe. Dale himself lurks at his fan-con autograph table, springing from a Rescue Rangers reboot to anyone who wants to listen. But as the movie itself comes to a close, the whole adventure becomes the very reboot Dale has been waiting for. (In this, it’s not unlike the recent entry of Scream, which built whole new superstructures on reboot culture.) And if you want references, director Akiva Schaffer and writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand pour them into every scene. Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat DJ at the rap party. Light from The beauty and the Beast is friends with Dale. Seth Rogen is an abandoned warrior from Polar Express, Stan’s father from South Park sits in a sauna in a fat, aging Peter Pan’s Russian bathhouse, and He-Man & Skeletor bicker during a celebrity appearance. (Skeletor’s voice creaks at the horribly good tone.) What’s even more fun about all this craziness is that the references themselves work visually too, their animation styles perfectly in line with the characters’ different backgrounds. . There are hundreds of other references. Maybe two hundred. Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers is a cluttered landscape of visual and referential laughter.

Our call: SPREAD IT. Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers is a fun, goofy ride through a half-human, half-cartoon world full of iconic character throwbacks, Hollywood references and goofy gags.

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