Sometimes, some crimes slipped through the cracks. But these two gumshoes picked up the slack. There was no case too big, no case too small. If you needed help you called Chip & Dale, Rescue Rangers.
But nothing lasts forever and the Rangers went their separate ways in 1990. The show went into syndication and along with Talespin, Ducktales, and Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Rescue Rangers became integral to a generation’s formative years. They were the pinnacle of home animation for the era, with decent stories and plenty of commercial breaks for G.I. Joes and Ecto Cooler. Rescue Ranger Gadget alone is probably responsible for introducing 58% of the then-adolescent Furry community to the strange allure of anthropomorphic animals, although I preferred Rebecca Cunningham on Talespin (older women are hot).
If this sounds inappropriate for a children’s cartoon, well, you’re not wrong. But it’s also the vibe of Disney+’s new Rescue Rangers movie. Coming from the writers behind Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, HIMYM, and… Doolittle, yikes… Rescue Rangers combines live-action with traditional 2D animation and CGI. Starring John Mulaney as Chip, Andy Samberg as Dale, and a whole slew of additional celebrities, Rescue Rangers attempts to bridge the gap between nostalgic adulthood and childlike innocence, with mixed results.
I’m most excited for the conservative think pieces accusing Disney of popularizing gender reassignment with Chip’s “CGI surgery.” No doubt Alex Jones is already frothing at the mouth like a rabid bear. The movie also features Will Arnett, Eric Bana, Keegan-Michael Key, J.K. Simmons, Kiki Layne, and Seth Rogen as, I think, Beowulf.
I’m cautiously optimistic despite the weird CGI that never looks right. I would prefer a more traditional reboot, like Disney’s wildly successful Ducktales series. It worked perfectly, faithful to the original while updating the many things that required changing, particularly around Webby and Ms. Beakley. But since Popstar was much better than it had any right to be, I’ll go in with an open mind. Rescue Rangers premieres on May 20th on Disney+. That’s the day before my son turns 7 and, since Rescue Rangers is one of his favorite shows, I’m hoping it makes a great birthday surprise.