“Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers” – A Frame-By-Frame Look at Our Return to Toontown

Yesterday we got the first glimpse we’ve seen of a cinematic Toontown that we’ve seen since Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988 in the form of a new trailer for the upcoming movie headed straight for Disney+, Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers. Haven’t seen it yet? Take a look below before we dive in.

Going back to the Toontown comment – Back in 1988 we were introduced to the world where humans and cartoons live alongside each other in the same world. The toons made their own films in Hollywood and had their own studios. While that film took place in 1947, the idea of classic toon characters living alongside humans played to the era. We saw detective Eddie Valiant mingle with Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and countless others in a hybrid world. Now, in 2022, we’re seeing that same universe explored in the new Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers. 

Under the guise of an E! True Hollywood Story type of broadcast we are thrown into the history of the characters and their smash hit television show of the early 90s. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this intact/expanded as the prologue to the film when it hits Disney+ in May. It gives us the background, the height, and their current scenario but staying in the hybrid toon/human world.

If there is any doubt that this is taking place in the same Toontown universe as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, get ready. Here’s Roger Rabbit himself making a cameo.

In fact, that whole scene is full of them, including the Three Little Pigs, and stars of the “Opposites Attract” music video of the era, Paula Abdul and M.C. Scat Cat.

The trailer is heavy on the nostalgia, which is no surprise that it comes from comedy trio The Lonely Island, with Akiva Schaffer directing and Andy Samberg as the voice of Dale. Comedian and Writer John Mulaney lends his voice to Chip. In the mere 2 minutes of the trailer we see so many things that have the youthful demographic targeted in the 90s pointing at their screens as adults in gleeful delight, and also keep us wondering what kind of wild adventure we’re about to go on. Like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, even non-Disney characters are now showing up, like various generations of My Little Pony.

The opening also has us playing “Spot what we owned” when it comes to the Chip ‘n’ Dale merchandise blitz that came at that point in time as well.

The whole gang of Rescue Rangers are even seen in a glimpse going to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in the era, with a period accurate photo no less.

While we don’t know much about the actual plot of the movie, we do know some basics, including Dale’s CGI surgery, which apparently is frowned upon. Personally, this is going to be the biggest challenge for me to overcome while watching: A highly rendered almost real world version of Dale alongside a clearly still computer animated 2-D Chip.

Just from the trailer, we can fathom a guess that it will be akin to an episode of the original show, where they must work together to save the day from an evil, unstoppable criminal. And, given the clues in the short preview, the trouble will likely begin at some kind of fan convention. Which, might I add, also has animated fans as well as human ones.

The appearance of some kind of major villain also takes place but more notably, it seems to be a 2D/3D hybrid of an amalgam of animated characters. A cursory glance can spot the torso of Disney’s Robin Hood, and the arm and hand of Wreck-It-Ralph.

A send up of an iconic moment from 1993’s Jurassic Park also reveals that this villain might be named “Prince Jahn.”

Other quick shots in the trailer also lead us to believe that some kind of chase ensues at the convention. After all, this isn’t Aladdin beelining towards our favorite chipmunks. (Four-fingered gloves and a wider torso than the star of 1992’s Aladdin)

The trailer also alludes to needing disguises and in arguably the best moment in the preview, that’s (almost) exactly what Chip gets.

The film is set to also be filled with all kinds of animation jokes as well, further backing the Toontown universe where they know that they’re cartoon characters in a real world, and somehow end up in an uncanny valley-esque realm with the stars of Cats and other awkward CG characters, including a medieval Seth Rogen that can’t quite make eye contact.

I think what we all want to know though, besides the actual story of the film, is what other Disney Afternoon stars might make a cameo in the film.

Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers arrives on Disney+ on May 20th, 2022.

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