‘Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers’ Is a Nostalgia Cash-Grab Done Right

Ulises Duenas


In a world of reboots and rehashed ideas, you might think that the last thing you want to watch is another nostalgia cash-grab, but Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a movie that plays with that idea in clever ways. The core story is like a modern take on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, yet it's the constant references and cynical outlook on modern movies that add a lot to it. 


At first glance, you would assume that a movie about two animated chipmunks is for kids, and while there’s definitely an appeal to a younger audience, the real target is the people who grew up watching the original Chip ‘n Dale show in the early 90s. The constant references and context of the story add a lot of jokes and visual gags that seem like they’re meant for someone in their late 20s to 40s who is a bit jaded when it comes to capitalizing on nostalgia. It ends up having a lot of clever jokes, but sometimes the references can be grating.



Similar to Roger Rabbit, this movie takes place in a world where humans and cartoons live side by side and all the movies and show that we’ve seen in reality are scripted productions done by characters that have their own lives. Decades after their show has been canceled, Chip and Dale reunite to solve the kidnapping of their friend and former co-star Monterey Jack. It’s a straightforward mystery that’s carried by the jokes and constant pop-culture crossovers. The duo of John Mulaney as Chip and Andy Samberg as Dale works well, but aside from Tim Robinson as Ugly Sonic, there aren’t many standout performances from the celebrity cast.


The way that this movie satirizes modern Hollywood is great. After being tired of playing the dumb sidekick, Dale tries to go solo and eventually gets a procedure done to make him look like a modern CG animated 3-D character with textured fur. His reasoning is that he needed it in order to be cast in modern animated shows and movies. The plot also ties in the aspect of bootleg rip-offs with a chop-shop-like warehouse that turns beloved animated characters into ugly bootlegs used to make cheap movie rip-offs. 



At this point, there are plenty of reboots that try to be self-aware and poke fun at themselves, but Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is one of the few that does it well. The star-studded cast and abundance of pop-culture cameos are a fun novelty, and those who grew up on ‘90s Disney cartoons will be overloaded with nostalgia.


Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


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