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Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers director talks about his tribute to Disney animation

Call it a comeback if you want, but fans have been waiting 30 years for Disney to bring back Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Now we have it in the form of the hit Disney+ movie.

The movie is currently streaming on Disney+. It has a score of certified fresh (82%) on Rotten Tomatoes with an 82% audience score. It may not be a new Disney classic, but that’s pretty good!

“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” reunites former Disney Afternoon television starts Chip (voice of John Mulaney) and Dale (voice of Andy Samberg) in modern-day Los Angeles.

This LA is a city populated by humans and toons. It’s almost as if the world at the end of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” continued to evolve as Hollywood evolved.

Chip and Dale had a bit of a falling out after their show was canceled. Chip now works as an insurance salesman, while Dale—who underwent CGI surgery—works the nostalgia convention circuit.

Now they must solve the mysterious disappearance of one of their former cast mates. But before they can do that, Chip and Dale must mend their broke friendship and resume their Rescue Ranger detective personas to save him before he meets a grizzly fate.

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is “a love letter to the journey of animation.” said KiKi Layne, who stars as rookie detective and Rescue Rangers superfan Ellie Whitfield.

“When you think of what cartoons and animated films first looked like and what they look like now, the film definitely speaks to that a lot,” added Layne. “I think it’s something that will touch a lot of fans—not just fans of Chip and Dale, but fans of all animation.”

Making Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

Disney has released this fun featurette that goes behind the camera and shows how they made parts of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.

Director/Producer Akiva Schaffer is not known for his break out animated hits. But he did love animation and had a history of producing and directing comedy.

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is chock full of animation cameos, from Scrooge McDuck to Roger Rabbit. “I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit in theaters, and it was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Schaffer said. “Who would’ve thought that one day I’d be in a recording studio with Charles Fleischer voicing Roger Rabbit?”

In crafting his love letter to animation, Shaffer says he sought out “legacy people for voice work, for character work, and for artist work” whenever possible. “That was always my first ask.”

So why did he want to direct this hybrid live-action/CG animated action-comedy?

“First, there was the technical aspect that intrigued me—learning the world of animation,” Schaffer says. “A lot of my friends make animated films, like Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and I’ve always wanted to know how to do that. Second, I grew up with all these characters—especially from Disney Afternoon, which was a big part of my childhood. Third, the script was really funny. It was really inventive and self-aware. On a comedy level, I thought, ‘This is a funny movie that I’d actually want to see.’ It’s one of those the whole family can enjoy.”

Akiva Schaffer recently talked about the process of getting all the creators of other animated classics to agree to lend the movie their characters in this podcast interview:

We also enjoyed listening to this quick interview on Screen Rant with Schaffer, which answers a lot of questions I haven’t heard talked about in the trades.

Have you watched Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is streaming now, only on Disney+.