Sometimes a movie just comes along under the radar and completely exceeds all expectations to deliver a pure cinematic escape. These movies come in all shapes and sizes, but I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t predicting this experience coming from the new adaptation of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers on Disney+. I grew up watching the cartoon series after school, but to be frank we are long oversaturated with nostalgic properties from the 80’s and 90’s. Many of these remakes, reboots, and re-quels fail to hit the same charming notes of their source material, despite their modest appeal in certain cases.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is one of the few that was able to build on its original to create a bold and charismatic world filled with adventure, friendship, and self-referential humor that lands with precision. This story takes the old series and plops it into a vibrant new world and with it comes appealing doses of amusement, nostalgia, unpredictability, and engaging cameos. The meta-angle of this movie was a hoot, as was the sense-of-humor, and the consistent self-awareness that flows through the script. It all results in something not often seen in cinema these days, and almost rarely found in rebooted franchises, that being a fresh and creative tale that steps outside of the box.
The tone and charm of Chip and Dale is captured with ease through the voiceover work from Andy Samberg and John Mulaney. They fill these characters with life and personality to connect with as this movie explores their careers and their friendship. The plotline weaves just enough layering and added characters to keep the pace moving and outside of some on-the-nose dialogue (which I can overlook in a film for kids) this adaptation is the perfect recipe for rekindling the love from old fans, while building an entirely new fanbase from the younger generation.
Visually this movie was impressive. Not so much because of the detail, or how real this or that looked. But much more so in the blending of various artistic elements. Rescue Rangers certainly captures a Who Framed Roger Rabbit vibe, but I think it stretched far beyond that in the most visually appealing ways. Traditional cartoon animation is crossed with digital animation, which are both infused into a live-action world, and it was a delightful escape. The colors and lighting are all pristine to create a unique atmosphere and it was refreshing.
There was every chance for Rescue Rangers to follow the formula of all the other rebooted properties filling the release schedule. But through the writing, the artistic expression, and the crisp direction from Akiva Schaffer, that wasn’t the case here. This one took a chance to be something new. The love of the source material pours onto the screen and through the characters for families to gather around and enjoy together as a passing of the torch some might say.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.