The Rescue Rangers are back on May 20th, and this time it’s serious business.
…well, as serious as Chip’N’ Dale get anyway. I mean, they’re still toons.
Just a couple of months ago, we covered the teaser trailer for the upcoming Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers movie set to release on Disney+ in May. Now that the first full trailer is out, we have real plot elements, and a closer look at some of the myriad famous animated figures to give us a little more information on what to expect from this reboot—sorry, this comeback. The poster says it all.
So, what do we know? Is this going to be the Who Framed Roger Rabbit homage we postulated? Is this movie going to be at the epicenter of an entertainment industry revolution? Will creative genius be birthed to inspire a new generation of comedic minds going forward?
The verdict is…probably not.
However, while this more focused trailer doesn’t necessarily promise us the groundbreaking animated collaboration in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, this is still a movie that needed to be made, and it’s one that fans will appreciate in all the right ways.
Like the teaser, the roughly two and a half minute trailer features the nostalgia of the original series. Then we’re dropped into the present where Dale has had some CGI work done, hawking his 8×10’s on the convention circuit while a dated two dimensional Chip is earning an honest living selling insurance.
That changes, however, when he gets a call from Dale: the police still have their number, and their skills are needed. It turns out that toons are disappearing with not a shred of evidence to be found. Can the Rescue Rangers come together and solve this case before they become the next victims of this mysterious assailant?
The trailer shows us a world that, while fresh in its rarity, really isn’t anything new. It hits the same sort of beats that Roger Rabbit did in its day, and while it remains family friendly, easily has its place among films like The Happytime Murders where humans and puppets coexist. To its credit, Disney doesn’t shy away from referencing properties outside of their sphere, like Alvin and the Chipmunks (albeit as the butt of a joke on Chip & Dale’s behalf) and shows us updates of some of its more famous characters as a means of poking fun at themselves.
What makes this trailer so promising is just that: Disney can laugh at itself without being crass. Lonely Island alumni Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer have made a film that’s not just well put together, but good: made with love, attention to detail, and with the sensibilities of fans rather than executives or industry professionals. With the jokes about animation’s evolution, a claymation detective (an obvious reference to Gumby) slicing off pieces of his own hand to lift fingerprints, and Dale’s version of plastic surgery to keep with the times, this film is clearly a love letter to the art and industry of animation.
The support Disney is giving this film shows that they have a clear understanding of using nostalgia not just to their advantage, but responsibly. The buzz their use of a computerized young Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian and The Book Of Boba Fett has generated made many question whether or not Disney might have questionable intentions when it came to the use of deep fake technologies to embrace nostalgia in creating new properties.
However, with Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers, it’s clear that Disney hasn’t forgotten their roots.
If Disney continues to lean into movies like this, and save the deep fakes to use as tools rather than full fledged roles in their properties? The future of entertainment looks very bright indeed.
Liz Carlie (she/her/he/him) is a regular book, TV, and film reviewer for SCIFI.radio and has previously been a guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. In addition to being an active member of the traditional fandom community, she’s also an active participant in online fan culture, pro wrestling journalism, and spreading the gospel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She resides in Southern California with her aspiring superhero dog, Junior, enjoying life one hyperfixation at a time.