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The 'Chip 'N' Dale Rescue Rangers' Trailer is Utterly Nutty

Reboots, remakes, sequels and prequels... the world is full of favourites from the past being brought back. But not all of them take the same route.  Unlike its fellow Disney Afternoon series DuckTales and Darkwing Duck, Chip 'N' Dale: Rescue Rangers is coming back as a hybrid animated/ live-action movie for Disney Plus.

If that's setting off alarm bells and triggering Alvin and The Chipmunks, Yogi Bear or The Smurfs flashbacks, then it looks like the writers of this felt the same. As the newly released first look teaser reveals, Rescue Rangers has an irreverent and satirical tone.

Chip 'N' Dale are a pair of mischievous chipmunks who originally starred in early Disney theatrical shorts alongside Mickey Mouse, Pluto and most frequently Donald Duck from 1943. The 1989 Rescue Rangers recast the rodents as private detectives and introduced a supporting cast including Gadget, Monterey Jack and Zipper the fly. The 2022 movie picks up 30 years later and sees them reuniting to save a friend.

And the trailer sure is... something. Is that something brilliant or terrible- we can't say, But it is most decidedly, undeniably utterly bonkers. Writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Doliitle) have taken the Who Framed Roger Rabbit approach, with the animated characters existing in a live-action world. However, it's obvious that even the 2D animation is still CGI.  In the present-day part of the story, Chip (voiced by John Delaney) remains 2D while Dale (Andy Samberg) is now 3D having supposedly had "CG surgery". 

It's most assuredly playing on nostalgia for the original, by featuring the absolute banger of the theme song, and even shouting out the classic NES video game. It's full of cameos from other Disney characters including Scrooge McDuck, Roger Rabbit and The Three Little Pigs. It also looks set to skewer modern animation trends (Cats being the most unexpected reference here) as well as the whole current cultural climate of recycling old shows, movies and characters ("Noone wants a Reboot!" Chip shouts at one point). It's a pretty risky tactic.

The film is directed by Andy Samberg's Lonely Island collaborator Akiva Schaffer  (Hot Rod, Pop Star: Never StopNever Stopping)  which perhaps goes some way to explaining the insanity. In fact, the trailer actually described the film as coming from "Disney and The Lonely Island", which was not included in the original announcements.

Chip 'N' Dale Rescue Rangers will stream on Disney Plus from May 20.