There are a few rules in the House of Mouse. If you’re not a pretty pretty princess, some grand creation concocted by Pixar or Mickey and his main friends themselves, you probably haven’t been getting a lot of attention over the last few years. But even Disney understands that you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to revive something that was popular in the 1990s.
Ah yes, did you hear that? It’s the sound of a thousand true 90s kids collectively remembering. Disney has decided to revive Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers for a new generation, transforming the cartoon about the two little chipmunks into a live action CG hybrid film. Though Chip and Dale have appeared in Disney cartoons going as far back as a 1943 short film, their real time to shine was in the 90s television series, where the twosome ran the tiniest detective agency and helped rescue their animal clients — cases that are “too small” for the regular human police to handle. When will humans learn?
Perhaps the best part about two chipmunks running a detective agency was the fact that they were dressed like Indiana Jones and Magnum P.I. while they were doing so. Robert Rugan, an award-winning commerical director, is writing the film, which serves as an origin story; at this point, it’s unclear if this means the origin of how Chip and Dale became best buddies in the first place, or the story of how two plucky chipmunks got their detectives badges and started their own agency. I don’t know what Disney police academy is like, but I have been to the jail in Toontown and let me tell you, those cells are not only wacky, but they’re downright zany (and easy to escape).
You may recall that another live action CG hybrid film starring animated chipmunks has already happened somewhere in the universe; you’re not having deja vu. The monstrous bomb that was 2007’s Alvin and the Chipmunks featured the three high-pitched CG chipmunk brothers as they terrorized their human guardian (Jason Lee, why?), as well as every parent in the audience. But interest was enough to spawn Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel in 2009 and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked in 2011.
It’s an odd choice for Disney to take the live action CG hybrid format and apply it to their chipmunk cartoon when its already been done with the only other well-known chipmunks in pop culture. Why not stick with an animated feature and avoid the countless comparisons? However, with this decision to make a hybrid film, this means we get to speculate about which actors or actresses get to jump in as the humans involved.
If anything, Louis CK for the dastardly Professor Norton Nimnul, the mad scientist who once kidnapped all the cats in the city to generate static electricity.
Until then, reacquaint yourself with the original Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers theme song and hope that they somehow incorporate this into the film.