Chip n Dale Feature Chip n Dale Feature

Disney+’s latest throwback, Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers, hit the streaming platform today worldwide.

Here’s how Disney describes the film:

Chip and Dale are living amongst cartoons and humans in modern-day Los Angeles, but their lives are quite different now. It has been decades since their successful television series was cancelled, and Chip has succumbed to a life of suburban domesticity as an insurance salesman. Dale, meanwhile, has had CGI surgery and works the nostalgia convention circuit, desperate to relive his glory days. When a former cast mate mysteriously disappears, Chip and Dale must repair their broken friendship and take on their Rescue Rangers detective personas once again to save their friend’s life.

Mandeville Films produced with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Saturday Night Live) making his animation directorial debut. Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) wrote the screenplay. The key animation provider for the film was vfx powerhouse MPC (Sonic the Hedgehog, The Lion King, The Jungle Book) with additional 2d animation from Passion Pictures.

Voice casting includes Andy Samberg, John Mulaney, Will Arnett, J.K. Simmons, and several high-profile cameos (Tim Robinson slays as Ugly Sonic), plus KiKi Layne puts in a live-action performance as Ellie, a young detective who helps the chipmunks in their investigation.

Reviews have been mostly positive for the film, some even gushing. It currently boasts a “certified fresh” 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Of course, any live-action/animation-hybrid crime caper overflowing with characters from several studios is going to be compared to the gold standard of the admittedly small genre, Robert Zemeckis’ Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Roger, voiced by original actor Charles Fleischer, even makes a brief cameo near the beginning of the film, seen in a shot from the trailer below. We went through dozens of reviews to find out how critics are comparing Chip ’n Dale to its spiritual predecessor.

Chip n Dale

Kate Erbland at Indiewire gave the film a B score, and found comparisons between the films fitting:

The Roger Rabbit comparisons might be obvious enough, but they are also apt, thanks to the film’s bent toward the kind of self-referential gags that require a few more years on Earth (and in the entertainment milieu) than the usual Disney animated series watcher might possess.

The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee was surprised by how much he enjoyed the film:

Inside the Trojan horse of a lazily inevitable kids adventure is a surprisingly sharp and detailed comedy. It’s not quite on par with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [sic], the film it undoubtedly wants to be likened to, but it’s infinitely better than it had any right to be.

Nick De Semlyen at Empire was similarly enthused:

With Who Framed Roger Rabbit as the clear inspiration (Roger even makes a guest appearance), it may not reach the inky heights of Robert Zemeckis’ seminal live-action/toon mash-up, but has a hell of a good time trying.

Although she enjoyed the film, in her Associated Press review Lindsey Bahr thought something was missing:

The plot is, perhaps, beside the point which is the biggest failing of Chip ’n Dale. Roger Rabbit, by contrast, managed to be both referential and meta within a framework of a compelling mystery. This mystery is simply a vehicle for the gags and observations, which are enjoyable, but it stops it short from being a great movie by itself.

And Frank Scheck at The Hollywood Reporter was as bullish on Chip ’n Dale as anybody:

Premiering exclusively on Disney+, it’s the funniest movie of the year so far, either animated or live-action. Or in this case both, since it ingeniously melds the two forms in the cleverest manner since Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [sic]