Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is an American animated series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation and created by Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove. The series premiered on the Disney Channel on March 4, 1989. It technically premiered with a two-hour movie, Rescue Rangers: To the Rescue, which was later broken up into a five-part pilot and aired as the opening of the second season. The final episode aired on November 19, 1990.
Beginning from September 18, 1989, the show aired in syndication. In 1990, as a part of the Disney Afternoon line up, reruns of the show were aired until September 3, 1993.
Chip and Dale, two chipmunks with a nose for trouble, start a detective agency, Rescue Rangers, along with their new friends Gadget, Monterey Jack, and Zipper. The pint-sized detectives deal with crimes that are often "too small" for the police to handle, usually with other animals as their clients. The gang frequently finds itself going up against two particular arch villains: Mafia-style tabby cat Fat Cat and mad scientist Norton Nimnul.
When Tad Stones first came up with the idea of the Rescue Rangers series, Chip 'n Dale were not part of the show. In the original idea, the show would center around a group of team of animals, which included a chameleon, an earlier draft of Gadget, and Monterey Jack (with a different name). The main character, though, was an Indiana Jones type mouse named Kit Colby who sported a fedora and a fluffy collared leather jacket. When he proposed the show in a meeting with Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the idea was well received except for the character of Kit Colby. At Eisner's suggestion, he was replaced with the chipmunk duo to give the show some established Disney characters to work with.
While Chip and Dale were established characters, to bring them into the series, only their general appearance and broad personality traits were kept. Unlike their appearances in Disney shorts, in the Rescue Rangers the chipmunk duo are very verbal, with Chip voiced by Tress MacNeille and Dale voiced by Corey Burton. Audio processing was used to speed-up the voice recordings and give the voices a higher pitch, particularly Chip's. The pair were given clothes -- Chip the clothing of the original concept Kit, while the goofier Dale, incidentally modeled after Magnum, P.I., with his Hawaiian shirt.
The series premiered in 1989 on the Disney Channel before moving into a regular slot in the Disney Afternoon line up the next year.
The show's opening theme was performed by the pop group The Jets. It was written by Mark Mueller, an ASCAP award-winning pop music songwriter who also wrote the theme song to Duck Tales.
- Chip is the leader of the Rescue Rangers. Loosely modeled on Indiana Jones, Chip wears a fedora and a bomber jacket and frequently uses rope to lasso or swing to other spots. Chip tends to be serious and with a strong sense of responsibility, to the point that he is sometimes accused of not knowing how to have fun. He can be domineering and often ends up in squabbles with Dale over his more laid back manner. At times, though, he also lets himself go and joins Dale in some frivolity. Voiced by Tress MacNeille.
- Dale wears a red and yellow Hawaiian shirt reminiscent of Thomas Magnum in Magnum P.I.. Though dedicated to the job, he is a fun-loving, mischievous prankster who is sometimes irresponsible and forgets to think before he acts. He spends his free time reading comic books and playing video games. A known candy addict, Dale has "chocolate attacks" similar to Monterey Jack's cheese attacks. He frequently finds himself being knocked on the head by Chip when he says or does something foolish. Voiced by Corey Burton.
- Monterey Jack
- Gadget Hackwrench
- Zipper is a little blue fly who wears a red sweater. He can't talk instead comunicating throught buzzing and other noises. He is very close to Monterey Jack.
- Fat Cat
- Fat Cat's Gang
- Wart, a lizard, who dresses in a gangster-style suit and hat similar to his boss. Voiced by Jim Cummings.
- Mole, a slow witted but cheerful, this overweight mole wears an undersized red t-shirt and a yellow hat. When plans go wrong, Mole usually is the one who Fat Cat chooses to use as a punching bag. Voiced by Corey Burton.
- Mepps, a thin, yellow alley cat dressed in a ratty blue vest and toboggan who speaks with a whiny voice. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
- Snout, a rat that wears a short sleeved red turtle neck with a black vest and a dark blue hat that covers his eyes. He is usually only seen briefly. Voiced by Corey Burton.
- Professor Norton Nimnul
- The Siamese Twin Gang, two siamese cats that own a laundromat and an illegal underground casino. Though not major villains, these two characters have been considered as Asian Stereotypes due to the fact that they own a laundromat and speak in horrible English.
Except for the five-part set of episodes made from the pilot movie, each 22 minute episode of the series was self-contained. Plot points introduced in each episode stayed in the episode and any character development did not appear to continue through to future episodes. Most of the episodes followed a similar format, where in the next case was presented at the start of the episode, then the bulk of the episode had the sleuths gathering clues and investigating the situation. In the last few minutes of the episode, the case was resolved, usually in dramatic fashion and the final moments would have a humorous wrap up scene between the Rangers.
Theme Parks Edit
In 1990, Walt Disney World presented a show called Mickey's Magical TV World, featuring Chip and Dale in their Rescue Rangers outfits.
Chip 'n Dale (Rescue Rangers outfits) was appeared on the Ice show Walt Disney's World on Ice: 10th Anniversary in 1990.
In 1991 Disneyland presented a Disney Afternoon-themed stage show called "Plane Crazy" featuring Chip and Dale in their Rescue Rangers outfits, as part of the park's Disney Afternoon Avenue. In addition, cut-outs of Gadget, Chip and Dale were featured in the Rescue Rangers Racewayre-theme of the Fantasyland Autopia.
In January 1993, a junior roller coaster called Gadget's Go Coaster debuted along with the rest of Mickey's Toontown in Disneyland. The coaster looks like it was built and designed by Gadget herself. In April 1996, the attraction opened in Tokyo Disneyland.
In fall of 1989, McDonald's produced a series of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers themed Happy Meal that included toy versions of the main characters riding small vehicles. Scenes from series were incorporated into the TV commercials advertising the Happy Meals.
A monthly comic book based on the show was published by Disney Comics in 1990, that ran for 19 issues. Subsequent comic stories were printed in Disney Adventures from 1990 to 1995, as well as in the Disney Afternoon comic book published by Marvel Comics.
- Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers: The Missing Eggs Caper
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: The Big Cheese Caper
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (coloring book)
A 1990 issue of Comics Scene magazine reported that a theatrical feature film based on the series was planned for a 1991 release, however the film never happened, possible due to the lackluster performance of the DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp.
- Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventure in Nimnul's Castle
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (LCD Game)
Disney has released some of the series to DVD in the form of box sets, with each set having three single-sided discs and no extra features. Two out of three planned volumes have been released to Region 1 as of November 14, 2006. One volume has been released to Region 2 DVD, which contains seven fewer episodes than the Region 1 set. To date, there have been no releases for any additional volumes.
The episodes on the first volume are arranged by production date, while the episodes on the second volume are arranged by original air date.
The entire series is available on amazon instant video.
|Set Name||Ep#||Region 1||Region 2|
|Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Volume 1||27||November 8, 2005||N/A|
|Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Volume 2||24||November 14, 2006||N/A|
|Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Volume 3||14||TBA||N/A|
|Walt Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, First Collection||20||N/A||February 13, 2007|