Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a Walt Disney Television Animation animated adventure comedy television series set in the United States. It was created by Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove and featured the well-known Disney characters Chip ‘n’ Dale in an entirely new world. After a preview episode (“Catteries Not Included”) aired on August 27, 1988, the series began on The Disney Channel on March 4, 1989.
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In September, the series continued with Rescue Rangers: To the Rescue, a two-hour feature special that was eventually split into five parts and aired during the weekday run. On November 19, 1990, the final episode aired. On May 20, 2022, Disney+ will premiere a live-action/animated sequel film set in the setting of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
The series debuted in national syndication on September 18, 1989. It aired in the afternoons on a channel that would later become Fox before switching to a new channel, alongside and following DuckTales.
Following Rescue Rangers, a new animation named TaleSpin was introduced to the lineup, immediately before the Disney Afternoon premiered on this new channel. Reruns of the show were broadcast as part of the Disney Afternoon lineup from 1990 to 1993.
When Toon Disney started in 1998, reruns were shown, but they were withdrawn in August 2008. As of November 12, 2019, the whole run of the series will be available (as a single season) on Disney+, which will be fully remastered in high definition.
The series was first released on Blu-ray on January 25th, 2022, through Disney Movie Club, and then on February 15th, 2022, everywhere else. It was the first Disney Afternoon show to be released on Blu-ray.
The Rescue Rangers are led by Chip (voiced by Tress MacNeille). He wears a fedora and a bomber jacket, and he frequently utilises a rope to lasso or swing to other locations, similar to Indiana Jones. Chip is brave, cheerful, and mature, with strong moral principles, to the extent where he is occasionally accused of not knowing how to have fun. He has strong opinions and frequently gets into fights with Dale about his best friend’s weak approach.
Dale (Corey Burton) is one of the Rescue Rangers’ co-founders. He’s dressed in a red and yellow Hawaiian shirt that makes him look like Thomas Magnum from Magnum, P.I. He is a happy-go-lucky, free-spirited, genial hotshot who is occasionally immature and forgets to think before he acts, despite his passion for the job. He likes to read comic books and play video games in his spare time.
Monterey Jack (voiced by Peter Cullen and Jim Cummings) is an adventure-loving, red-haired, and luxuriantly moustachioed Australian mouse who spent years wandering the world before a chance meeting with Chip and Dale during their first case.
Gadget Hackwrench (voiced by Tress MacNeille) is a young blond-haired female mouse who wears a purple jumpsuit with blue goggles on her head and is the team’s pilot, mechanic, and inventor. She first met Chip and Dale when Monty brought them to Geegaw’s in search of an aeroplane.
Her father, the late inventor and pilot Geegaw Hackwrench, was a good friend of Monterey Jack’s. She joins the squad, feeling lost following her father’s death and anxious to contribute.
Officer Kirby and Officer Muldoon (voiced by Peter Cullen) are two police officers that frequently appear in most episodes, arriving to apprehend the criminals the Rescue Rangers are preventing from fleeing with their stolen goods. Muldoon is the small Caucasian police who rides shotgun and Kirby is the powerful, muscular African-American officer who generally drives their squad car.
Both work as patrol officers for Sergeant Spinelli out of their precinct, where they collaborate with a large number of other cops and detectives, including retired police investigator Donald Drake and his K-9 Plato, as seen in the pilot “To The Rescue.”
Rescue Rangers was created as the first of three new companion episodes to Disney’s blockbuster DuckTales series, which more than doubled the ratings among children in its time slots after its launch in the fall of 1987.
Disney had put $20 million into DuckTales and then put $28 million into Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers.
To capitalise on DuckTales’ success, it, along with TaleSpin and a third series, Double-O Duck (later Darkwing Duck), would round out a programming block eventually known as “The Disney Afternoon” together with the previously established Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
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Chip and Dale were not part of the Rescue Rangers series when Tad Stones first came up with the concept. He first proposed a TV series based on The Rescuers, but Disney turned him down because a sequel to the film was already in the works. Metro Mice is the working title for a new concept he devised.
The main character in the initial draught was an Indiana Jones-style mouse named Kit Colby, who wore a hat and a fluffy collared leather jacket, while the rest of the crew featured a chameleon, an earlier version of Gadget, and a figure who looked like Monterey Jack but had a different name.
Except for the character of Kit, when he offered the show to Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg at a meeting, the idea was positively welcomed. They replaced him with the chipmunk duo at Eisner’s request to offer the show some well-known Disney characters to work with.
The show was announced under its initial proposed title of “Chip ‘n Dale and the Rescue Rangers” in late 1987, two years before its broadcast premiere.
Chip and Dale were established characters, but just their general appearance and fundamental personality qualities were retained in order to bring them into the series. Chip is played by Tress MacNeille, and Dale is voiced by Corey Burton. Unlike their appearances in Disney cartoons, the chipmunk duo in the Rescue Rangers are quite vocal.
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The voice recordings, notably Chip’s, were sped up and given a higher pitch using audio processing. Chip wore the original-concept Kit’s attire, while the goofier Dale wore a Hawaiian shirt that was similar of, but not directly modelled after, Thomas Magnum from Magnum, P.I.