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Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is an Americanmarker animated series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. Created by Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove, it featured the established Disney characters Chip 'n Dale in a new setting. The series premiered on the Disney Channel on March 5, 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.

In the fall of 1989, the series was syndicated from September 18. In 1990, as a part of the Disney Afternoon line up, reruns of the show were aired until September 3, 1993.

Synopsis

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.

Production

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 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.

Characters

Protagonists

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, or "Monty" to his friends, is an adventure-loving Australian mouse who spent years traveling the world before a chance meeting with Chip and Dale during their first case. After Fat Cat destroyed his home, Monty and his sidekick Zipper decided to join the group in their detective work. Stronger and larger than the others, Monty can be quick to anger if he, or his friends, has been offended. This trait sometimes leaves him ready to do battle with a much larger opponent, and the others having to calm him down. Monty has an overpowering addiction to cheese, and the sight or smell of cheese causes him to be almost hypnotically drawn to it. Monty loves to tell stories of his travels, even if the others often stop his reminiscing, and he often uses colorful "pseudo-Australianisms" while talking, such as "Stripe me starkers." Monterey Jack is the only Rescue Ranger known to have two living parents, Cheddarhead Charlie and Camembert Kate, who are also travelers. Monty is most frequently found in the company of either Zipper or Dale, whose fun-loving nature matches his own. He also seems to consider Gadget to be something of a surrogate daughter, most likely due to his long friendship with her late father. According to the Disney Encyclopedia, the character was voiced by Jim Cummings, however the character is also listed in the voice credits of Peter Cullen. Cullen actually originated the role in the early episodes of the show, with Cummings (who had already been voicing Fat Cat, Professor Nimnul, and other characters on the show) taking over the role in later episodes.

Gadget Hackwrench is a young female mouse and the team's pilot, mechanic and inventor. The daughter of deceased inventor and aviator Geegaw Hackwrench, who was a good friend of Monterey Jack, she first met Chip and Dale when Monty brought them to Geegaw's in search of an airplane. At loose-ends since her father's death and eager to help, she joins the team. Gadget moves quickly, thinks quickly, and talks quickly, sometimes leaving the others looking dazed and confused. In addition to building and maintaining the Ranger Plane, Gadget is the one responsible for the various technological items used by the team and is regularly inventing new vehicles and tools for the team's use. She has the uncanny ability to take discarded and unrelated items, and invent nearly anything with them. Unfortunately, her creations don't always work the way she intends and have sometimes failed at just the wrong moment to cause the team trouble. Both Chip and Dale are attracted to Gadget, and often compete for her attention, but she doesn't seem to notice in many cases, and has never demonstrated a preference for either. Voiced by Tress MacNeille.

Zipper is a tiny green housefly and the long time friend and sidekick of Monterey Jack. With his tiny size and flying abilities, Zipper often handles little jobs that the rest of the Rescue Rangers cannot. He speaks in unintelligible buzzes that only Monty and other insects are able to understand. Despite his tiny size, Zipper occasionally has impressive displays of strength which are matched only by his unwavering loyalty to his friends. Voiced by Corey Burton.

Antagonists

Fat Cat is a felonious grey tabby cat and one of the Rescue Rangers' most frequent antagonists. Formerly owned by criminal Aldrin Klordane, Fat Cat became an independent agent and animal world crime boss after Klordane's incarceration. Inordinately proud of his appearance, Fat Cat keeps his whiskers clean, wears a purple business suit, and has a taste for expensive things. He is a ruthless criminal mastermind, and his plans, though sometimes bizarre, are nevertheless dangerous and sadistic. Fat Cat hates dogs and several of his schemes have been attacks against them. The only thing he hates more than dogs are the Rescue Rangers, which he always tries to get rid of using an elaborate and slow method, rather than killing them immediately. The complexity of his plans usually ends up being his downfall. Voiced by Jim Cummings.

Fat Cat is usually accompanied by four henchmen. In spite of their combined stupidity, Fat Cat almost always sends them out to do his dirty work for him, as he is too smart, or lazy to dirty his paws himself.

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 Rangers other major enemy, is a mad scientist who once worked for Aldrin Klordane. Though Nimnul is an intelligent and creative scientist, his plans often lack any trace of logic and tend to be extremely convoluted. For example, he kidnapped all the cats in the city to make an immense amount of static electricity, and in his appearance in the pilot he constructed a laser cannon designed to create a giant gelatin mold which would be used to cause an earthquake under the United States Gold Reserve. Nimnul has receding red hair, wears very thick glasses, and a high-pitched laugh. Unlike other humans in the series, Nimnul is aware of the Rescue Rangers and their interference in his plans. Voiced by Jim Cummings.

Media

Episodes

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.

Merchandise

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.

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, possibly due to the lackluster performance of DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp.

Video games

In 1990, Capcom released the Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers platform video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game offered both single player and cooperative modes, and allowed players to choose which levels to access via a map that gave them access to various locations in the city. Each individual stage was set-up as a side-scrolling action game where Chip and Dale can walk, jump, duck, and pick up objects such as acorns, crates, and barrels to throw at enemies and bosses. In the game, the Rangers must stop another of Fat Cat's schemes, only to have his kidnapping of Gadget send Chip and Dale to the rescue.

Also released in 1990, Hi Tech Expressions's PC game Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventure in Nimnul's Castle saw the Rangers having to rescue Monterey Jack, who is caught in a mousetrap in Professor Norton Nimnul's castle. To rescue him, the chipmunks must infiltrate the castle to collect various parts so Gadget can build a flying machine to reach Monterey Jack.

In 1993, Capcom released a second NES game, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2. The game was slightly superior graphically to the first game, and it featured additional incentives for cooperative play, such as mini-games that can only be unlocked with two players, and the ability to throw your partner as a weapon.

DVD releases

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released some of the series on DVD; two volumes have been released in Region 1 thus far featuring the first 51 episodes of the series. The first was released on November 8, 2005 and the second on November 14, 2006. The episodes on the first volume are arranged by production date, while the episodes on the second volume are arranged by original air date. In the United Kingdom, a single volume was released to Region 2 DVD containing seven fewer episodes than the Region 1 set.

Reception

In January 2009, IGN named Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers as the 60th best in the Top 100 Animated TV Shows.

References

External links




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