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Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) May 21st, 2022

Produced exclusively for Disney+, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers follows the titular chipmunks as their attempt to revive their acting careers devolves into a mission to rescue a kidnapped friend. Their adventure exposes them to the darker side of animation history including taking shots at early 2000’s CGI and bootlegged media. While Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is rated PG the jokes skew older but not funnier. There’s that line in comedy where you understand a joke, but you’re not laughing, that’s where Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers sits. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is the movie you watch when you can’t find your Who Framed Roger Rabbit blu-ray. No offense to anyone involved in Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers‘ production, it’s a perfectly fine movie, but from the meta premise to the cartoon jokes its clearly an anemic love letter to Robert Zemeckis’ animation masterpiece.

I am being harsh, again the movie is perfectly fine, it’s just not anything special. Andy Samberg and John Mulaney provide predictably average performances I can barley remember, but there is an upside, perhaps even… a singular reason to watch Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers despite its banal mediocrity… Ugly Sonic.

Allow me to refresh your memory. Prior to Sonic the Hedgehog‘s release in 2020, Paramount marketed the film with a teaser trailer expecting SEGA fans to lose their shit over the ‘live action’ Sonic movie. Well they did of course but not out of excitement but rather horror. The movie’s CGI lead was ugly. A little too hairy, a little too realistic, a little too… human than any supersonic anthropomorphic blue hedgehog should be. Paramount quickly canned the trailer and completely revised Sonic’s design before it hit theaters. The final render looked more cartoonish, flatter and decidedly less human. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers pulled off one of the greatest coups of filmmaking history by incorporating the Ugly Sonic character into their storyline in a premiere supporting role. Voiced by Tim Robinson, Ugly Sonic completely steals the show whenever he’s on screen as a washed up animation mistake resigned to signing autographs on the convention circuit. Maybe this kind of not-so-inside-joke isn’t enough to make everyone overlook the otherwise boring movie, but it sure helped me.

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