Chip and Dale have long been favorites among animation fans for decades. The two characters made their debut in 1943 in a Pluto short, displaying their obsession with collecting nuts. They were most famous for their roles in Disney shorts until they were given their own television show in the late 1980s, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, which was a major hit among fans. Disney seems to be trying to recapture that success, as word has emerged that they have picked up a film project starring the two!
THR reports that Robert Rugan, a director who has won awards for his work on commercials, pitched an updated story for a Rescue Rangers film, and Disney executives seemed to like what they saw. Planned as a live-action film with the characters animated through CGI, it appears that it will be an origin story of how they form the detective agency seen in the TV show. The show revolved around the two characters teaming up with 2 mice and a housefly to solve mysteries, which was obviously a significant departure from the original shorts, but a novel concept that led to many great adventure episodes.
Interestingly, Rugan’s first directorial effort was for a low-budget re-telling of Alice in Wonderland called Alice’s Misadventures in Wonderland, which was released in 2004, so it seems that he has some history of developing older projects for the modern age. He will have producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, who have produced the studio’s Muppets films including the upcoming Muppets Most Wanted, working alongside him
If viewers did not catch Rescue Rangers episodes running during the famed Disney Afternoon block, which aired on weekday afternoons in the US, they had plenty of opportunities to watch episodes on the Disney Channel, where it aired for years. Reruns of the show catapulted it beyond its success during its original 2-year run. There were only 59 episodes produced, but many who grew up in the 90s have fond memories of the show and its incredibly catchy theme song. I dare you to resist the urge to listen to the theme song all over again below:
Live-action/CGI hybrids have seen mixed success, but it is a form of telling a storytelling that can work if there is a strong enough story and well-rounded characters. I sure hope that we see a quality film that honors fans’ great memories of the show. Also, if we are seeing a film version of the show, we have to get a rendition of that song in there somewhere, right?
The project was only recently picked up by Disney so development will take some time before we learn where the project will go. Stay tuned for any updates on its journey to the big screen!