Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsChip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
|Theme music composer||Mark Mueller|
|Composer(s)||Glen Daum (for Score Productions)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||65 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original release||March 4, 1989– November 19, 1990|
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is an American animated adventure comedy television series produced by Disney Television Animation (formerly 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 4, 1989, after a preview episode ("Catteries Not Included") was aired on August 27, 1988. The series continued in September with a two-hour movie special, Rescue Rangers: To the Rescue, which was later broken up into five parts to air as part of the weekday run. The final episode aired on November 19, 1990.
On September 18, 1989, the series entered national syndication. It aired afternoons along with and following DuckTales on a channel that would later become Fox network before moving to a new channel. Just before the Disney Afternoon aired on this new channel an additional cartoon called TaleSpin was added to the line up, following Rescue Rangers. From 1990 to 1993 reruns of the show were aired as a part of the Disney Afternoon lineup. Reruns were later shown on Toon Disney when the channel launched in 1998 but were removed in August 2008. The series' entire run is available (as one season) as part of Disney+ as of its launch November 12, 2019, HD Remastered.
- Home media
- Other media
- Live-action-animated film adaptation
Chip and Dale are two chipmunks who start a detective agency, Rescue Rangers, along with their friends Gadget Hackwrench, 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 find themselves going up against two particular arch-villains: Mafia-style tabby cat Fat Cat and mad scientist Norton Nimnul.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||March 4, 1989||May 21, 1989|
|2||47||September 15, 1989||May 2, 1990|
|3||5||September 10, 1990||November 19, 1990|
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, wherein 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.
- Chip (voiced by Tress MacNeille) is the leader of the Rescue Rangers. Similar to Indiana Jones, he wears a fedora and a bomber jacket and frequently uses a rope to lasso or swing to other spots. Chip is mature and has a strong sense of moral standards, to the point that he is sometimes accused of not knowing how to have fun. He can be opinionated and often ends up in arguments with Dale over his best friend's more lackluster approach. At times, though, he also lets himself go and joins Dale in some mischief. He and Dale have a crush on Gadget.
- Dale (voiced by Corey Burton) is the co-founder of the Rescue Rangers. He wears a red and yellow Hawaiian shirt reminiscent of Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I. Though passionate about the job, he is a free-spirited, genial hotshot who is sometimes immature 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 (ironically, Monty finds it disgusting that Dale can't control himself over candy). He frequently finds himself being knocked on the head by Chip when he says or does something foolish. Dale is largely a friendly and easy-going character, though he is just as willing to get serious when the situation calls for it. Dale has also shown some remarkable creativity, as he is depicted constructing several gadgets of his own based on one of his favorite movie characters in the episode Double O Chipmunk, seemingly in only a few hours, despite seeming to have little to no technological background.
- Monterey Jack (voiced by Peter Cullen and Jim Cummings), known as "Monty" to his friends and called "Cheeser" by his mother, is an adventure-loving, red-haired and luxuriantly mustachioed 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—indeed, he has demonstrated feats of strength that some humans would be hardpressed to match—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 in a mustache-twisting, spiraling-eyed "cheese attack". 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 "Strike me starkers." Monterey Jack is the only Rescue Ranger known to have two living parents, Cheddarhead Charlie and Camembert Kate, who are also travelers. Also, names of his entire family, including his own, have references to various types of cheese. 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. Due to his traveling experience, Monty often handles the traveling arrangements for the group. Cullen voiced Monterey Jack in season 1, along with 20 of the first episodes of season 2 excluding the five-episode pilot. Cummings voiced him in the pilot, along with 22 episodes of season 2, and season 3.
- Gadget Hackwrench (voiced by MacNeille) is a young blond-haired female mouse who is the team's pilot, mechanic and inventor who wears a purple jumpsuit with blue goggles on her head. 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. Known to say "Golly" whenever she's surprised by something, Gadget moves, thinks, 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, which she attributes to the fact that she has a "mind-bashingly high IQ" and is easily bored. 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. Gadget's personality was based upon the inventive female character Jordan in the 1985 movie Real Genius. Gadget is so popular in Russia, there is a religion based on the character.
- Zipper (voiced by Burton) is a tiny bluish-green housefly and a 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, although, in later episodes, he talks more clearly. Despite his tiny size, Zipper occasionally has impressive displays of strength which are matched only by his unwavering loyalty to his friends.
- Fat Cat (voiced by Cummings) is a felonious, obese grey tabby cat and one of the Rescue Rangers' most frequent antagonists. Formerly owned by criminal Aldrin Klordane, in which capacity the Rangers first encountered him, Fat Cat became an independent agent and animal world crime boss after Klordane's incarceration. Inordinately proud of his appearance, he keeps his whiskers clean, wears a purple business suit, and has a taste for expensive things. Fat Cat is a ruthless criminal mastermind, and his plans, though sometimes bizarre, are nevertheless dangerous and sadistic. He 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 elaborate and slow methods, rather than killing them immediately. The complexity of his plans usually ends up being his downfall. He has a cousin who lives in Paris, France. Voice actor Jim Cummings described Fat Cat as a combination of Zero Mostel and Dom DeLuise. 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 too lazy, to get his paws dirty, and they are too stupid and intimidated by him to do anything less than follow his exact orders.
- Wart (voiced by Cummings) is a lizard henchman of Fat Cat who dresses in a gangster-style suit and hat similar to his boss.
- Mole (voiced by Burton) is an overweight mole henchman of Fat Cat who is slow witted but cheerful, and 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.
- Mepps (voiced by Cullen) is a thin, yellow alley cat henchman of Fat Cat who is dressed in a ratty blue vest and toboggan, and who speaks with a whiny voice.
- Snout (voiced by Burton) is a rat henchman of Fat Cat who wears a short sleeved red turtle neck with a black vest and a dark blue hat that covers his eyes. He is seen the least of Fat Cat's henchmen.
- Professor Norton Nimnul (voiced by Cummings) is the Rangers' other major enemy and a mad scientist who once worked for Aldrin Klordane, which, as with Fat Cat, is how the Rangers first encountered him. 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 (and similarly colored, bushy moustache), wears very thick glasses, and a high-pitched laugh. Unlike other humans in the series, Nimnul is aware of the Rescue Rangers' activities, and even that they have human-level intelligence, due to their constant interference in his plans; this became even more explicit in "A Fly in the Ointment" when his malfunctioning teleporter caused him to swap heads with Zipper, allowing him to understand the Rangers when forced to work with them to rescue Zipper from the hospital and put everyone back to normal (the same 'glitch' in his teleporter causing Chip/Monty and Dale/Gadget, respectively, to switch heads). He is physically modeled on Disney animator Bruce Talkington.
Rescue Rangers was originally conceived as the first of three new companion shows to Disney's popular DuckTales series, which had more than doubled the ratings among child audiences in its time slots after its debut in the fall of 1987. Disney had originally invested $20,000,000 in DuckTales and then invested $28,000,000 in Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers.
It, along with TaleSpin and a third series, Double-O Duck (which ultimately became Darkwing Duck), would round out a programming block later known as "The Disney Afternoon" along with the previously established Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears to capitalize on DuckTales' success.
When Tad Stones first came up with the idea for the Rescue Rangers series, Chip and Dale were not part of the show. He initially pitched doing a TV series based on The Rescuers, but Disney rejected that idea as a sequel to that film was already in production. He created a new concept with the working title of Metro Mice. In the original draft, the main character was an Indiana Jones-type mouse named Kit Colby who sported a fedora and a fluffy collared leather jacket, and the rest of the team included a chameleon, an earlier version of Gadget, and a character resembling Monterey Jack with a different name. 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. At Eisner's suggestion, they replaced him with the chipmunk duo to give the show some established Disney characters to work with. By late 1987, two years before its television debut, the show was announced under its original proposed title of "Chip 'n Dale and the Rescue Rangers".
While Chip and Dale were established characters, in order to bring them into the series only their general appearance and basic 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 was reminiscent of, but not specifically modeled after, Thomas Magnum from Magnum, P.I. with his Hawaiian shirt.
The series premiered in 1989 on The Disney Channel before moving into a regular slot in syndication the following fall. In 1990, the series premiered as part of the Disney Afternoon line up, where it aired until 1993. On October 2, 1995, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers began reruns on The Disney Channel as part of a two-hour programming block called "Block Party" which aired on weekdays in the late afternoon/early evening and which also included Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, and DuckTales.
The show's opening theme was written (listed in the end credits as words & music) by Mark Mueller, an ASCAP Award-winning pop music songwriter who also wrote the popular theme song for DuckTales and produced by Alf Clausen. The song performed over the title credits is sung by Jeff Pescetto (who also performed the DuckTales theme song). A full-length version of the theme song was later recorded by the pop group The Jets.
United Kingdom VHS releases
On November 6, 1989, Walt Disney Home Video released episodes from the series on video, containing a pair of episodes each.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|Crimebusters||"Catteries Not Included" & "Piratsy Under the Seas"||November 6, 1989|
United States VHS releases
On February 22, 1991, Walt Disney Home Video released 10 episodes from the series on five VHS cassettes in the United States, containing a pair of episodes each.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|Double Trouble||"Dale Beside Himself" & "Flash the Wonder Dog"||September 28, 1989|
|Crimebusters||"Catteries Not Included" & "Piratsy Under the Seas"|
|Undercover Critters||"Adventures in Squirrelsitting" & "Three Men and a Booby"|
|Danger Rangers||"Kiwi's Big Adventure" & "Bearing Up Baby"||August 14, 1990|
|Super Sleuths||"Pound of the Baskervilles" & "Out to Launch"|
Additionally, on December 14, 1994, the episode "Ghost of a Chance" was released together with the Goof Troop episode "Hallow-Weenies" on one VHS cassette as a special release called Boo-Busters. On September 3, 1996, the episode "Good Times, Bat Times" was released together with the Darkwing Duck episode "Ghoul of My Dreams" on one VHS cassette as a special release called Witcheroo!
Several other episodes were available on international releases.
UK, Australia and New Zealand releases
Eleven VHS cassettes containing 23 episodes of the series were released in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 1): Crimebusters||"Catteries Not Included" & "Piratsy Under the Seas"||November 6, 1989 (UK) / September 11, 1992|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 2): The Pound of the Baskervilles||"Pound of the Baskervilles" & "Adventures in Squirrelsitting"||September 11, 1992|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 3): Risky Beesness||"Bearing Up Baby" & "Risky Beesness"||September 11, 1992|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 4): Romancing the Clone||"Dale Beside Himself" & "Flash the Wonder Dog"||September 11, 1992|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 5): Astro Nuts||"The Carpetsnaggers" & "Out to Launch"||September 11, 1992|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 6): 3 Men and a Birdie||"Three Men and a Booby", "Parental Discretion Retired" & "Chocolate Chips"||April 2, 1993|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 7): Ghouls and Jewels||"Ghost of a Chance" & "A Wolf in Cheap Clothing"||April 2, 1993|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 8): Half-Size Heroes||"A Lad in a Lamp" & "Seer No Evil"||April 2, 1993|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 9): Flies in Disguise||"When You Wish Upon A Star" & "Chipwrecked Shipmunk"||September 10, 1993|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 10): Danger Rangers||"Out of Scale", "Kiwi's Big Adventure" & "Gorilla My Dreams"||September 10, 1993|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (Volume 11): Duelling Dale||"Mind Your Cheese and Q's", "The S.S. Drainpipe" & "A Creep in the Deep"||September 10, 1993|
North America (Region 1)
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released some of the series on DVD-Video; 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 (containing episodes 1–27) and the second on November 14, 2006 (containing episodes 28–51). The episodes on the first volume are arranged in production order, while the episodes on the second volume are arranged by original air date. The sets were originally packaged in a box containing 3 slipcases, one for each disc. Both volumes were reissued in standard-sized DVD cases in 2013. There has yet to be any word from Disney regarding the release of a third volume set for episodes 52–65.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release date|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 1||27||November 8, 2005|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 2||24||November 14, 2006|
International (Region 2)
In the United Kingdom, Disney released one Region 2 volume in 2007, titled Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers First Collection. Despite the set being similar to the US version, the DVD contained only 20 episodes, while having 6 language tracks: English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish and Italian. Several other similar releases were then made to other countries, but only going up to episode #20. On December 5, 2012, a second DVD set of the series was released in the UK, but as a Region 2 version of Volume 2, titled Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Season 2. Unlike the first DVD, this 3-disc set includes a Fastplay mode and only two language tracks: English and German, but subtitles have not been added. As of yet, there are no plans to release the rest of the series, or the seven episodes missing between the first two sets.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release date||Language|
|Walt Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers – First Collection||20||February 12, 2007||English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish and Italian|
|Walt Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers – Season 2||24||December 5, 2012||English and German|
Video on demand
The series was released on Amazon Video in 2013 and was free for Amazon Prime members. However, it was unavailable for some time. The series was brought back to Amazon Instant Video in the United States in 2016, being currently available for purchase in SD and HD.
The complete series is also currently available for purchase in SD and HD on iTunes and Google Play (Volume 2 on Google Play is only available in SD), also released in 2016.
The complete series was released alongside the release of Disney's streaming service Disney+ on November 12, 2019.
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 the series were incorporated into the TV commercials advertising the Happy Meals. Ice cream versions of Chip 'n Dale were made by Good Humor.
In 1989, Walt Disney World presented a parade called Hooray For Disney Stars Parade.
In 1990, Walt Disney World presented a show called Mickey's Magical TV World, featuring Chip and Dale in their Rescue Rangers outfits.
In 1990, Chip and Dale appeared in the Disney on Ice show Walt Disney's World on Ice: 10th Anniversary in their Rescue Rangers outfits.
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 Raceway re-theme of the Fantasyland Autopia.
In December 2010, Gadget appeared in the stage show Disney's Twelve Days of Christmas.
In addition, Chip and Dale in their Rescue Rangers outfits were featured to meet fans at the Fall Back to Fun Event in September 2014, along with other Disney characters.
|Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers|
|Publication date||June 1990 – December 1991|
|Number of issues||19|
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. They also had a series from Boom Studios that was published for 8 issues from December 2010 to June 2011.
In the first Darkwing Duck comic story from KaBoom!, Gadget makes a cameo gag.
|Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers|
|Publication date||September 2010 – May 2011|
|Number of issues||8|
From September 2010, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers was revived by comics publisher Boom! Studios, as an ongoing monthly series slated to begin in December of the same year. This choice was based on the extreme and unexpected popularity of Darkwing Duck, another Disney Afternoon property which BOOM! revived earlier in 2010. The series featured comics writer Ian Brill, and artist Leonel Castellani. Eight issues were published, collecting the two 4-part stories into two trade paperback books. The comic series was cancelled May 2011, to be replaced by the launch of DuckTales.
The Boom! Studios series will be reprinted in IDW Publishing's Disney's Afternoon Giant in October 2018.
- In 1990, Capcom released a video game based on the show called Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers for Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a platform game distinguishable by the player needing to grab boxes, carry them on top and throwing to attack enemies and sometimes clear or form the path. It features a 2-player cooperative mode, and allows some non-linearity in choosing levels on a map. Each level is a various location of the city. In the story the Rangers must stop another of Fat Cat's schemes. The ongoing is described by dialogues between levels.
- A second NES game, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2, was released by Capcom in 1993. The sequel is the same in the principle of picking and throwing boxes, features additional incentives for cooperative play such as mini-games, that can only be played by two players, and the ability to throw the partner as a weapon.
- An unofficial Mega Drive sequel to these games, titled Squirrel King, was produced by the Taiwanese developer Gamtec. This game was later the basis of the unofficial Mega Drive Super Mario World game.
- Also released in 1990, Hi Tech Expressions' PC game Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventures 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.
- A Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers hand-held LCD game was released by Tiger Electronics.
- Chip, Dale, Gadget and Zipper appeared on cards which were in the game Mickey's Memory Challenge for Amiga and MS-DOS released for Infogrames and Disney Software in 1993.
- Chip and Dale (in their Rescue Rangers outfits) are playable characters in Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour, for PlayStation, Windows PC, Sega Dreamcast and Game Boy Color released by Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Interactive and Disney Interactive in 2000.
- In May 2010, Dynamic Pixels Ltd. released a mobile game Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, where Fat Cat kidnapped Zipper and imprisoned him on a distant island. The team have to repair their legendary plane to get it but, unfortunately, they have no spare parts so the Rescue Rangers have to use their investigating skills together with enterprising skills as only their plane will help them to get to Fat Cats den. The story is divided into 27 non-linear missions that can be reached via a city map. Every mission is one of 3 different mini-games. The game can be downloaded free of charge and players use micro transactions to purchase in game money to spend it on different in game content like upgrades, additional equipment, power-ups, bonuses etc. if needed.
Live-action-animated film adaptation
In January 2014, it was announced that The Walt Disney Company is developing a live-action feature-length film, with use of CGI special effects, similar to 20th Century Fox's Alvin & the Chipmunks film series. Robert Rugan was hired to write and direct the film.
By May 2019, Akiva Schaffer was hired as the director, replacing Rugan. The script is now set to be co-written by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, from a previous draft by Barry Schwartz. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will serve as producers. The film will be a co-production between Walt Disney Pictures and Mandeville Films. On October 19, 2020, it was reported that the film will be released on Disney+, with filming set to begin in early 2021 in Los Angeles, California. In November 2020, Larry Fong was hired as the film's cinematographer and Corey Burton was announced to reprise the role of Zipper. Chip will be voiced by John Mulaney and Andy Samberg will provide the voice of Dale.
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.