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Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Reviews Have Arrived, Read What Critics Are Saying About The Disney+ Reboot

Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers
(Image credit: Disney)

Your favorite animated chipmunks are back, with the Disney+ reboot of the popular ‘90s series Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. This time, however, it’s not a series, but instead it's a movie that will reunite the titular rodents with their old gang to save a friend. Critics have had the opportunity to screen the live action/animated film ahead of its May 20 release to Disney+ subscribers. The trailer makes it look like viewers are in for some wacky, meta weirdness, but what are the reviews saying?

John Mulaney and Andy Samberg star as the titular duo, with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer directing. Along with as the Saturday Night Live vets in the leading roles, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers boasts an impressive cast, with names including Will Arnett, Keegan-Michael Key, Tim Robinson, Seth Rogan and J.K. Simmons, just to name a few. Let’s take a look at what the reviews are saying about the Disney+ reboot, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers

Our own Mike Reyes rates the movie 3.5 stars out of 5, saying it pushes its PG rating to the limit and gives a nod to the nostalgic ‘90s vibe while still remaining firmly in the present day. It’s a reboot that mocks reboots, and it gets it right:

With an assortment of humor that plays to anyone in the audience, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is fiercely funny, while also family friendly. Hardcore fans of the show can let themselves question whether a romantic pairing in the Rescue Rangers cast would actually work or not. Younger/more novice viewers who don’t get the joke won’t have to worry too much about the matter, as the next hilarious moment is just around the corner. That just might be the best part about Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, as it’s a film that’s reverent of its past, but not so much that it won’t allow itself to take some chances.

Petrana Radulovic of Polygon says in a reboot-weary world, this movie is a refreshing antidote. The jokes are witty, the nostalgia is fun, and the movie finds a good balance in being sweet but not saccharine and sharp but not mean-spirited:

Most of the plot just exists to get Chip and Dale to another fun place, introduce another surprising character, or make another clever joke about Hollywood. And that’s all fine, really. The heartwarming end message about friendship is on par with other family movies, and also not so cloying that it overpowers the witty jokes.

While many critics seem to think the Disney+ original will appeal to both children and their parents, the AV Club’s Courtney Howard thinks it misses the mark on both ends and grades it a C-, predicting that this movie will fade from our memories like the series of 30-plus years ago did:

The humor skews too adult for youngsters, whose familiarity with and affinity towards the original series barely charts, while simultaneously being too tame for adults craving that dopamine hit of nostalgia. Although the film takes its irreverence to heart, the story told—about two estranged pals learning to be friends again while reassembling their squad—is flat and familiar, even if the particulars are unique.

Charles Pulliam-Moore of The Verge agrees with the above review, saying the movie feels like it isn’t sure what it wants to be. The meta humor falls flat for this critic, and instead of coming off as self-deprecating humor, it just serves as a reminder of Disney’s behemoth power, likely looking for crossover opportunities: 

The idea of classic Disney characters like The Little Mermaid’s Flounder being washed up has-beens who dodge bill collectors has a certain charm to it. But each of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers’ self-deprecating jokes bears the unmistakable aftertaste of a megacorporation trying to get in on jokes about itself that just don’t work because they’re coming out of Disney characters’ mouths. By making fun of itself, Chip ‘n Dale inadvertently ends up illustrating just how powerful a company like Disney is and how easily that power can lead to overbloated nostalgia grabs that play like ominous signs of metaverses to come.

Kate Erbland of IndieWire grades Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers a B, saying it’s more clever than outright funny, but a welcome reminder that reboot culture can still bring fresh ideas to the table. This review warns that adults may be more into this than the little ones, though: 

Remake culture has gone absolutely haywire in recent years, and if Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers exists to make the case that there really is fresh life in old stories, that’s the exact kind of reminder Hollywood needs to hear ASAP. Just don’t expect the younger set to go nuts for it, at least not yet.

The critics presented a couple of different angles that audiences might see this movie from, and if it sounds like something you and your family might enjoy – and you don’t have to wait long or go far to give it a watch. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers premieres Friday, May 20, on Disney+. While you can enjoy this and other Disney+ movies from your own living room, be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to start planning your next trip to the theater.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.