The Rescue Rangers: Chip 'n' Dale with Monterey Jack, Zipper and Gadget.


Original Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Disney
First Appeared: 1989
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It wasn't until the 1980s that Disney got serious about the television animation market — but when they finally …

continued below

… jumped in, they jumped in with both feet. They followed up their success with DuckTales (based on the Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge comic books) with a total revamp of their old Chip'n'Dale series. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers made its syndicated debut on Sept. 30, 1989.

These were not the cute little chipmunks of old. For one thing, they wore clothing — Chip put on an outfit reminiscent of one of the best-known adventurous icons of the '80s, Indiana Jones, while Dale sported a loud Hawaiian shirt. For another, they became a lot talkier than before. But mostly, they no longer seemed concerned with gathering nuts, protecting their tree home, and annoying Donald Duck, but headed up a team of adventuring do-gooders.

Others members of the Rescue Rangers were Monterey Jack, a cheese-loving Australian mouse; Gadget Hackwrench, a fabulously talented inventor, also a mouse, and the group's token female; and Zipper, a housefly. Together they would foil the endless schemes of Fat Cat, Professor Nimnul, and other dastardly bad guys.

Well, not quite endless. The series was produced for only one season, a total of 65 episodes (i.e., 13 weeks at five episodes per week). Unlike some successful animated series, it was not made into a feature film.

During the early 1990s, the Walt Disney Company published its own comic books, rather than licensing them to other publishers. When they launched the line, a Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers title was a prominent part of it. Also, they ran Rescue Rangers adventures in Disney Adventure Digest, starting with the first issue. Like the TV show, however, the comic book version was short-lived.

Some cite the jarring contrast between the Rescue Rangers and the old, familiar version of Chip'n'Dale as a reason for the show's less than stellar success. In any case, it is seldom seen today — but in their original incarnation, Chip'n'Dale cavort endlessly on The Disney Channel, along with the other characters of the old theatrically-released Disney cartoons.


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