February 16th, 2022
An Ode to the Rescue Rangers
If you’re following along, you may have seen me lose my mind over the new Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers trailer yesterday. In fact, I have been abnormally salivating since the project was first announced.
The original series was one of my absolute favorites growing up. I’ve been vocal that my all-ages graphic novel series Brushfire is heavily inspired by the block of television known and adored as the Disney Afternoon, but no show has more pawprints on my work (and my heart) like the Rescue Rangers.
I’ve thought a lot about why that is.
One of its inescapable influences on me is how it champions the underdog (or underchipmunk, undermouse and underfly). I got some of that from my superheroes, but people like Batman and Spider-Man have gadgets and powers; the Rangers are literally tiny wildlife who just had their smarts and each other.
Their willingness to help anyone and everyone gave us an ambitious goal for personal kindness. Their establishment of a found family is a paragon of inclusion and happiness.
And I’ve always related to Chip. Chip is bossy. I am… bossy is a nice way of saying it. (Anyone who has tried to sit next to me on game night has a good idea of who I am.) But I work on that every day. And it’s the Dales of my existence who remind me to not take it (or myself) so seriously.
Chip is also a model of how I live my life: you can’t just expect things to happen. You have to work towards them. You have to actually do them. And sometimes you have to lead, even on the days you don’t want to.
Nostalgia no doubt plays a factor, too. My mom and I bonded over everything Disney. Closed captioning was not a given back in our day; you’d have to buy a separate box for your TV, and not every show was captioned. You would be hard-pressed to find a theater that regularly projected captioned films.
The stories of Disney and its expressive characters were something we could always watch together and be able to follow along, regardless of whether or not they gave her the words.
Having Disney on TV at home was a dream and one we enjoyed together.
So, yeah. I’m really excited about this movie. The only thing I’m not thrilled with: look, I love meta storytelling. I really do. But to position Chip and Dale as actors who were on the Rescue Rangers TV show means that their adventures and relationships were not “real,” and that bums me out. But I haven’t seen the film. Unlike certain segments of the internet and general population, I like to consume my entertainment before I tell you how it tastes.
I’m just counting down the afternoons until May 20th.