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Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers Is The Spiritual Successor To Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In First Trailer

The Disney cartoon characters of Chip 'n Dale have had quite a career in Hollywood. They started out as a pair of naked chipmunks menacing Donald Duck in a series of theatrical short subjects during the golden age of animation, before finding their elusive second act on television in the late 80s and early 90s with the beloved animated series "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers," which saw them repurposing their somewhat shallow cartoon personae into a pair of adventurous mystery-solving heroes (now with outfits inspired by Indiana Jones and "Magnum: PI").

But nothing good lasts forever, as we can see in the newly released trailer for the upcoming "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" film, starring John Mulaney and Andy Samberg as Chip and Dale respectively, and which will coming to Disney+ on May 20th, 2022. 

The trailer shows the famous screen duo broken up and on the rocks, decades after the cancellation of their TV show. And, in case it isn't obvious already, the film will depict Chip 'n Dale as cartoon "actors" with lives and careers of their own. More surprisingly? Tons of other animated Disney characters will be along for the ride, in what seems to be serving as a clear spiritual successor to the classic 1988 film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," down to the murder mystery.

The trailer shows the Rangers reuniting to solve a toon-related mystery

Since the release of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" in 1988, the blending of live-action and animation has become much more commonplace, especially if you include CGI characters (including those toons who, like Dale, have gotten their "CGI surgery") in your estimation. But judging by this trailer, "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" is specifically hearkening back to "Roger Rabbit" with its fourth-wall breaking mystery plot and even its use of the word "toon," which mirrors the terminology used and popularized in the earlier film.

The plot of the film will see the old Rescue Rangers — an old-school cartoon Chip and the now CGI-enhanced Dale — coming back together to solve a mystery. While the two appear to have been split apart for some time, it seems like it won't take long for them to renew their friendship. Other characters glimpsed in the trailer include Flounder from "The Little Mermaid," and Lumiere from "Beauty and the Beast," as well as mice versions of Leia and Kylo Ren from "Star Wars" (also owned by Disney).

Of course, there is at least one area where "Rescue Rangers" won't be able to match "Roger Rabbit" in scope. While the older film is famed for the way cartoon characters from rival companies such as Disney and Warner Bros. shared the screen for the first time for a flat rate of $5000 per character (per The Hollywood Reporter), the narrative of "Rescue Rangers" is much more likely to be confined to characters within the Disney library only. We do have a pretty funny reference to "Alvin and the Chipmunks" in this trailer, though, so it looks like the movie isn't completely devoid of references to characters outside the Disney universe.