In terms of classic lineups in television history, there are only two that truly stand out: Must See TV and its childhood counterpart The Disney Afternoon. And for kids of the nineties, if DuckTales was the Seinfeld/Office of Disney’s lineup, then Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers was the Friends/Parks and Rec. Chip ‘n Dale was the hard-boiled detective, fun, rollicking adventure that every kid dreamed of. Retconning the classic troublemaking chipmunks as a detective duo – Chip as the self-serious Indiana Jones archetype, Dale as the goofy, fun-loving Thomas Magnum type – the show featured a collection of memorable characters, including cheese-loving strong-man Monterey Jack, lovable sidekick Zipper, and intelligent, quirky inventor Gadget Hackwrench; not to mention archenemy Fat Cat, a Zero Mostel-send-up in the form of a gangster. Fans who grew up on the series have been waiting for a reboot for decades, and while the Alvin & The Chipmunks writer/directors were originally rumored to be working on a live action interpretation, Disney has now announced that the film will be going forward…albeit in a different, more excited direction.
News broke over the weekend that a live action Chip ‘n Dale will, in fact, be moving forward, but the Alvin team has been let go. Instead, Akiva Schaffer, one of the writers for The Lonely Island (and the group’s go-to director), has been hired to direct the film. It will be his first major feature since the best-of-the-decade Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, although he has also directed episodes of Pen15 and the cult hit I Think You Should Leave. Meanwhile, the script will be rewritten by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, the writing team behind the hilarious 2018 comedy Most Likely To Murder (the two were also writers on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the beloved comedy series written by, directed by, and starring Gregor’s wife Rachel Bloom, who should absolutely voice Gadget).
We know very little about the film at this point. For one, it will not be an origin story, nor will it tackle any major mysteries. Instead, Schaffer, Gregor and Mand seem to be interested in a meta, self-referential direction, which could be cool even if you were hoping for a gritty children’s noir (guilty). And second, it is currently unknown if the film is headed for the big screen, or if it will be dropped on the upcoming Disney+ streaming channel, which seems much more likely. All we know is that this film is coming, and you can hear the nostalgic millennials rejoicing in the streets.
And in the meantime, can we all agree over how much of a banger this theme song is?