'Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers' Review Roundup: Will Disney's Latest Hybrid Feature Rival 'Roger Rabbit'?

Disney+'s latest film, "Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers," arrived on streaming platforms worldwide today.

Here's how Disney describes the film:

Chip and Dale live in modern-day Los Angeles, surrounded by cartoons and people, but their lives are very different now. Decades after their successful TV series was canceled, Chip has succumbed to suburban family life as an insurance salesman. Meanwhile, Dale has undergone CGI surgery, attends nostalgia competitions, and struggles to relive his glory days. When a former cast mate mysteriously disappears, Chip and Dale must once again take on the persona of Rescue Ranger detectives to repair their broken friendship and save their friend's life.

Produced by Mandeville Films, the film marks the animation directorial debut of Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer ("Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping," "Saturday Night Live"). The screenplay is by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"). Major animation production for the film was handled by VFX giant MPC ("Sonic the Hedgehog," "The Lion King," "The Jungle Book"), with additional 2D animation by Passion Pictures.

Voice casting includes Andy Samberg, John Mulaney, Will Arnett, J.K. Simmons, and several high-profile cameos (Tim Robinson does a great job as the ugly Sonic), plus KiKi Layne helps investigate Ellie, a chipmunk She appears in a live-action role as a young detective.

Reviews have been mostly positive, some even raving. It currently boasts an 81% "certified fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Of course, the hybrid live-action/animated crime investigation featuring characters from multiple studios has been compared to the gold standard of this small genre, Robert Zemeckis' The Man Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Roger, voiced by original actor Charles Fleischer, makes a brief cameo at the beginning of the film. We examined dozens of reviews to see how critics compared "Chip and Dale" to its spiritual predecessor.

Indiewire's Kate Erbland gave the film a B, a fitting comparison for both films:

Comparisons to "Roger Rabbit" may be obvious, but there are more comparisons than the average Disney animated series viewer has on earth (It is also appropriate, thanks to the film's inclination toward self-referential gags that would require more than a few years (and years in the entertainment world).

The Guardian's Benjamin Lee was surprised at how much he enjoyed the film:

There is surprisingly sharp and detailed comedy in this Trojan horse of a lazily inevitable children's adventure. It's not as good as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" but it's a lot better.

Empire's Nick de Semulien was equally enthusiastic:

Inspired by "The Man Who Stuffed Roger Rabbit" (Roger even makes a guest appearance), the jet-black heights of Robert Zemeckis's classic live-action and animation mash-up may not reach the same level, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to try.

Although she enjoyed the film, Lindsay Barr in her Associated Press review thought something was missing:

The plot is perhaps the biggest failing of "Chip and Dale." In contrast, "Roger Rabbit" succeeds in being both allusive and meta within the framework of a compelling mystery. The mystery is a mere vehicle for gags and observational skills, which, while entertaining, is far from being a great film in its own right.

And Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter was as bullish on "Chip and Dale" as anyone:

Premiering exclusively at Disney+, it is the funniest film of the year so far, whether animated or live action. Or, in this case, both. It's the cleverest way since "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" to cleverly blend the two forms."[31