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Rescue Rangers To The Rescue Part One
Sometimes, Some Crimes Go Slipping Through The Cracks...
Welcome back kiddies; it's time for a new animated series to go under the microscope in the wonderful world of Disney Television Animation. And this one should be very familiar with the Internet geeks out there as this was the beginning of Disney using two more characters from the classic Disney shorts of decades past. Here is Chip & Dale and they are the Rescue Rangers. Not a bunch of strippers. Got it? Good.... Anyway; Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers (which sounds like a parody to another cartoon series called Lassie's Rescue Rangers which was released back in the 1970's) was the very first DTVA series that was created under the brainchild of Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove. The premise of the series is that Chip & Dale are tiny detectives who solve crimes with their friends when the police are unable to. That's really all you need to know. While the number of firsts aren't as long as Ducktales, TaleSpin or Gummi Bears are; it had maybe the biggest first in all of Disney and one that forced Disney feature to change it's ways: The introduction of equality to genders in the form of Gadget. She was a major character who literally carried the Rescue Rangers in this series to the point which the fan-boys (and even the fan-girls) of this series were SHOCKED and APPALLED (in that order) that she didn't get a spin-off series soon after the series was done. Of course; fans thought that Launchpad would be in TaleSpin and it didn't happen. And thank the lord for small favors as hindsight revealed that Baloo was the better choice. However; I'm getting off track here so let's move on....
I realize that there is a huge Rescue Rangers fan base out there on the Internet proclaiming that this is the greatest series in DTVA history and they are a well organized bunch I would admit. Do a search on any search engine for websites and you'll find a lot more than TaleSpin does and it's right up there with the other most organized Internet Community which is Gargoyles. However; like Gargoyles, the fan base has propped up the series way too much and while I respect this series for it's quality and do like it; it's really not as good as the fans say it is. While I give an A for effort in execution of this series overall; the delivery of the premise and context was a B+ at best and a C- at worst. Still; I would rather watch this series than Darkwing Duck at this point; so maybe I'm being too harsh again. Anyhow; it's time to start the rant and we'll start with the pilot which follows the Ducktales formula in that it's not a television movie but a five part story arc similar to anime. I think TaleSpin and Fluppy Dogs were the only two series where you could look that their pilots and say television movie without contradicting yourself in the process. It's called To The Rescue and I haven't really seen this in full to properly rate it so I'm ready to be surprised. So let's rant on shall we...?
Part one of this episode is written and the story was edited by Jymn Magon, Tad Stones and Mark Zaslove. The story was made by Tad Stones and Kevin Hopps. All four guys you should know very well by now if you have been reading my rants thus far and should know how much they rule DTVA at this point. The animation was done by Walt Disney Animation Japan which means that this is a good sign right off the bat and this should be the debut for the new in house studio created from former TMS members.
Interesting Moment #1: It just wouldn't be a DTVA show without another really awesome opening sequence and maybe one of the best epic themes for a Disney series. I should note that Rescue Rangers not only had two different visual opening sequences but two different opening audio sequences to go with it. I think only Darkwing Duck was the other one that did that; but I have yet to hear the second one officially on DVD. I have seen it on Youtube and it blows sadly. As for the spots I love: Gadget firing a makeshift crossbow which shows that recycling is both cool and useful; Chip and Dale bouncing around and kicking each other's ass; the walk the plank sequence; Dale bouncing on Chip's head which is so nasty that I'm SHOCKED Molly didn't steal that to do on Kit and Zipper trying to look strong. If Zipper wants to be strong; I hear Larson and Gary are researching on bug steroids as we speak. Oh come on! You knew that one was coming a mile away.
We officially begin the series in the sky overlooking town as we get the VOICEOVER OF DOOM (oh great; I knew Twitching Channels was a bad influence even in the past tense!) from obviously Chip who is voiced by Tress MacNeille (which should really get roosnooker86's dandruff up big time) who is on top of a big red roof and you know it's the pilot because Chip isn't wearing the fedora hat which would haunt him for the rest of his life after this. He does wear the bomber jacket that apparently blew up and was given to Baloo for the TaleSpin logo later on. And as per in Chip's contract; he gets to bully Dale into doing spots bigger than his own body weight. Although; all the small animal babyface have this problem no matter what since this does take place in THE REAL WORLD OF LAZINESS more or less. Dale backs up carrying a bunch of papers on a blue skate shoe while wearing a red Hawaiian shirt with yellow stars on it. Dale you should know as the dumb, playful and annoying partner of the humble Chip and the one who usually gets beaned on the head. If Chip doesn't do one in this episode; I'm going to be so disappointed. Dale is voiced by Corey Burton which you should know rather well. Chip nicely blows him off with false praise and Dale of course sells it as if Chip was praising him. Yeah; Dale is in mid season form here as he nearly squashes Chip with the blue skate as the paper airplane buries Chip good. HAHA! Chip finally stops the soft shoe and calls him brainless. I love real comments that aren't supposed to be real comments. Chip throws the airplane right at Dale as the crack Disney Captions team just has to put actions into all capital letters. Hey; we can read all right; no need to shout it out Disney Captions team! Dale stops on a dime and then Chip steals the airplane back. Explain THAT ONE kids?!
Chip puts the paper airplane back on the skate shoe and calls it the Furball XL-9 (which sounds like Fireball XL-9; that stop motion cartoon from years past) and we're ready for TaleSpin a year before it happens. Okay; maybe not. Dale is giddy as they hop in and they put on the crash helmets so you know that they are serious. Dale shoves the Furball XL-9 down the roof and gets on without incident. I see Dale has grown a slight amount of brain power since we last saw him making a fool out of Pluto inside a Christmas Tree. They go off the roof as the paper airplane dislodges from the skate shoe and the GOOFS WITH ATTITUDE slip right off the paper airplane in mid flight. Now that's an amazing set of fuzzy cartoon logic there. Warner Brothers spot (well; many of them worked for them so it's apporos.) and they free fall worse than PS3 after the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Gun Of Patriots. Sadly; Dale's hat is seemly made out of Gruffi's tinfoil hat and stays in mid air longer than Chip's. They drop onto the skate shoe and they freefall towards the roof ledge and destroy some innocent flower pots and a bird's midsection in the process. The ride continues as we get the thrilling go into a house and make women scream spot that has been done to death even at that point. We hear glass shatter; but Steven Austin was barely into wrestling at this point; so the GOOFS WITH ATTITUDE get the toaster as a free gift on the out take. Dale's reaction to that is pretty funny and of course that allows Chip to finally bonk Dale on his brainless pinhead a mere minute into the episode. YAY!
The crash helmet somehow returns on Dale's head (now that's fuzzy cartoon logic if I ever saw it) and they squash right into the brick wall which would kill them in real life; but instead it leads to the toaster spot for Logic Break #1 of the episode. They land with wussy bumps on the edge of the roof as Dale notices the paper airplane flying down. Pretty funny stuff as Chip hears horns honking which is the general signal for a police car chase. We head down side to see a thrilling car chase going on as Chip uses the POINTY FINGER OF DEATH to indicate that someone named Plato is chasing a car full of crooks. Chip and Dale dive into the plumbing pipe and we get s thrilling spot there and they take wussy bumps onto the sidewalk below. Lots of running as they manage to hitchhike into a red scooter and crawl into the driver's pant legs. Sadly; the driver doesn't sell anything as the chase continues with the windows rolled up. Chip and Dale manage to go through the driver's body without making him laugh whatsoever (Logic Break #2 for the episode) and they do the dive and grab right onto the back of the police car's rear bumper as we pan east to the front of the police car where we see Plato the bulldog (a real bulldog; not an anthro, this is not TaleSpin here) wearing a blue sweater and his human partner who wearing detective clothes and the fedora hat that will probably shrink down and Chip will later steal. The human detective orders the siren and Plato gets in front of him and wails. Now can we put in a law banning badly breed dogs from the car too?! We cut over to the crook's car as a fat crook wearing gray clothes and a black taxi like hat as he blows off the officer (calling him a cop and ugly to boot which should earn him three more weeks behind bars) as we get the front end shot of the car as the officer orders Plato to stay on the other side of the car since he's TRYING TO DRIVE PROPERLY!
Plato whimpers like a baby (Oh please?!) as he backs off. The officer is voiced by Rob Paulsen so he's Detective Donald Drake according to TV.com. Plato is voiced by Alan Oppenheimer. Out of all of the voice actors in this episode; only one has not done a TaleSpin episode in her career and that would be Maureen Schrum. Donald (I can just hear Donald Duck's temper rise to infinity plus two right now) wants Plato to use the Crime Bite on him. Pokemon stole that spot from this show! I feel so betrayed...or not. And of course; Plato pants like a giddy little bulldog who hasn't had enough meat in his diet. The chase continues as Chip and Dale finally pop from the window (Kit is still better than you two combined on that spot) and they exchange hellos and notes. Plato doesn't seem too upset over their appearance so they apparently are best friends for life BABEE! See; that crook that they are chasing has stolen the Clutchcoin Ruby Necklace. Must be Rhinokey's joke fixing charm. AHHAHA...Oh wait; that joke is retired, ignore that and let's move on. Chip and Dale can only go oooooo and ahhhhhh like a collective organism has seduced them. More howling as Chip and Dale move to the top of the siren and tie themselves to it with rope. Ah; I see they are preparing for when Fat Cat starts finding ways to put them in compromising situations in later episodes. It's always good to practice your spots before the real thing happens. It also makes for good foreshadowing that only people like me would care about. They howl like a bunch of idiots which shows that Dale's annoying antics have finally broken Chip into a beaten, broken down chipmunk. Or maybe not.
The laughing commences as Donald goes to the transmitter and calls for backup. Ooooo; Donald must have spotted something evil in that crook's car. The crook sweats bullets as if Donald has the super powers to X-Ray the car and find his bag of steroids from the satanic ducks known as.....DUH DUH DUM...Larson and Gary. Crook drives into the wood lot (now there's a hiding spot you don't see everyday.) and get out of the car declaring that he had the ruby. The police stop on a dime behind the car. Hey; I got an idea; let's get those coppers to teach the GANG OF WUZ how to drive. Nice backlash spot into the siren light from Chip and Dale. They bite through the rope as the cops plus mutt get out of the car and we see a black police officer and a white police officer out with guns drawn. Kirby (the black officer voiced by Peter Cullen) is the black officer and Muldoon is the white officer (also voiced by Peter Cullen) and they wear blue police uniforms. Get used to them; they'll be in nearly every episode just to bug the crap out of me. Kirby asks to lead the charge; but Donald decides against it because he'll be retiring in a month and he's not washed up yet. So; the police officers go to the other side and they agree without question. Donald (with guns pointing which Disney would later cut out for violence on Disney Channel later on) tells them to keep their eyes open as Chip and Dale crawl down to ground level and plead with Plato to allow them to watch them capture the heels like a bunch of man children. Plato agrees to it as long as they don't get shot because bullets will fly. Dale of course acts like an idiot and Chip forces him down to prevent any more silliness from Mr. Excitement. Chip does the quiet spot on Dale (Memo to Chip: You can say shut up in DTVA.)
Finally; the first scene changer as we head inside the lumber storage room as the CROOK DE JOUR runs into the light and calls out for his boss and of course he appears on the catwalk laughing wickedly. And it sucks big time. The monster heel for this episode is a red haired middle balding grease ball wearing a green trench coat and he doesn't help the crook in anyway because that's what all bad heels do. The black taxi hat wearing goof hides behind the forklift as the police officers enter into the precise area where we see a conviently placed rope tied around the side railing of the catwalk. Oh; like you cannot see the spot coming a mile away can you? Oh; and the monster heel wears an emerald (or green pearled) ring (depending on my mood when I was doing this rant) as he unties the rope as we get a full view of the villain. And man is he ugly as hell. More on him later as the SPOT OF CONTRIVED DOOM (lumber stacked from a rope) drops and misses them by three feet; but traps them. Now there's a BS&P decision if I ever saw one. Man; TaleSpin WAS a special show for DTVA after all. Donald and Plato enter the room; and both sell that they are indeed over the hill. Boy; Whistlestop Jackson is a mere youngster compared to those two; but at least Donald shows some guts since he's still carrying his pistol.
Chip and Dale overlook from the lumber stacks as they notice the crook practicing the art of not being seen as his pistol is cocked and ready to go. If Disney Channel kept all this then that proves Eisner was trying to downplay TaleSpin instead of protecting the little ones from the evils of seeing deadly phallic symbols. Sadly; he makes the fatal error of running and trips onto a stray wooden board that always seems to be present whenever there is a need to blow someone's cover. The ruby necklace flies from his body and drops onto the ground as he gasps badly. Chip uses the LESS DEADLY PHILLAC SYMBOL OF DOOM (the same one Bandit Keith used against Peagsus which got Keith popped out of the series; for about 12 episodes anyway.) to point out the bloody obvious as the crook reclaims his calling in life. He sighs as the GOOFS WITH ATTITUDES now need to make some noise to lure Plato to the crook. Dale salutes Chip and bails to return with the PARTY NOISE BLOWERS OF DOOM. HAHA! And it actually works as Plato hears it; but Donald doesn't showing that the mutt still has about three years left in him.
Plato bites on the pant leg (gently lest his owners gets rabies) as Donald is confused. So we cut to the catwalk where the monster heel somehow finds a second rope tied to a lumber stack; but doesn't pull it. He sezs he's got a more hurting plan for Mr. Drake. Remember that one for later as Donald and Plato run to the other side with the gun drawn as we find out that it is Percy who is the crook. (also voiced by Rob Paulsen) as Donald demands him to hold it right there. Now really; do we need to see him hold it right there? Be thankful that Percy isn't holding his groin or we would be seeing some real fireworks from Disney. Plato grabs Donald back behind the lumber as we get the first realistic gun shooting scene of the series almost five minutes in. It creates an X. Donald is PISSED as he shoots and it's the old classic shoot the gun out of the heel's hand...but with a twist as the bullet shoots right between Chip and Dale. Oh man; another two inches and Dale would be the first DTVA character to suffer from Deadly Force. Dale falls down and takes a decent bump onto the ground with his face near the gun. And then Percy grabs Dale by mistake and tries to shoot with him; but all he gets is Dale screwing him with Bang sounds. Too funny as Percy looks at his Dale pretending to be a gun .
Oh; great, that was more obscene then I had intended. Dale waves as Chip must think fast and he finds the conveniently placed steel rope hook and it grabs right in the fattest part of Percy's ass. Percy actually SELLS the move and then it's the Herny tickles Molly spot because all Disney cartoons have at least one of these spots. Henry still rules that spot though despite the good selling from Percy. Chip pushes the button and Percy goes up into the air and I say that his days of evil are over. Plato and Donald hear a noise as Dale pops out of Percy's clothes and pulls on his nose. Well; at least it's not Dukie, or I would have gone absolutely nuts. Dale stomps on his back a bit and Percy loses the ruby necklace as it drops. Well; there goes Percy's hopes for being a threat in ANY WORLD of DTVA. Dale and Chip do the victory dance as Percy struggles like a moron and drops to the floor losing his pants. And he's wearing spotted underwear like all bad heels do. Well; the color scheme is brown and red so it's not all bad; but it's still pretty lame along with the wussy bump that followed. And I betcha $10 that Plato will come and do the Crime Bite right on Percy's underwear ass just before he can get the ruby necklace. I check the DVD... SPOOKY! Well; not quite, the scene was contrived since Percy actually got the ruby necklace.
Percy sells the blow like he's Plato's girlfriend. Chip and Dale laugh their asses off on that one. Wait until Kit bites Don Karnage in the ass; and then the funny stuff will end. Mark my words DTVA! Dale's Cubbi and Molly laugh is down right silly. Plato gives Donald the necklace back and earns a good pet on the head as if Plato was going back to Gidget's Pet Shop. And then Kriby and Muldoon climb over the lumber stack thanking the detectives. So you're telling me that they had TROUBLE getting over the lumber stack despite the stack being SHORTER than they are? Logic Break #3 for the episode and I blame BS&P for this one. They just couldn't let them be buried under the lumber couldn't they? I can understand getting the officers out of the picture to prove that Donald and Plato could hold their own; but still without Chip & Dale; that rendered the scene pointless. Sadly; Percy lowers his heat by doing the Scooby Doo Snow Angel Spot on the wooden wall (Man; this lumber mill is ultra cheap) to escape the police. Well; it's Tad Stones and COMEDY BABY always calls for that lame spot.
So now the police cars leave (with necklace in tow) from the scene as we pan over to Percy who is wearing a box which is pointless since he was bitten on the butt and the butt isn't showing (and it's not like Disney will EVER show the butt since it's against the lumber stack.). Not a logic break; just pointless. And the SHADOW OF DOOM beckons as Aldrin Klordane (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) calls Percy a fashion trend setter as he pets his Fat Grey Cat (who is naked at this point. More on him later) who looks like Garfield; only evil I guess. I wonder what would happen if Fat Cat and Garfield ever got in a fight? Something to ponder as Percy defends himself because he has had a tough morning as a paper airplane flies right into his right ear in a funny spot. Aldrin forgives him (while petting evil Cat) because he expected an idiot to screw up and decides to pay Donald a visit. The airplane gets dislodged from Percy's ear and then flies off only to reattach itself off screen on Percy's ear (or ass ; where ever) allowing Percy to sell it. So we head to the police station as Sergeant Spinelli (Jim Cummings) thanks Donald for his good work in recovering the necklace as Kirby blows him off for making them look bad. Donald reacts with modesty as he walks over and Spinelli (middle aged, bald, white shirt with brown straps) is shuffling paper proclaiming that the Captain of the Police Force wants to see Donald. Donald goes over to his desk as he puts the files into the filing cabinet as he tells Plato to watch over the desk while he turns in the evidence to the Captain.
That allows the female red haired officer (voiced by Tress, DUH!) to pet Plato again while he sits on a chair and pants and whimpers. Plato does the Crime Bite (not on her you SICK FREAKS!) and she approves as she leaves. Now that everyone has stopped annoying him; the GOOFS WITH ATTITUDE finally appear from Plato's neck (what is with the no selling of laughing here?) as he thanks Chip and Dale for their service. Plato calls it first class police work. I call the Crime Bite police brutality myself; but whatever. It's not like Percy had any heel to make me care about him. See; Chip and Dale want to be police officers and Plato laughs it up. Chip goes to his notebook and asks for pointers and Plato decides that it cannot hurt since no one knows who Chip and Dale is other than him. I wonder how they met? I SMELL A FANFIC COMING! Although that's a dangerous statement considering the fanboys of this series on the net. Lesson #1: Do not panic under fire and Dale proclaims that he wasn't scared for a second and that of course leads to Chip and Dale blowing each other off. Ah; the classics never go out of style; even more so when Chip and Dale are doing it. Sadly; before any fist violence can occur from Chip we cut to outside where Ardin (wearing a trench coat) carries the file folder and his cat in an alleyway. He puts the folder in Fat Cat's mouth and Fat Cat hops into the Captain's office where we overhear the Captain and Donald exchange notes on Donald latest victory over the forces of evil.
The Captain looks pretty greasy for a babyface (voiced by Peter Cullen) as Fat Cat bails and then Donald feels something is wrong and gets off the word screwy. Disney still didn't want to use the word screw in a naughty context just yet. Rebecca would thankfully put an end to that soon enough. Fat Cat was hiding in the drawer as the Captain puts the Ruby Necklace right into the drawer and Fat Cat steals it. I do not like where this is going because for some reason I have seen this crappy angle before. Fat Cat tries to escape; but the drawer gets closed on his tail and he whines. The Captain and Don conclude that Ardin is behind all this but the Captain refuses to believe since Ardin drowned a year ago. Donald makes sense of it by saying that they never found his body. Well; it does make sense since MURDER is not allowed in DTVA. Sadly; Disney was smart enough not to expose the obvious fact here which shows how good the writers were at this point. Fat Cat casually walks out with the necklace as we head back to the thrilling childish yelling from the chipmunks. Dale calls Chip jealous because he's the hero (which to a certain extent was true) so Chip literally kicks Dale's ass on screen. Sadly; it'll never hold a candle to Rebecca's ass kicking on Baloo when he was dressed like a hot dog. There's just some perverted symbolism from Rebecca that Chip just cannot copy here.
Plato laughs on that one and that allows Dale to return the favor and then it's the DUSTCLOUD FIGHT OF DOOM complete with chipmunk chatter. Sadly; this is wasting too much time; so Plato invokes the paw on the desk to shut them up. See; your teammates and you have to work together to solve a case. Okay; that works for me since police officer rarely ever follow the law anyway. Chip dusts off Dale's shoulder in a spot that literally creeps me out. This is so gay that it isn't even funny. Second lesson: Do not wear a funny hat. Unless the heel is a clown then you can throw DA RULES (FAIRY GODPARENTS!) out the window and beat him senseless. That's according to the LAW OF THE POWERPUFF GIRLS. Fat Cat enters the room and eats the ruby stone inside the necklace and jumps up onto the coat hanger and puts the plane tickets and necklace remains in his coat pocket. Okay; this is actually a lot more convincing. Unlike The Crimson Avenger where there is zero way that Cavin could steal something without magic (which he doesn't know); the Captain can blame the dog for stealing the necklace from the drawer when his back is turned. It still doesn't explain how Donald could pawned the ruby without ANYONE noticing; but at least the writers have improved the angle so kudos for them. Still Logic Break #4 for the episode though.
Chip writes down that they should never give up and then the chair turns and Fat Cat is sitting in it now talking and acting like a furry. GASP! Fat Cat is really the monster heel that will haunt Chip & Dale for the rest of their miserable lives. Yeah; a Garfield wannabe, real smart guys! Fat Cat is voiced by Jim Cummings and I will admit that Fat Cat has an awesome voice; but once Don Karnage entered the DTVA world (also voiced by Jim), Don Karnage basically MURDERED the fattest part of Fat Cat's ass (to paraphrase Peter Griffin). Don't worry; Fat Cat will be wearing his gangster clothes real soon; just not in this pilot. Fat Cat blows off Plato's age. Plato thinks that he drowned with Ardin which is silly because this is DTVA; but they couldn't expose the truth of DTVA to the kids now couldn't they? Fat Cat casually blows it off and insults Donald which is enough for Plato to start chasing Fat Cat all around the police station taking a really good bump into Sgt. Spinelli (Recess ring a bell here guys?) in the process; as the Captain opens the door and sees the contracts fly much to his disdain. So much for acting professional as Captain orders Donald to control the mutt. Donald stammers (because babyfaces stuttering is a no-no according to Disney Captions) and runs out as Chip and Dale ride on Plato's back having a good time. This is NOT going to end well for Donald and Plato as Plato wrecks the desks of Kirby and Muldoon and somehow does little damage as possible.
Spinelli runs to the conveniently placed SWAT Team (Now THAT'S service with a gun BABEE!) and tells them to get those animals and the SWAT Team gets their guns corked; but Spinelli wants them alive and the SWAT Team is forced to recoil. BS&P or not; that was too funny; particually the moaning. More chasing from the animals as Chip and Dale are literally hanging on by a thread. THAT'S HOW YOU SELL IT! The SWAT Team is on their tail; so Chip & Dale run onto the back of Plato's neck as the chase allows Fat Cat to bump into the water cooler which shatters since it's made of glass (and reason #330 why it's made of plastic nowadays) and we get the slip slide spot for the babyfaces on the wet vinyl floor. Okay; that spot makes sense; but there is no bump present as the animals hang on and go into the main desk shelf as he throws various international objects down onto the floor which is pointless since he didn't nail anyone with it. Everyone is SHOCKED that Fat Cat is alive; but Fat Cat leaves before the Captain sees him and he proclaims that the necklace is gone.
He asks Don about it as Fat Cat knocks down the coat hanger and the trumped up evidence falls out of Donald's coat pocket. This still doesn't make perfect logical sense since how could Don pawn the ruby when he was STILL IN THE DAMN OFFICE? And like Plato can pawn a ruby by himself? Everyone gasps as I expect Donald to be arrested for stealing and pawning the ruby right now. Surprise Moment: Gambling? In a DTVA show? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! (making reference to Donald's so called gambling debts). We head outside as Ardin looks at the ruby he just stole and pinned the blame on Donald for as Fat Cat lies on his shoulder and puts it into his coat. Adrin walks away to end the segment almost 11 and a half minutes in. Other than the logic breaks; this has been a pretty decent opening to the pilot. Although they have GOT to work on the pin the blame angle a bit better.
After the commercial break; we go inside lock down as the police officer walk Donald towards his jail cell while Muldoon plays bite the pant leg with Plato for a while to amuse me. Kirby blows him off for that spot and tells Muldoon to knock it off. Why? Plato is amusing me and so Kirby punishes him by ordering Muldoon to throw Plato in with Donald as Chip & Dale look on from an air vent feeling really bad for their actions apparently. Spinelli doesn't like Don's chances as Donald defends himself since he doesn't gamble. Thankfully; the police men have some sympathy for him; but the DA wants someone alive not dead thus getting off death reference #1 for the episode. And by the way; dig is black stereotype slang guys. I thought you were above this. Reason #222 why dancing animals are better than cartoon humans. The humans walk out as Chip and Dale run from the air vent into the cell onto the bench as they ask what is next for Plato. Plato wishes that he could have kept his temper and then he could have tracked down and found the ruby to clear his name. Chip and Dale offer to find the ruby and clear Drake's name for him since they NEED a first assignment to test their skills. Okay; they didn't go out and say that; but it's implied.
Plato isn't so sure of this as Chip butters him up because they studied all his cases. Where's Baloo to tell him that studying and doing are two different things...Oh wait; that show doesn't exist until the Fall of 1990; my mistake. What is with the Dash remarks being used as swearing in DUBBED ANIME STYLE?! I don't get it. Chip reminds him of the necklace and I have to say that with Plato in jail helpless; Chip and Dale are the ONLY ONES who can really do it. Plato finally agrees to the offer and Chip asks for directions to find Ardin and Plato suggests the Happy Tom Catfood Factory. Yeah; that is not obvious in the very least no siree! Chip writes down the orders on the notebook and Dale goes into his HERO OF DUMBASSERY mode just to be Dale. Look; I love the classic Chip and Dale cartoon so I do have a certain bias for liking these two. And so far they haven't disappointed me as Plato tells Dale that this is no game. Cannot argue with that logic I guess as he tells them to stay out of trouble. They agree (well Chip will; Dale forgot about it!) and they run off into the air vent as Plato blows off their chance when they aren't within earshot. What a faithless mutt this Plato is turning into?!
So we head to the Happy Tom Cat Food Company as we near sunset. We know this because it has a giant yellow cat on top of the roof and it looks like a turkey. There must be some symbolism in there but I'm not going to bother relating to it for the sake of my sanity. A cat food packing truck arrives just as the scene pans to the north west and then we cut to the front bumper shot as Chip pops from the bumper proclaiming that this is where Ardin is supposed to be and them they climb up the conveniently placed boxes stacked against the building. This is getting a wee bit too contrived and obvious for my money. We cut to the window (on the other side) as the GOOFS WITH ATTITUDE wipe the dirt from the window and they spy on the green door. Because all evildoers have green eyes see. That's what one Chinese animator believes and I'm not going to be the one to deny his bubbly little world. That's PZ Meyers job to deny him of. We head inside to the mobster war room as the two bit heels sit down in front of Ardin who is observing the ruby with glee while Fat Cat sleeps on his desk like the lazy evil Garfield is. I was hoping that they would have treats to complete the obvious self parody but it doesn't happen.
I see Percy is back; but we still don't know if he got his pants back. Ardin puts the ruby in front of Percy as the robbers think he's going to pawn it (Fence it is slang for selling it); but Ardin has got bigger MIMI JOKE ZONE PLANS for it. Say; a laser beam gun since all pilot episodes in DTVA use it as a plot device. I still think TaleSpin wins by default since all it couldn't have happen had Kit not turn heel on both Baloo and Don Karnage. But we'll see. Chip and Dale pop out of the ceiling vent and listen on to Ardin's MIMI JOKE ZONE PLAN as he puts the ruby into the CHEST OF DEMONS and places it on the table for Fat Cat to open up and steal it. Fat Cat?! Teaching Kit how to turn babyface? Nah...Couldn't be. We all know Kit's character is SO ORIGINAL! See; the ruby is going to the Professor which is Mr. Nimbul (voiced by Jim Cummings) which will mark the only time that the two main heels for the series were ever together. I'm SHOCKED Magon didn't do that with Don Karnage and Colonel Spigot; that would make a **** episode in itself; but of course Eisner had to downplay the show so there you go.
Ardin takes the CHEST OF DEMONS (which is empty mind you) and proclaims that he's going to the Arctic as he puts the ruby into the sake just as Chip and Dale climb down from the vent onto the desk behind Fat Cat's ummm...ass..as he jumps down and walks out. Wow; that cat is smarter than he looks. Maybe I have underestimated his ability after all..or maybe not. Chip & Dale hide behind a coffee mug and watches Fat Cat go over to the filing cabinet and opens the door and we hear Mole's voice. (Voiced by Corey Burton) Fat Cat calls them mental midgets and a mole (called Mole HAR HAR!) wearing a red sweater opens the door along with a navy blue wearing sailor orange cat named Meps (Voiced by Peter Cullen and has the annoying whining voice that Mad Dog would later steal) and a snake (??!) named either Snout, Frenchy, Wart, Stan, or Blather. My money is on Wart or Blather as Chip is SHOCKED to discover that there is an ANIMAL GANG in this world. Hey; if you have animals acting like humans then you shouldn't be surprised Mr. Detective. The gang heels get giddy because the casino guys are going to get giddy over this find. Oh boy! Outlaw Star purists are going to go haywire if what I think is going to happen soon.
Apparently; Fat Cat is a evolutionist while his gang believe in geocentrism (And they say the earth is flat) as he looks in the mirror while putting on his gangster clothes for real this time. Well; so much for staying naked throughout the episode. And it's not like he's stripping and even if he was; a seven year old pink Gummi Bear Cubbi already did that spot; so it's passe. The snake of course slobbers over the ruby for no reason other than to make me laugh. Meps is ultra confused on the statement that the earth is flat and Fat Cat blows off Meps head (and not with a gun you sadists!). Mole tells that the Siamese Twins are in Chinatown ready to see Fat Cat at midnight. And they wonder why Puffed Rangers was redubbed?! Take a hint writers: If you study Chinese culture in a Chinatown; you are better off not writing an episode featuring Chinese characters. Fat Cat gets his own necklace and attaches the ruby to it while commenting on his red eyes. See; green eyes does not equal evildoers. Red eyes do. Chinese animator is a piece of crap; probably brainwashed by his government. Maybe Lost Horizons was accurate in their showing the Chinese after all (Umm, no Mr. Weagle). I move on to other things as Fat Cat blows off his human boss and then walks off to the casino to share his adventure in stealing with the little people.......
......And it just so happens that the casino is right on top of the roof of the actual Cat Food Company. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Now that's a quality place for a casino, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. We cut to the front of a car hood complete with spotlights just to make it even more surreal as we cut to the small chimney stack as Chip and Dale pop out of it while several rats in formal gear walk towards the bouncer in front of the car grill. We then cut to the fake generator as the door opens and out comes Fat Cat and his wusses. An elevator made out of a generator; what will our wacky writers think of next. Mole questions Ardin's attitude to Fat Cat stealing his ruby and Mole bumps into Fat Cat and take a bump on the ass for his trouble. It is wussy; but since they are wussy, it's apporos. Fat Cat blows it off because he isn't stealing the ruby, just having a little fun for it. And the Cloudkicker fanboys breathe a sigh of relief. Chip and Dale hide behind the stack as the goon squad enter inside the car grill thanks to Bruno the Bouncer opening the door for them. Chip wants to go in; but Dale chickens out. HAHA! And after all the funny bang, bang stuff from Dale; Dale now acts like a coward after seeing the real thing. That is just too funny.
Sadly; they have bigger problems as a black crow (Oh boy; I smell Jesse Jackson commencing here) called Mortie flying a giant mugger's rat on his back (THAT'S RACIST!) blowing the GOOFS WITH ATTITUDE'S cover and tries to MURDER them with the clubs; but Chip and Dale manage to escape (after Chip calls Dale a baby HAHA!) and the two heels MURDER themselves. Well; when they are given about three seconds to react to it; of course the spot is going to over. Pretty contrived if you ask me. The two heels call for Mommy and they are out cold. Dale actually calls this easier than he thinks. Even he thinks the spot sucks so you know it was contrived. Chip and Dale steal their clothes off screen which is Logic Break #5 for the episode since the heels were three times bigger than they are and shouldn't be able to even closely fit into those clothes. This is turning into a Darkwing Duck episode; only with better physical comedy. And naturally; Bruno is fooled by the diguises as the chipmunks enter inside with Dale saying hello to Bruno on the way in. Bruno is SHOCKED by that response. I think he's more SHOCKED at how contrived this episode is getting. We walk inside the rich man's hallway as Dale proclaims that his MIMI JOKE ZONE PLAN is working. When DALE is drawing up the plans; you are hosed.
And of course they go into the casino and it's a real casino; well by animal standards. And you wonder why purists hate dubs?! Watch DTVA and you'll see why. We get the usual casino spots including a funny slot machine spot where a winner gets an apple by getting three apples in a row which should be three apples but whatever. However; since he is another black crow he eats the earthworm inside and thus the first on screen death in DTVA. Dale is giddy and wants to gamble; but Chip stops him because they have to show doggy perseverance. I don't remember Plato saying that at all; I think Chip's a spoil sport as usual. Dale is flustered on that as Chip walks stage left; so Dale screws him by running stage right to the ACORN SLOT MACHINE OF DOOM. We know this because there are acorns on the machine dials. Dale grabs a silver coin (which was inside the clothes they stole from the muggers no doubt) and places it into the machine and pulls the lever (WRONG LEVER!) and of course he hits the mother lode of acorns since he matches all three. So we cut over to Chip spying on Meps and Mole near the crap tables. Funny spot: Why are they called crap tables? Because the tables are full of crap. AHHAHAHAHA...Okay; I'm taking the Rhinokey joke spot out of retirement; I cannot live without it on my rants.
Chip walks away and here comes Dale filled to the gill with acorns inside his clothes. He just couldn't help himself and I'm SHOCKED no one noticed him coming except for Chip of course. Chip blows off Dale for attracting attention and tells him to get rid of the acorns so Dale sells and drops the acorns coming out of his stolen clothes on the ground. HAHA! Chip gets himself screwed by the airhead known as Dale. What a surprise?! I smell bonk on the head for Dale ; but Fat Cat interrupts him before he can do so as Fat Cat gathers the evil animal gang over to see his new ruby on his necklace. One of the rats cannot believe this and Fat Cat blows off his lack of brain power. Fat Cat is okay so far; but I don't think he's really too special given the Garfield complex. Fat Cat wants the best even in trinkets and we fade to black to set up the first musical number in the series just because it is Disney and singing and dancing animals are number one with a bullet with them. Hey; if it entertains me fine; but if it doesn't then watch out. Mole get the drum spot from Fat Cat and he starts singing the song “The Best of Everything”; and since this is an entertainment song; the same rules apply that I don't call the spots. This sounds like an evil version of Drake's famous song he did on the Greasers in Paraducks; and somehow, I actually like this one better. Wow; Disney managed to get in a full blown alcohol reference on this show. Which makes Louie's Place selling alcohol even more probable now. Actually; Chip and Dale try to swipe the ruby from Fat Cat; but the song screws them out of it every time. Man; Fat Cat is stealing the show here. Then again; Jim Cummings is one of the few voice talents on DTVA who can actually sing well.
Dale tries to distract Fat Cat with his Fruit Basket Hat; but the apple core gives him away as Chip tries for the ruby again with the pink rose vase; but Fat Cat throws him away and continues his singing as he bites on a stem of a rose in a pretty neat spot as Fat Cat and Dale dance in a duet. Oh boy; Chip must be jealous right now. Chip hides behind the flower pot with the scissors (and in a chipmunk's hands that is a DEADLY WEAPON BABEE!) to try to cut either the necklace or Fat Cat's head off; but Mortie and his rat buddy enter in their undershirt and shorts and notices the theft commencing as Chip successfully cuts the ruby from the necklace and grabs it. Nice spot there as the song finally ends and of course like Baloo did in Plunder and Lightning Part Three Dale thinks the song is still going on in his mind and the cover is blown. Go figure as Fat Cat flicks off the bad fruit basket from Dale's noggin and grabs him because he wants a samba snack. However; Chip arrives with the ruby clearly shown from his back where even Fat Cat could see it; and of course Fat Cat doesn't notice. Logic Break #6 for the episode as Chip demands that he put Dale down or the ruby goes loco. Fat Cat sells and puts him down and demands where the ruby is and Chip lies to him to look to his right. If it's THAT easy to fool Fat Cat then he's officially worse than NegaDuck.
And of course the GOOFS WITH ATTITUDE run in the opposite direction. Guys; that spot worked with Kit because no one saw it coming. Who would think that a little 12 year old kid would hide underneath a vent and steal something under their noses like that (and remember Kit was considered a HEEL before he did that and then turned face with the steal from Don) in a Disney production? It's called the element of surprise; something Magon knew and Tad apparently has yet to learn. Otherwise; we wouldn't see contrived spots like this. Fat Cat turns around and orders his men to chase after the babyfaces ala Kit from Plunder and Lightning Part One. Again; element of surprise isn't there to make this spot work. The chips and acorns fly from the gambling machines (because repeating jokes is fun see- Take one guess who used the slot machine in this sequence?) and we get the slip on banana peel spot that just isn't all that funny anymore. You think would stoop to doing THAT?! The chipmunk giggle with glee as the heels are getting buried as we speak. Sadly; their freedom is blocked by Bruno which is actually a good payoff for him since he was stupid enough to fall for it. Chip and Dale run in the opposite direction onto the card table and it's the playing cards flying right into Bruno's face as Bruno sells it if they are doing damage. That's flexing the bounds of selling a little too far there guys.
Meps and Mole try their luck and Dale shows off his soccer skills with the Pele kick right into Mep's eyes with the dice. Okay; that was a neat spot as Dale proclaims that they are going to make it and they make the fatal error of running on a trend mill made of a casino wheel. The heels run towards them as the ruby finally slips from Chip's back and it causes Chip and Dale to slip and take some pretty good bumps while spinning around like a dizzy top. It lands on double zero and Fat Cat grabs the ruby for the win which shouldn't shock anyone here. We then head to the top of the roof as Fat Cat and Meps are on the roof with Chip and Dale in his greasy clutches as Chip blows off Dale's goofing off. If it wasn't for his goofing off; you wouldn't have gotten the ruby. Psychological projection much Chip?! Fat Cat doesn't care and Meps throws Chip and Dale off the DAMN ROOF! Now that's a quality Disney heel. I see Dumptruck was getting pointers for this show and Kit should beware. Chip and Dale freefall as I wait with baited breath for someone to save them but the episode officially ends here at 21:14. DAMMIT! I hate cliffhangers. No matter; it'll be resolved in the next rant for sure. Overall; a pretty good start, but I think it could have been done better with fewer contrived spots, logic breaks and better element of surprises. *** ¾ (75%).
THE REVIEW LINE
Well; the first episode of Rescue Ranger is in the books and I can safely say it was an entertaining piece to say the least. It was a pretty decent start despite the contrived spots and obvious BS&P decisions (like the lumber trapping spot from the start); but there were some really good moments in this one. Chip and Dale were basically themselves from the cartoon only with more restraint. Hey; it worked for Baloo in TaleSpin; so I don't see why it cannot work here. Plato and Donald were all right for the most part; but they aren't anything special and they'll turn out to be just one shot characters since Donald and Plato are expected to retire at the end anyway. The angle to pin the blame on stealing and pawning the ruby is better than the one used for The Crimson Avenger episode; but they still didn't explain how Donald could just pawn the ruby from underneath the Captain's nose. That part didn't make sense to me. The two police officers who will be regulars are nothing special to me; just a bunch of silly stereotypes.
As for Ardin; I hate him as a character as he looks like a monster heel; but with no back story other than his fake death; I cannot find any reason to give him a chance. Fat Cat is a better villain and it shows since he'll be the main villain of this series later on, and he's improving as a character in my eyes; but contrived spot with no element of surprise like the spot Chip and Dale did in faking him out in the end didn't do him any favors. While the spots were contrived; I must say the animation was not. This was DTVA at it's best and it showed up in Ducktales and TaleSpin when Sun Woo wasn't around to screw it up. And we got so see alcohol in all of it's glory in this one and gambling ON TOP OF IT! Anime purists must be saying: I told you so right now. Overall; I like this start as it's better than Gummi Bears and The Wuzzles and on par with Darkwing Duck's first parter; but the logic breaks must end if they are going to get onto TaleSpin and Ducktales' level of greatness. And hopefully; Jymn Magon will show Kit stealing the stone in Plunder and Lightning Part One and show Tad how to foil a monster heel PROPERLY! So....
Thumbs in the middle pointing up for this episode and I'll see you next time.
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