According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mandeville, the studio behind Muppets Most Wanted, is planning to produce a film revival of the chipmunk duo Chip ‘n Dale. This will be one of the first feature films directed by Robert Rugan, an award-winning director of commercials. The film will revisit the story of the TV Series Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.
Disney first introduced Chip and Dale in a series of short cartoons featuring Donald Duck and Mickey’s dog Pluto. They got a series of their own in 1989 with Rescue Rangers, which reinvented the two as animal detectives. Chip is the smarter leader while Dale handles most of the comic relief. The show ran for three seasons before entering syndication.
Disney is planning for Chip ‘n Dale to appear in the film as CG creations interacting with live actors, the same approach used by Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks films and Sony’s Smurfs. The technique has been financially successful for both Fox and Sony, though the quality of those films is certainly debatable. Long time animation fans may have fond memories of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, though the best that kid friendly offerings have managed is… Space Jam (?). Mandeville’s revival of the Muppets was both a critical and commercial success and their followup looks very promising. Hopefully the studio’s experience with family entertainment will translate into the computer animated space.