The trailer for Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers landed earlier this week, promising a very meta comedy about what happened to lovable chipmunks Chip and Dale 30 years after their ’90s cartoon Rescue Rangers was cancelled. John Mulaney and Andy Samberg are playing the two leads in the new film and are supported by a star-studded cast including Seth Rogen, Eric Bana, J.K. Simmons, and Will Arnett.
Rescue Rangers still has a committed fanbase (many members of which aren’t happy with the casting of Mulaney and Samberg), though after the show’s lengthy absence, many will be discovering Chip and Dale for the very first time. One obvious question new fans are pondering is which chipmunk is Chip and which is Dale. The characters are almost always a duo on screen and, if you don’t already know the answer, who’s who isn’t immediately obvious.
Let’s break it down.
This is Chip:
Chip is the leader of the Rescue Rangers and can be recognized by his Indiana Jones-like costume (a fact referenced in the trailer). He’s brave, upbeat, and responsible to the point of coming across as a killjoy. Despite this, he tends to cause mischief and sometimes goes along with his brother’s plans. In the new movie, he appears to have not changed much, though he is a bit dismissive of his brother’s trendy CGI makeover.
This is Dale:
Dale co-founded the Rescue Rangers and wears a Hawaiian shirt in a nod to Tom Selleck’s Magnum, P.I. (now there’s a reference that’s going to fly over kids’ heads). Dale is much more chill than his brother, spending his free time indulging his chocolate habit and playing video games. Though generally easygoing, Dale can be relied on when the chips are down, even if his natural tendency is to goof off.
If you want to keep it straight in your head, here’s a handy rhyme I’ve cooked up:
If a hat ye see, then Chip it be /
If the shirt’s detailed, you got Dale.
You may also notice that Chip has a black nose in the general shape of a chocolate chip. Dale, on the other hand, has a round red schnoz like Rudolph.
Now that you know which is which, you need never worry about embarrassing yourself again when discussing the Rescue Rangers. Whether the movie turns out to be any good or not remains to be seen, but at the very least it looks like it’s going to be crammed full of Easter eggs for animation fans.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers lands on Disney Plus on May 20. If you want to catch up on the original show of the same name, it’s available to stream in its entirety on Disney Plus.