A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's little to worry about here except for some mild cartoon peril -- including chase scenes, falls, and collisions (injuries are rare). There's also some light suspense when scenes cut to breaks in the middle of the action. Villains are mostly benign animal characters, so they probably won't frighten young viewers. It's worth noting that the show's lone female character, Gadget, breaks gender roles by being the team's pilot, mechanic, and science-minded inventor; her smarts usually save her friends.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The mischievous chipmunk duo that first came to fame as two of Donald Duck's most persistent adversaries graduate to running a detective agency in CHIP 'N DALE RESCUE RANGERS. Though responsible and devoted to his work, Chip (voiced by Tress MacNeille) often finds himself dividing time between solving mysteries and keeping the more-impetuous Dale (Corey Burton) in check. Dale, on the other hand, finds that their worldly travels give him plenty of opportunity for fun and games -- though he does pitch in when crunch time arrives. The gumshoe team is rounded out by brawny, cheese-loving Australian mouse Monterey Jack (voiced first by Peter Cullen and later by Jim Cummings); tiny green housefly sidekick, Zipper (Burton); and hands-on girl inventor Gadget (MacNeille).
Is it any good?
The gang's globe-trotting adventures to right wrongs and free captives of all kinds show that teamwork and friendship can always trump the errant ways of their enemies (who are all other animals, like a big grey tabby cat or a beefy bull).
Kids will love the group's adventurous escapades, and the series' smart writing and clever references to world locales and events, literature, movies, and cultural icons will appeal to parents. (For example, Chip's flight jacket and fedora bear a strong resemblance to Indiana Jones' attire, and in one episode, the gang travels to the Spanish village of "Tramplonia" for the annual running of the bulls.)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Chip and Dale are different in this show than they are in the classic Disney cartoons. Which version of the chipmunk buddies do kids like better? Why? Kids: Does anything about this show frighten you? Can you think of other shows that have scary villains? Is it ever fun to be scared? Why? Families can also discuss teamwork. Do you think the characters work well as a team? Why? How does being friends improve a team? What teams have you been part of?
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