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Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers on DVD: Volume 1 Volume 2

Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 2 DVD Review

Buy the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 2 DVD from Amazon.com Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 2 (1989-90)
Show & DVD Details

Producers: Tad Stones, Alan Zaslove / Supervising Director: Alan Zaslove

Directors: John Kimball, Bob Zamboni, Rick Leon, Jamie Mitchell

Regular Writers: Dev Ross, Mark Edens, Julia J. Roberts, Tad Stones, Kevin Hopps / Supervising Story Editor: Tad Stones / Regular Story Editors: Bryce Malek, Ken Kooce, David Weimars, Jymn Magon, Tad Stones, Mark Zaslove

Voice Cast: Tress MacNeille (Chip, Gadget, Policewoman, Siamese Twins, Monrovia), Corey Burton (Dale, Zipper, Mole, Snout, Leprechaun), Jim Cummings (Monterey Jack, Fat Cat, Professor Nimnul, Wart, Sergeant Spinelli, Stan, Blather, Chinese Cat, Barnacle Bill, Macaw, Heinrich Von Sugarbottom, Robespierre, Rat Capone, Rocco, Baby Thaddeus), Peter Cullen (Officer Kirby, Officer Muldoon, Mepps, Ratso Ratskiwatski, Mr. Hancock), Rob Paulsen (Detective Donald Drake, Percy, Frenchy), Sindy McKay (Desiree D'Allure, Su Lin), Deborah Walley (Leulani, Buffy Ratskiwatski), Kathleen Freeman (Ma)

Running Time: 549 Minutes (24 episodes) / Rating: Not Rated (TV-Y equivalent)
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio), Dolby Digital Mono 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired
DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
Original Airdates: September 11, 1989 - February 19, 1990
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $34.99
Cardboard box with three clear slim keepcases

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Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

A star () denotes my ten favorite shows from this collection.

Gadget demonstrates the luxury of the double-O life to Dale. Gadget Hackwrench: the Haley Mills of mousedom. Why be a Rescue Ranger when you can be the star of your own gig?

DISC 3

17. "Song of the Night 'N' Dale" (22:50) (Originally aired December 19, 1989)
The Rangers take a ride on a jet stream and end up on an environmental mission in the Himalayas.

18. "Double 'O' Chipmunks" (22:47) (Originally aired December 20, 1989)
Dale's fascination with Bond-like secret agents gets him tangled up in a real-life mission.

19. "Gadget Goes Hawaiian" (22:50) (Originally aired December 21, 1989)
In Hawaii, the Rangers find themselves mixed up in the initiation of a new queen who happens to look just like Gadget. The queen-to-be tricks Gadget into taking her place in some dangerous royal hazing.

20. "It's A Bird, It's Insane, It's Dale!" (22:49) (Originally aired December 22, 1989)
Dale inherits superpowers and masquerades as a hero separate from the Rescue Rangers.

Rat Capone abducts everyone's cheese, much to Monty's dismay. Chip and Dale make better crime fighters than they do pets. Gadget's softer approach to justice isn't Dale's cup of tea.

21. "Short Order Crooks" (22:45) (Originally aired February 5, 1990)
Monterey' and Zipper are in the spotlight as they visit a restaurant and uncover a culinary crime plot.

22. "Mind Your Cheese and Q's" (22:40) (Originally aired February 6, 1990)
Monty's worst nightmare comes true when cheese everywhere goes missing. Detecting something suspicious, the Rangers set out to find the missing cheese.

23. "Out of Scale" (22:50) (Originally aired February 8, 1990)
Professor Nimnul uses his ray gun to shrink his kids landmarks and buildings.

24. "Dirty Rotten Diapers" (22:54) (Originally aired February 19, 1990)
Gadget is distressed by the Rangers' aggression and announces a plan for kinder and gentler crime fighting.

Professor Norton Nimnul, weekday afternoons' most evil genius
since Krang. Monty makes some adjustments to Gadget's makeshift plane.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Video quality on this Volume 2 set is pretty much the same as that of Volume 1. For those who haven't yet picked up their own copy of that release or read our review of it, that means imperfection. The show is soft, grainy, and littered with artifacts throughout. It's certainly not unwatchable, as it looks no worse than what one finds on TV (and maybe even a little better, though the difference is minimal), but it does show its age. The severity of the problems varies from episode to episode and even within most of the episodes. As with before, the opening title sequence is usually the most offensive in terms of picture quality, even if it's utterly delightful in every other respect. At its very worst, the picture is dark and obstructed by artifacts but still entirely visible. Fortunately, those extreme instances are rare.
For the most part, the quality is obviously lacking but soon forgotten once one is engaged with the show. Granted, these kinds of animated series aren't produced with the highest standards to begin with, but it's apparent that little to no extra effort has gone into cleaning up the transfers for these episodes.

Audio is again presented in a two-channel Dolby Digital Mono track. Without an authoritative source on the series' original presentation, it's difficult to say whether a mono or stereo track was employed at the time, but the average viewer is unlikely to notice a difference anyways. At times, the audio is slightly muffled and sounds noticeably condensed. There are also instances in which the sound very briefly and definitely unnaturally bends upward in pitch, but it's entirely possible that the problem is inherent in the original productions and not the DVD. I've noticed similar problems on TV re-airings. More often than not, these annoyances are absent and the sound is effectively conveyed. There's nothing fancy or amazing to it, and it's certainly under-whelming when one considers how it could and should sound (a little level-boosting and cleaning would go a long way), but just like the video presentation, it gets the job done

It would be cool if the main menu moved, but it doesn't. As you can see, the "Rescue Rangers to the Rescue" special is divided into five episodes, individually selectable like any other. A look at the Volume 2 packaging

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

It comes as no surprise that there are no bonus features on this set whatsoever. After all, Volume 1 didn't have any and neither did season sets of "DuckTales", "Darkwing Duck", "Tail Spin", or "Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears." Of all of Disney's cartoon series now on DVD, only "Gargoyles" has been given proper treatment on DVD. On the flip side, though, "Gargoyles" is the only of the aforementioned shows for which subsequent box sets are in doubt.
That raises the one benefit fans get from not having any bonus features: the release of these shows in the first place. There was a time when many fans assumed Disney's animated TV canon would never see the light of day in the DVD market. Fortunately, a no-frills release like this practically ensures that Disney can make a profit from the show and are therefore much more willing to issue it to home video. So should consumers take what they can get and like it?

Well, that doesn't seem to be necessary. We've already outlined a long series of bonus features that could be included at little to no cost. Among these are commentaries from a likely eager cast and crew and promotional material from the '80s and '90s. Even one of the two dozen classic Disney cartoon shorts that featured Chip 'n Dale would work. What's more, these easy-to-add supplements would not only appease disgruntled consumers, they would assuredly increase sales among potential borderline buyers. "Little effort = Higher sales" should be an easy equation for Disney to work out. Maybe that will happen in time for Volume 3. For now, the "Rescue Rangers" faithful will still be happy enough to have this show in their hands that they'll overlook the lack of bonuses.

The 4x3 static main menu is very simplistic, but at least bright and happy. The very same can be said for all of the sub-menus too. Instrumental music from the show is featured in all of them, but it insufferably includes sound effects and very occasional voice-overs, indicating that the score was just lifted from action-heavy portions of particular episodes and slapped onto the menus. This marks the first time I've encountered such hasty music-sampling for a DVD menu. It's so annoying that you'll want to get away from the menu and into the episode as soon as possible. Granted, the amount of time it took to find a mostly dialogue-free portion of the score (or just to remove whatever dialogue was there) is impressive, but a higher-profile release certainly would have gotten better treatment.

The packaging is similar to that of Volume 1, with more colorful and less barren cover art. Still, it keeps the same basic design and matches with the last set perfectly, right down to the spine (this time purple), which should leave collectors content. Inside the cardboard slipcover are three slim-line cases, each decorated with clip art from the show, including a giant face of Chip (Disc 1), Dale (Disc 2), and Monterey Jack (Disc 3). Those are the same three faces as last time, so it looks like no love for Gadget or Zipper. The disc art is printed directly onto the disc itself but is still colorful enough, replicating the clip art from its respective slim-line case and the show logo. A brief description of each disc's contents and an episode listing is printed on the back of each slim-line case (but not on the disc).

As usual, several sneak peeks play automatically at the beginning of the first disc: Peter Pan: Platinum Edition, Meet the Robinsons, Disney Princess: Enchanted Tales - A Kingdom of Kindness, Cars on DVD, and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales. Not so usual, though, is that these previews can't be accessed from the main menu and are not accompanied by any others therein.

As usual, Chip is annoyed and Dale is confused. The Rescue Rangers have more super transports than Batman.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Though it suffers from the redundancy and predictability of its genre, "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers" is an extremely entertaining cartoon series, filled with engaging adventure and vibrant personalities. The episodes contained in this Volume 2 set are as good as those in the first, as the show was syndicated from day one and never organized into "seasons" as standard sitcoms are. On DVD, it's best viewed no more than two hours at a time, but that's not a bad way to enjoy a terrific lot of 24 adventures. It's tough to say whether the organization employed in Volume 2 is entirely accurate, but the most reliable sources suggest that it is. One thing's for sure: fans will be happy to finally have the five-part "Rescue Rangers to the Rescue" in their collection. Unfortunately, video and audio quality are less than spectacular and there are no bonus features of any kind, but then that was expected. Consumers will have to decide for themselves whether those drawbacks are enough to prevent a purchase but on entertainment value alone, this set should satisfy viewers of any age.

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Related Reviews:
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 1 Adventures of The Gummi Bears: Volume 1
DuckTales: Volume 1 Gargoyles: The Complete First Season Gargoyles: Season 2, Volume 1
TaleSpin: Volume 1 Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh: A Great Day of Discovery
Vintage Chip 'n Dale: Starring Chip 'n Dale Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals The Chronological Donald, Volume 1
Cars The Fox and the Hound: 25th Anniversary Hannah Montana: Livin' the Rock Star Life!
The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales The Wild
The Tick vs. Season One Boy Meets World: The Complete Third Season
Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second Season Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Second Season
Home Improvement: The Complete Fifth Season The Golden Girls: The Complete Fifth Season
The Muppet Show: Season One Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Series
Kim Possible Movie: So The Drama Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons Spider-Man: The Venom Saga


Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

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Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers on DVD: Volume 1 Volume 2

Reviewed November 19, 2006.