Disney+ film Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers isn’t just a blast from the Disney cartoon past, but it’s also a love letter to the longevity and magic of animation.
Shadow and Act spoke to both director Akiva Schaffer and star KiKi Layne about what it’s like to explore the 30+ years of recent animation history showcased within Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers, covering the gamut of stop motion to motion capture. Schaffer talked about one of the film’s biggest inspirations, the 1988 classic, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which expertly combined live-action and 1940’s style traditional animation.
“Obviously Roger Rabbit is the gold standard of this kind of movie, but even Mary Poppins with them dancing with the penguins and stuff, and it became in the early ’90s [redone with] Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat,” he said. “It’s always been something that’s really cool. But Roger Rabbit really blew me away when it came out.”
He said when he read the script by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, he was excited about the prospect of blending so many animation styles together in one film.
“Part of what was really exciting was all of these animation styles in addition to the history of animation that could have in Roger Rabbit, the 30 years since then, between video games, stop-motion [and]claymation, which did exist back then,” he said. “Video capture, puppets, just this idea that this world includes everything and what are they going to all look like together? The Pixar stuff right next to Flounder right next to motion capture. The challenge of that and the newness of that was super exciting to me.”
Layne also talked about the history of animation being explored in the Disney+ film, adding that her favorite part of the film is seeing how animation has evolved over the decades.
“You get to see it in all it’s different forms and that is magical, to see how it’s grown, even to see some of our favorite characters now represented in a different form in animation,” she said. “That’s what makes it beautiful, that we do get to celebrate that. It kind of opens our eyes–it’s one of those things that we don’t really think about, but to kinda see it all there in one place, you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that is how cartoons use to look.’ The cartoons that my nieces and nephews watch now look very different from what I used to watch and to be able to see all of that in one place is really, really incredible.”
Watch more below. Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers is now streaming on Disney+.