I really wanted to like this movie because the mixed media style is great. Unfortunately, the interesting style does not hide how uninteresting and cliché this movie is. If you have to sit down and watch it with your kids, you will lose interest but there are worse movies out there.
The movie treats Chip and Dale as actors dealing with the aftermath of their career in their hit cartoon. Dale still clings to his past, attempting to revitalize his career and be able to see his friends again. Chip has moved on and attempts to live a normal life as a insurance salesman. Both are brought together as an evil gang has been enslaving cartoons and using them to produce knockoff movies. The thrill of the mystery revitalizes a broken friendship and is the focus of this movie.
This movie isn’t all bad. There are some fun visual gags and puns that made me laugh, and I thought the way they mixed different animation styles was brilliant. Unfortunately, the story is uninspired and lazy. Gags will go on a little too long, the voice acting is inconstant, and the interactions between real people and the toons is always awkward. This movie also tries desperately to be meta, but these jokes only highlight the blaring flaws of this movie.
John Mulaney isn’t a good choice for this movie. His voice acting in this movie is stiff, and took me out of the movie. It is jarring to have him aside Andy Samberg because their energies never match. Samberg is fantastic, but no one in this movie is able to bring the same energy he does to their performance. I know that Chip is supposed to be this stale character to contrast Dale’s bubbly nature, but Mulaney’s performance is too stale to be entertaining. There is a catalogue of fantastic voice actors who would have been a better choice, but instead they chose to be disappointing.
There is a moment in this movie where the characters poke fun at how cliché the plot is, I think that was valid criticism. This movie never surprises or tries anything interesting outside of the art style and it doesn’t pay off. You get the same buddy cop comedy you’ve seen way too many times but this time there are cartoons in it. There are better examples in the genre, I suggest you watch those instead.
Look if you have to sit through this for your kids, it isn’t going to kill you. You will probably lose interest, but it isn’t the worst kids movie out there. I assume the kids this movie was made for will enjoy it more than I did. The whole time I was watching this, I was wishing I was watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit or even either of the Sonics. If you are interested, it is available for streaming on Disney+.