To the Rescue
To the Rescue is the five-part pilot of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
First Aired: The episodes were first aired in the US on September 11 to 15, 1989. A feature movie version was aired once in 1988.
Title Reference: none
Episode Numbers: 14 to 18
Production Order: 41 to 45
Production Numbers: CDRR 1100 (movie), CDRR 1201 to 1205 (episodes)
After a failed flight on their paper plane Furball XL9, Chip and Dale spot a car chase in which their heroes, Detective Donald Drake and his police dog Plato, are pursuing a crook named Percy who has stolen the Klutchkoin Ruby. The chipmunks join the police and actually help them get the ruby back from Percy. However, they don't manage to get Percy himself. Besides, Percy was just a henchman of Aldrin Klordane who is officially pronounced dead, but who doesn't only want the ruby, but also to take revenge on Drake which includes the ruby falling into the police's hands.
Klordane sends his feline companion, known as Fat Cat among the animals, to the police station where he not only steals the ruby back, but also leaves the golden chain belonging to the ruby in Drake's coat—together with plane tickets and certificates of debts. Drake and Plato end up in jail, and Chip and Dale have to promise Plato to find Klordane and get things straight. Their investigations lead them to their first encounter with Fat Cat in his casino.
Fat Cat, having borrowed the ruby from Klordane to show off a bit, tries but does not manage to get rid of the two chipmunks who follow him and his goons to a laundry in Chinatown where he buys the fighting-fish Juice Lee from two Siamese cats. Being fed up with Dale's goofing around and constantly sending them into trouble, Chip sends his friend away rudely and tries to snatch the ruby on his own. But when he gets into serious trouble with the Siamese cats, it is Dale who helps him out.
The chase goes on to the docks where Fat Cat puts a sinister plan involving Juice Lee into action: The fish uses his martial arts skills to smash the hulls of fishing boats, and Fat Cat's henchmen steal all the fish and transfer them into a freight ship which Fat Cat has kind of conquered. This way, the evil feline wants to control all cats in the city. During their investigations on this ship, Chip and Dale meet Monterey Jack and his insect friend Zipper for the first time. It takes them a while and a little fighting to become buddies, but when Fat Cat sinks Monty's home in a chest, he is more than willing to join Chip and Dale, because now they have the same opponent.
The adventure at the docks ends up with the empty freight ship crashing into the middle of the city and stopping a few inches away from a worker in a street drain. Klordane's plan leads him to Glacier Bay by helicopter, and Fat Cat manages to join him and return the ruby just in time. Chip and Dale, however, don't see any way to chase them until Monty mentions an old friend of his, the famous aviator Geegaw Hackwrench whom he hasn't seen since quite a while ago. He takes his new friends to Geegaw's dwelling-place, an old bomber plane among an assortment of other airplane wrecks. Judging from the countless death traps they encounter while entering the plane, Monty believes that Geegaw hasn't forgotten the Zanzibar Incident yet, especially when they are caught in a net and seemingly attacked by an armed spherical device. But instead of Geegaw, they meet his daughter Gadget who climbs out of this device, happy to see Monty again. The last time they have met, Gadget was still "knee-high to a knee", so Monty is amazed about how she has grown up. Both Chip and Dale immediately fall for her. Answering Monty's question about Geegaw, she explains that she has lost her father over a year ago, but she offers her visitors to fly them to Glacier Bay in her father's former plane, the Screaming Eagle.
After a short moment of panic—the bomber's canopy was still closed, and the dynamite attached to the Screaming Eagle's twin tail was about to detonate and shoot them outside—, they fly to Glacier Bay, the Screaming Eagle attached to the fuselage of at least one human-sized airplane with its plunger gears. Unfortunately, Gadget has omitted to mount skis on the plane, probably due to her absent-mindedness. The landing on ice leads to a crash which depresses Gadget who is sure that she'll never be as good a pilot as Geegaw. Chip cheers her up by telling her that she's way more of an inventor than a pilot, and an inventor is what they need now. So she builds an ice sled from some parts of the Screaming Eagle and starts working on a replacement aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Klutchkoin Ruby has arrived at its destination. Klordane gives it to Professor Norton Nimnul who mounts it on a bipedal mobile laser cannon which Klordane calls the Klordane Cannon-Laser 13 and Nimnul calls the Nimnul Cannon-Laser 13. Nimnul demonstrates its power by cutting a large rectangular piece out of a glacier which is lifted up in the air by some large propellers. Klordane leaves Glacier Bay and Fat Cat behind with the professor. Once more, Fat Cat tries to dispose of his rodent enemies...
Before they fall into Glacier Bay's icy water, Chip, Dale and Monty (whom Zipper has tried in vain to pull up by his tail) are saved by Gadget who catches them with the plunger gears of her brand-new aircraft which will later be known as the Ranger Plane. The two chipmunks, two mice and one fly pursue the flying iceberg back to a location near their hometown where the giant piece of ice is shredded and loaded onto a train by the propellers which reveal a set of legs. A fight for the ruby follows, the five animal friends—on ground as well as on the plane—versus Nimnul and Fat Cat who lose both the fight and the ruby. The latter is returned to the police.
But it's too late to get Drake out of the prison—Klordane has knocked him out with gas, blasted (?) a hole into the cell wall, and gotten him out. Now it looks like he has escaped. Having been out cold, too, Plato can't count as a witness. To make things worse, Mrs. Klutchkoin comes to the police station to get the ruby back, and so does Nimnul who earlier had to explain to Klordane that it's gone. This time it's him who releases Fat Cat. He both starts some confusion and gets rid of Plato by snagging Mrs. Klutchkoin's chihuahua Poopsie and stuffing him into Plato's mouth which he has applied some shaving foam on before.
The ruby is back in the evil's hands, Plato ends up in a dog pound, about to be put asleep, and to make things even worse, Monty has left the team after a dispute, and Zipper has accompanied him. But Plato has told Chip and Dale to never give up at the beginning of their adventure, so they and Gadget show up at the pound to liberate their old friend. This means dealing with a fierce guard dog, but with the help of the Pound Underground, consisting of Frenchie, a dog of French origin, and his little shaggy Spanish friend K. Sera, they manage to get the police dog out of the pound where Monty returns and knocks out the guard dog. Using a thermometer on an early stage of the Rangermobile, they follow the cold of the ice into the subway.
The team of six ends up in a huge cave under the city where Klordane's evil masterplan is about to be finished. Plato is caught by Percy, and the rest falls into a large bowl of Jell-o after another encounter with Fat Cat. When the mobile propellers transform into beaters to stir the Jell-o, Gadget tries her best to rescue them by using first an inflatable raft and then, after the propellers lift off with the bowl, a miniature plunger gun.
The hot Jell-o is poured over the giant heap of ice, creating probably the biggest Jell-o mold ever seen. Detective Drake, a witness of these events, can't help but laugh about Klordane's plan to use it to cause an earthquake until the villain gives a tiny demonstration of what he calls the Klordane Fruitquake, but what its inventor Norton Nimnul calls the Nimnul Fruitquake. Nimnul does have the honor to start the real quake—he is thrown against the mold by Klordane. The giant green dessert immediately starts shaking, and so does everything around it. Soon, the ceiling bursts open, and with it the floor of the Global Gold Reserve located above the cave. An immense quantity of gold comes hailing out of the building and into the cave, being collected by Klordane's henchmen and piled up in the cars of the train which has brought the ice before. The Rescue Rangers—who receive this name from Plato now—manage to spoil Klordane's plans: They start another earthquake by Monty throwing Fat Cat, who has tried to lock them away in a bottomless cage, into the Jell-o mold. The ceiling shatters even more, and now the entire building above crashes down and lands softly in the green mold.
Klordane escapes with his train, most of the stolen gold, and Plato who is tied to the last car with a chain. The last to reach the subway tunnel, before its entrance is blasted by dynamite left behind by Klordane, are the Rangers. To follow the train, Gadget assembles a monorail rocket sled and puts it onto one rail. The Rangers catch up with the train and get on board. While Plato uses the blowtorch which has powered the sled to cut his chain, the Rangers proceed to the locomotive and attack Klordane with all they can. Finally, Chip and Dale send the train onto a wrong track and upstairs out of a subway station, causing it to crash into a building and Klordane to fly into a certain police station, Plato attached to his rear end, performing his famous crime bite.
The case is solved, and the five amateur crime-fighters are about to go their own ways when the request of a little girl missing her dog sends them right onto the next one.
Sergeant Spinelli (Parts 1, 3 to 5)
Kirby & Muldoon (Parts 1, 4, 5)
Fat Cat's Henchmen (Parts 1 to 3)
The Siamese Cats (Part 2)
Juice Lee (Part 2)
Monterey Jack (Parts 2 to 5)
Zipper (Parts 2 to 5)
Geegaw Hackwrench (Part 3)
Gadget Hackwrench (Parts 3 to 5)
Norton Nimnul (Parts 3 to 5)
Mrs. Klutchkoin (Part 4)
Poopsie (Part 4)
Frenchie (Part 4)
K. Sera (Part 4)
Edgar & Chauncey (Part 5)
Furball XL9 (Part 1)
The Fishing Rod (Part 2)
The Battlesphere (Part 3)
The Salesmen Traps (Part 3)
The Screaming Eagle (Part 3)
The Ice Breaker (Part 3)
The Klordane/Nimnul Laser Cannon 13 (Parts 3 to 5)
The Mobile Propellers (Parts 3 to 5)
The Ranger Plane (Part 4)
The Plunger Crossbow (Part 4)
Klordane's Train (Part 4)
The Rangermobile (Part 5)
The Inflatable Raft
The Miniature Plunger Gun (Part 5)
The Rail Sled (Part 5)
The Nimnul Fruitquake (Part 5)
The Best of Everything
(From part 1)
Fat Cat: You can't expect a true gourmet
To settle for mere fish flambé.
My diet screams for triple-star
And cream by any other name
Cannot compare with French champagne,
So pop the cork and tip your hat.
A toast to me, Fat Cat!
I want the best of everything!
Golden crowns and diamond rings!
Servants at my beck and call,
I'll make them crawl!
You know I want it all.
My velvet tux is tailor-made,
Embroidered silk and jeweled brocate.
My good taste is so refined,
I demand the top of the line!
Oh, I've hand-crushed Greek volcanic rocks
To line my lacquered litterbox.
A fine Italian marble bust
Engraved, "In Fat Cat we Trust"
Gamblers: He wants the best of everything!
Golden crowns and diamond rings!
Servants at his beck and call,
He'll make them crawl!
You know he wants it all!
He wants the best of everything!
Golden crowns and diamond rings!
Servants at his beck and call!
Fat Cat: I'll make them crawl!
You know I want it all!
Gamblers: La, la, la!
Quotes Part 1
Dale: (carrying a skate) How come I gotta lug all this junk?
Chip: Cause you're the fearless co-pilot who can handle any job!
Dale: Hey yeah, make way for the fearless co-pilot! Here ya go Chip! (dumps the skate on Chip)
Chip: Did I say fearless? I meant brainless!
Plato: Lads, that's no way to behave! Police work takes teamwork—you've got to watch out for your partner.
Quotes Part 2
Monterey Jack: There's only one thing I love more than cheese: Nothing!
Quotes Part 3
Monterey Jack: That almost beats the time I rode a walrus over Niagara Falls.
Chip: Are you crazy?!
Monterey Jack: The walrus thought so...
Gadget: Hi there, I'm Gadget. Oh, you know that already... hmmm... What comes next? Oh, what's your name?
Gadget: I've got this mind-bashingly high IQ and I get bored easily, so I invent all sorts of things out of spare parts. Wanna see my sprocket collection?
Gadget: Now in twenty seconds the dynamite will go off and launch us right up this ramp.
Chip: Uhm... Through the skylight?
Gadget: The skylight? Oh, silly me. I forgot to open it.
Monterey Jack: WHAT?!
Gadget: I'll have this plane ship shape in no time. Wlachally, it should be plane shaped, shouldn't it?
Quotes Part 4
Gadget: You know, suddenly the plane seems to handle lighter.
Chip: Monty just jumped out!
Gadget: Oh. That would account for it.
Quotes Part 5
Chip: That was a close one. Are you OK Dale?
Dale: Yeah. Luckily it landed on my head.
Chip: We're going in there just like we said. Klordane may have mechanical marvels.
Gadget: He does.
Chip: He may have fiendish fiends.
Dale: He does, he does.
Chip: He may even have hundreds of cut-throat, blood-thirsty thugs.
Monty: Yup. Them too.
Chip: But we've got something he doesn't have.
Gadget: Enough sense to get out of here?
Monty: He's bonkers in the conkers, you know.
Dale: Yeah, but he is my friend.
Drake: That's it? You're going to start an earthquake with lime gelatin?
Nimnul: Now you stop laughing. My theories are perfectly legitimate.
Fat Cat: If it's possible, I hate them even more now!
Monty: Great, Gadget! We're almost there. Hit the brakes!
Gadget: Golly, no one said anything about stopping.
Gadget: Well, that didn't work. Why didn't it work? It should have worked! Oh, nothing I do works. Does that mean that if I did something that shouldn't work it would work, or does it mean I'm a failure? Tell me, Chip. I can take it! Am I a failure?
Chip: Uh, Gadget, can we talk about this later?
Chip seems to find his trademark fedora hat in the laundry in part 2. It's just kind of suddenly there. However, the origin of this hat is explained in footage which had been cut from the final version. It used to be a human hat which shrunk in the laundry.
The winter clothes suddenly appearing in part 3 on the flight to Glacier Bay are even weirder.
The boat Monty recovers from his locker is the same model yacht Chip and Dale used in the Chips Ahoy short.
The Ranger Plane sports RR logos from the very beginning, i.e. long before the name Rescue Rangers exists, let alone the logo.
Edgar and Chauncey, the two minor characters waiting for a subway train in part 5, are "borrowed" from the Rocky & Bullwinkle show.
In part 5, Plato gives the team the name Rescue Rangers, and Chip comes up with their battle cry, "Rescue Rangers, away!"
The number on the police badge the Rangers receive from Plato is 321.
The Rangers' first independent case at the end of the episode, in which a girl's puppy has disappeared, is strongly in the spirit of the oldest episodes (which were written first). The girl resembles Mandy, Spunky's owner in Catteries Not Included, and the plot with a puppy disappearing doghouse and all started The Carpetsnaggers.