By Darren Franich
Updated July 05, 2011 at 02:00 PM EDT

The essence of noir is suspicion. The genre is built on a number of narrative and stylistic tropes — dark alleyways, dirty deeds, tough-talking dames, dudes who wear fedoras and drink too much and laugh while they’re frowning — but all the best noir stories are built on a simple, cynical, fundamentally anti-authoritarian foundation: The supposedly ordered nature of modern civilization is a lie, a cover for the swirling chaos that lurks in the shadows. The government cannot protect you. The police cannot protect you. There are bad men in the world who prey on the little people, and sometimes, some crimes go slipping through the cracks. Fortunately, these two gumshoes are picking up the slack. I’m talking about Chip and Dale.

Like all great detectives, the chipmunks come from inauspicious origins. They spent their childhood in the countryside, goofing around with Old Man Donald, without a care in the world besides their acorns. That all changed in 1989, when the brothers moved to the city and learned that modern life was unfair. Cops didn’t care about crimes performed on the animal side of town; they were presumably too busy patrolling the nice side of town, making sure the wealthy financiers and their future-reality-show-star wives weren’t bothered by any renegade animals from the bad side of town. So Chip and Dale started their own detective agency to help solve the cases the police ignored. Howard Zinn would have been so proud.

Anyways, who’s the coolest Rescue Ranger?


Clothes: Fedora and a bomber jacket, so he either resembles a kid pretending to be Indiana Jones or a WWII bomber veteran who never totally recovered.

Pants: No.

Addicted to: Leadership.

Favorite Movie: Chinatown.


Clothes: A hawaiian shirt, which makes him look like a nudist Jimmy Buffett.

Pants: No.

Addicted to: Laziness.

Favorite Movie: Blue Hawaii.

Monterey Jack

Clothes: A sweatshirt, a trenchcoat, goggles that he never wears, and a cap. Also, a mustache.

Pants: No.

Addicted to: Cheese

Favorite Movie: La Grande Bouffe.


Clothes: Purple jumpsuit, goggles that she rarely wears.

Pants: Yes

Addicted to: Her work, which adds a sad undercurrent to the simmering chemistry between her and Chip. Basically, they’re like Brennan and Booth 20 years early.

Favorite Movie: The Nutty Professor.


Clothes: Red sweatshirt.

Pants: No.

Addicted to: Steroids.

Favorite Movie: Quest for Fire.

Professor Norton Nimnul

Clothes: White labcoat and brown shoes.

Pants: Dear lord, I hope so. But he never unzips his lab-coat, so it remains a mystery.

Addicted to: Science.

Favorite Movie: Young Frankenstein, but it makes him cry.

Fat Cat

Clothes: Decadent purple jacket, royal purple vest, black shirt, red tie. Basically, if Sydney Greenstreet were brought back to life as a cat, and then made even more awesome, he would look like Fat Cat.

Pants: No.

Addicted to: Money.

Favorite Movie: Wall Street, but it makes him cry with laughter.

So let’s get down to business here, everyone: Is Fat Cat the first openly bisexual character in Disney history? And also, who’s the coolest character on Rescue Rangers?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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