Chip 'n Dale are two animated chipmunks created by The Walt Disney Company. Their names are a pun based on the name "Chippendale" (see Thomas Chippendale). This was suggested by Bill "Tex" Henson, a story artist at the studio. Originally the two had the same colored noses, but as a way to tell them apart, Chip was given a black nose and Dale was given a red nose.
According to Disney, Chip is the logical schemer, and Dale is the dumb schemer. An easy way to visually tell them apart is that Chip has a small black nose (it looks a bit like a chocolate "Chip" as a way to help people remember who is who) and one centered protruding tooth, whereas Dale has a big red nose and his two prominent buck teeth exposed. Chip is also depicted as having smooth, short fur atop his head while Dale's tends to be ruffled.
In the '50s, they were given their own series, but only three cartoons were made; Chicken In The Rough (1951), Two Chips And A Miss (1952) and The Lone Chipmunks (1954).
Antagonists of PlutoEdit
Chip 'n Dale first appeared in the cartoon Private Pluto (1943), though they did not have their names or distinguishing characteristics. Pluto has been assigned to guard a pillbox where the two chipmunks are storing their nut supply, with the large gun being used as a nutcracker. However, various portions of Pluto's anatomy (such as his head) are realized as useful nutcracking implements. Eventually, they retreat into the pillbox, leaving Pluto weeping outside.
In their second short Squatter's Rights, they are once again against Pluto, though this time with Mickey Mouse along (though the latter never realizes the chipmunks' presence). The chipmunks have been hibernating in Mickey's hunting cabin, when he and Pluto arrive, they are less than thrilled. Various gags ensue, culminating with Pluto almost having his head blown off by a shotgun. With the aid of a bottle of ketchup, the chipmunks manage to make Mickey think his dog has been critically wounded. Exit one Mouse, leaving the chipmunks once again the sole occupants of the cabin. (Interestingly, though the two chipmunks have no physical distinctions, certain elements of the two chipmunks' later personalities can be recognized.)
Antagonists of Donald DuckEdit
Chip 'n Dale did not get their names (or the traits that separate them) until the cartoon Chip an' Dale (1947) where they antagonize Donald Duck. They continued to appear in animated cartoons, usually annoying/terrorizing Donald, until the mid-1950s.
Chicken in the RoughEdit
Chip 'n Dale wander into a farmyard to collect as many acorns as they can but Dale mistakes an egg for a nut, and is in turn mistaken for a hatching egg. Upon investigation by the rooster, Dale is forced to impersonate a newly-hatched chicken.
In this short, Donald is an apple farmer, and Chip 'n Dale are wreaking havoc on his apples. A battle for supremacy on the farm ensues, with many apples getting destroyed in the process.
Two Chips and a MissEdit
Although Chip 'n Dale are almost always united in a common goal, this was one of their only shorts to see them working against each other, for the affections of Clarice, a performer at the Acorn Club. After much battling between the two, she chooses neither one.
The Lone ChipmunksEdit
Chip 'n Dale are in the old west and try to bring Black Pete to jail.
Chip 'n Dale Rescue RangersEdit
In 1989, Chip and Dale became the title characters in a new animated series, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, in which they formed a detective agency with new characters created for the show: female mouse inventor Gadget Hackwrench, muscular adventuring Australian mouse Monterey Jack, and Zipper the fly. While in the original shorts the duo are frequent troublemakers who are concerned only with themselves, in Rescue Rangers they are crime fighters who help the less fortunate.
In this series the personality differences between the two are more pronounced, with Chip as the responsible, no-nonsense leader and Dale as the goofy, laid back free spirit. Additionally, they wear clothes in this series which reflect their personalities; Chip wears a leather jacket and fedora (much like Indiana Jones), while Dale wears a Hawaiian shirt. Also, Burton gave Dale a slightly raspier voice not heard in any incarnations before or since.
Chip 'n Dale also had their own comic book title, first from Dell Comics with Four Color Comics #517,581,and 636, then their own title for issues #4-30 (1955-62), which was then continued by Gold Key Comics with #1-64 (1967-78).
Chip 'n Dale occasionally appeared in Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Chip 'n Dale can be spotted during the final scene of the film. They can also be spotted in the 1983 featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol where they are seen dancing to the music in Fezziwigs.
A recurring schtick often mistakenly attributed to Chip 'n Dale is the characters' alleged use of politeness: "After you," … "No, I insist, after you!" This gag, from the early-1900s Alphonse and Gaston comic strip, is used by another studio's characters: Warner Bros' Mac and Tosh as the Goofy Gophers.
Today, Chip is voiced by Tress MacNeille and Dale is voiced by Corey Burton. The classic voices of Chip 'n Dale were mostly provided by Helen Silbert, Dessie Flynn/Dessie Miller, and James "Jimmy" MacDonald. The earliest voices were provided by female office staff, without credit.
- Chip 'n Dale appear in a Rescue Rangers spin-off video game that was produced for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Capcom in 1990. A sequel was released in 1994.
- Chip 'n Dale appear in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II as mechanics for the Gummi Ship, the game's form of transportation from one world to another.
- Chip 'n Dale appear in Disney's Toontown Online as non-playable characters.
- Chip 'n Dale appear in "Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventure in Nimnul's Castle" a DOS game produced by Hi-Tech Expressions, Inc. in 1990.
- Chip 'n Dale appear in "Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour".