Artwork by Karen Mollett
Several Rangerphiles have stated that they got into the show because they have always been fans of Chip and Dale. For "Rescue Rangers," the chipmunks were put into a contemporary setting and set to fight crime). This is a departure from their old days of annoying Donald Duck, yet traces of the old chipmunks remain in the show (such as when Dale eagerly anticipates a cartoon short before a movie, hoping it was one with 'that big dumb duck' ("A Case of Stage Blight")), as well as the Rangerphile community.
In the shorts, Chip and Dale often bickered; this slapstick comedy remains in the program. And, as in the shorts, Chip is more serious than Dale (and Chip is still the one with the black nose). One interesting carry-over discovered by fans is that, just as Chip and Dale vie for Gadget's affections, there is a short entitled "Two Chips and a Miss" where Chip and Dale vie for the affections of an attractive female chipmunk, Clarice (Chris Birkett and Natasha Kashefipour, 1999, message board). Clarice has been the subject of some fan speculation, and there is some interest in putting her into fan fictions.
One of the most interesting constructions about Chip and Dale's origins put forth by the fan community is Jeff Pierce's theory that Chip and Dale's mothers were friends, and, as they gave birth at roughly the same time and enjoyed the "Chip and Dale" cartoon shorts, named their sons after the chipmunks. This theory, though not accepted by all Rangerphiles, also would explain why Chip and Dale are as close as brothers (though, according to various fan assumptions and possibly Disney's own information, not blood relations).
Chip is the more popular chipmunk online, partially due to the fact that he is 'cute' (one female Rangerphile even likened her 'sexy' male friend to Chip! (survey response)). However, two male Rangerphiles noted in the survey that they really sympathized with Chip. "I always felt so sorry for Chip, who seemed to be constantly working and striving and never received any recognition" (Jeff Wikstrom, survey response). Rangerphiles who admire Chip for his personality see some shared traits between themselves and him, but also look up to him.
While Chip and Dale are the program's title characters, and a potential draw, Gadget is truly the most popular character of "Rescue Rangers."
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