When working with the script for the reboot film of “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” director Akiva Schaffer wanted it to be an ode to the artform that is animation, which meant he needed to look outside of the box.
“So it was always a part of the script, and I remember as a kid wanting this film to be like ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ and seeing Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny do dueling pianos and loving it,” said Schaffer during a Q&A after a special screening of the film on the Disney studios lot.
“It felt like something extraordinary was happening because they and we wanted to celebrate all of animation, and not just Disney animation.”
In order to do that, Schaffer felt that including characters outside of what Disney owned as intellectual property needed to be included in their film. In it, you’ll see Roger Rabbit, Indiana Jones, Super Mario Bros., and even more that really made the film the zeitgeist of popular culture, past to present.
“In effect, we needed a lot of lawyers’ cooperation,” Schaffer said, but then quickly added “Or not” for those content legal people who were not willing to have conversations about including their company’s property in the film.
It ended up being a success with many of the 100+ IP characters that they wanted to include in some shape or form in the film. While Schaffer said it was a challenge to also create custom animation for each of those characters “authentically,” he did echo that this entire film wouldn’t have worked unless everyone involved was fully committed.
“I think collaboration is the name of the game here, friend. This film happened because everyone wanted to see it happen in their unique way,” Schaffer said.