Chip and Dale are a pair of cunning and mischievous chipmunks. Although the duo have similar looks and rarely appear separately, they each have distinct personalities and a few distinguishing physical features.
Chip can be identified by his small black "chocolate chip" nose and a single front tooth, whereas Dale has a larger nose which is red and two adjacent front teeth. Chip is also usually the more logical, positive, and cunning of the two, with Dale being the less intelligent.
Chip is the brains of the duo and thus is shown to be clever, fearless and somewhat bossy. Unlike his best friend, he's a quick thinker. When dealing with Donald, Chip shows to be much more of a threat than Dale, both mentally and physically. He is also no-nonsense and becomes easily frustrated with Dale's incompetence. In Rescue Rangers, Chip constantly thinks about being on duty to the point where he is thought to not know how to be fun; because of such, Dale's blundering causes him nothing but headaches.
Dale is sometimes lazy, dim-witted and clumsy, and can be a little more sensitive. In earlier appearances, he was completely foolish to the point where he can truly be called an idiot. In later years, that aspect of his personality was toned down to just being carefree, fun-loving, goofy, nervous, timid, and remorseful. In Rescue Rangers, Dale wears a Hawaiian shirt, possibly to show how relaxed his personality is; he gets along easier with Monterey Jack and Zipper than Chip.
While the two are nearly inseparable and count each other as their closest friends, the one thing that can tear them apart is a romantic interest. They have been known to have feelings for the same girl most of the time and battle each other for the affections of the girl in question. In Rescue Rangers, both are in love with Gadget, but can't seem to be open about their feelings, nor does she notice at all.
The classic voices of Chip and Dale were mostly provided by Helen Silbert, Dessie Flynn/Dessie Miller and James MacDonald. The earliest voices of the chipmunks were provided by female office staff, without credit.
In Private Pluto, the chipmunks' speech was created by speeding up sound clips of normal speech. In a number of the shorts that followed, many of these same sound clips were re-used again and again, though later shorts used new dialogue specifically recorded for them.
At one point in Winter Storage, Chip and Dale get into an argument while caught in a trap. When the scene switches to an outside view of the box (with Donald Duck sitting on the box), the dialogue being heard is actually a sped-up segment of the voice-over narration from the Goofy short A Knight for a Day.
Since 1988, Chip has been voiced by Tress MacNeille and Dale has been voiced by Corey Burton. However, in Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse, the first season of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the Have a Laugh! versions of the classic shorts, Tress voiced both chipmunks.
Chip and Dale first appeared in a 1943 Pluto cartoon titled Private Pluto. In this appearance, they look a lot more like realistic chipmunks and did not have names. The two then-nameless twin chipmunks were never intended to be used again after that short, but when Walt Disney needed new characters to challenge Donald Duck, a decision was made to revive the two chipmunks, leading them to acquire their now-familiar names and personalities.
Their names are a pun on the name "Chippendale" (a reference to furniture-maker Thomas Chippendale). This was suggested by Bill "Tex" Henson, a screenwriter at the studio.
As mentioned, Chip and Dale began their careers in Private Pluto. In that cartoon, Pluto is a part of the army and runs into trouble when it appears that two nameless chipmunks are hanging around the site in a pillbox. In this appearance, the two were completely indistinguishable in terms of both appearance and personalities. Afterward, the two would later appear in several of Pluto's cartoons, as well as those including Mickey Mouse.
They did not get their names until the short Chip an' Dale. In that short, they meet their new nemesis Donald Duck, whom they would make countless appearances with, even beyond the animated short films. The chipmunks became far more famous for antagonizing Donald and are possibly best known for appearing in his shorts, having gained their trademark appearances and personas when dealing with the hot-tempered duck.
Chip and Dale became so popular that they were able to star in their own series of cartoons, joining Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. Only three shorts were created in that series. The first was Chicken in the Rough, where Dale becomes trapped in a chicken coop and needed to be rescued. The next and most famous one was Two Chips and a Miss, where they go out to a nightclub and battle for the attention of a female chipmunk named Clarice. The last was The Lone Chipmunks, where Chip 'n' Dale foil the outlaw Pete. They later appeared in Mickey's Christmas Carol, seen dancing at Fezziwig's Christmas party in Scrooge's past.
Quite often in these shorts, their tails flicker and sometimes they are both seen running on all fours, much like actual chipmunks. An interesting note is that, in earlier shorts, they had the appearance of more realistic chipmunks (much like the woodland creatures in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), only to gain their iconic, far more cartoony designs once their popularity and screen time grew.
In a 1959 episode of the anthology series entitled "The Adventures of Chip 'n' Dale", Walt Disney was unable to host the show personally. Instead, he left a message on his tape recorder informing viewers of his arrangements to have Chip and Dale host in his place. The chipmunks use the time to go through an old book which holds memories of their fondest exploits.
After the success of DuckTales, Chip and Dale starred in their own series, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. They were friends of a famous retiring police dog, whose owner was framed by a crime boss for stealing a ruby. Through the adventure to retrieve the ruby and prove the cop's innocence, they met and recruited Gadget Hackwrench, Monterey Jack, and Zipper, forming the Rescue Rangers officially. They also get new enemies, most notably Fat Cat and Professor Norton Nimnul.
Chip serves as the unspoken leader of the group, while Dale tends to provide most of the comic relief, though Dale does end up becoming the hero at times. Both chipmunks possess a crush on Gadget, becoming rivals for her affections. A running gag in the show has Chip being constantly interrupted when he attempts to tell Gadget his feelings for her. The two have even been love interests themselves. In "Adventures in Squirrelsitting", a squirrel named Tammy falls in love with Chip, and in "Good Times, Bat Times", a bat named Foxglove falls in love with Dale. Both of them apparently don't return these affections.
Chip and Dale are recurring characters in Mickey Mouse Works, where they are recast as enemies of Donald Duck once again. One of their most notable appearances in the series is in the short "Mickey's Mixed Nuts", where the chipmunks battle Mickey Mouse (someone that they didn't usually pester in past productions) for the last bag of nuts at a supermarket.
Chip and Dale appear in the segment Donald Duck: Stuck on Christmas. The two are briefly seen several times throughout the story. At the beginning, they are seen opening their presents. They appear again when they are hit with a snowball by Huey Duck, who then gets hit back by Chip. Their next appearance occurs near the end when an object is thrown into their home and it turns out to be a bag of nuts wrapped as presents from Huey, Dewey, and Louie. At the end, they are last seen throwing away their Christmas decorations and cleaning up.
The episode "Chip 'n' Dale" is centered around the chipmunks as they spend their evening stealing bags of nuts from the guests while evading Donald. At the end of the episode, an advertisement is shown in which they seem to have their own storage organization where they store "everything you don't need".
In "Ladies' Night", Minnie hires them to perform an act as the "Chip and Dale Dancers".
In "Ask Von Drake", the chipmunks can be briefly seen during Ludwig Von Drake's headcount of all the Disney character guests.
The duo also appears in "House of Turkey", where Donald complains about how he can't understand what they're saying, only for Daisy to retaliate by saying that she can't understand him either.
They also appear briefly in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse. Right after Pluto's Christmas Tree is shown, Chip and Dale pop out of a small artificial tree and catch Pluto's attention. Pluto starts barking at them, but in a reprise of the closing gag from the preceding short, they slap a "Do not open till Christmas" sticker over his mouth.
Chip and Dale are recurring characters in this computer animated series. They are some of Mickey's friends. Unusually, the two don't seem to have a rivalry with Donald and Pluto. Most of the chipmunks' roles in the series are minor with the exception of the episode "Goofy's Coconutty Monkey", where they are the culprits behind the mysterious disappearance of the jungle's coconuts. In the end, they returned their stash, thinking they were giant nuts. They play another significant role in the episode "Goofy's Thinking Cap" where Mickey, Donald, and Goofy need twelve nuts for Clarabelle's scavenger hunt, to which the chipmunks gladly oblige.
Other versions of the duo also appear; they play the roles of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in Mickey's Adventures in Wonderland, and in some episodes where Mickey and the gang take a trip to outer space, their alien counterparts usually appear, acting as sidekicks to Pete's alien counterpart.
Chip and Dale appear in the episode "Space Walkies".
During a voyage in outer space, Mickey and Pluto step out of their spacecraft to allow Pluto a chance to relieve himself. After which, Mickey tries to rush Pluto back to the ship by using a miniature spacecraft resembling a frisbee disk. The disk, it turns out, is a craft owned by an annoyed Chip and Dale, who berate Mickey for toying with their craft before their appearance catches the attention of Pluto, and vice versa. Almost instantly, Pluto attacks the chipmunks, and a chase through space follows. On the rings of a planet, however, Chip and Dale are able to elude Mickey and Pluto, giggling at their success and their adversaries' misfortune.
Chip and Dale appear as minor characters in the series, working as pit crew members in Mickey's garage.
Chip and Dale are recurring characters in the Kingdom Hearts video game series.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Chip and Dale are found in Disney Town, managing the Rumble Race tracks. They complain to Terra that Pete is playing unfairly so Terra takes part in the race and ends up beating Pete.
In Kingdom Hearts II, the duo are given a considerably larger role as they accompany Sora, Donald and Goofy around to different worlds using two miniature Gummi Ships that fly alongside the main vessel. In Disney Castle, they warn the visitors of a Heartless invasion and later on, they were the ones to have first reported The World That Never Was.
In Kingdom Hearts coded, the two are still royal engineers and were the ones to build the datascape for Jiminy's Journal.
Chip and Dale appear as meet-and-greet characters in front of their treehouse in Mickey's Toontown and also dance alongside Mickey's float in the Mickey's Soundsational Parade mini-game. At one point, the duo asks the player to locate some acorns for them to eat.
The two are the lead characters of Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour. The story goes that the two accidentally break the firework machine, and must take part in races around the resort to restore it.
Chip's likeness was featured in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.
They can be seen, dressed in their Rescue Rangers outfits, in the audience shots at the beginning and end of the Castle of Illusion remake.
In Disney Magical World, Chip and Dale own a store where they make furniture for the player use in the cafe.
In the Disney parks, Chip and Dale are some of the most common and popular characters.
They also have a small statue dedicated to them in the central hub, surrounding the "Partners" statue.
In The Disney Afternoon Live!: Plane Crazy, which ran at Disneyland in 1991, Chip and Dale are recruited along with Baloo and Launchpad McQuack to recover the X-22 spy jet when it is stolen by Don Karnage and Fat Cat. At one point, Chip has a brief sword fight with Don Karnage, tricking the pirate into believing he's fighting Dale.
Chip and Dale appear in the Festival of Fantasy parade, daily, as well as Storybook Circus for meet-and-greets.
Chip and Dale make a cameo appearance among the baggage claim scans at Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, when they appear on-screen, the robot G2-9T remarks that the two are "clones", although their noses don't make them perfect clones.
In Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, the two have their own spell card called "Chip and Dale's Bag of Tricks". This card was only available to guests that attended Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the fall of 2012.
- Main article: Chip 'n' Dale Filmography