January 31, 2014 3:50pm PT by Borys Kit
Disney Reviving 'Chip 'n Dale' for a Live-Action Feature (Exclusive)
Chip ‘n’ Dale, Disney’s classic cartoon chipmunk duo, is being revived with the goal of becoming a big-screen feature.
The studio has picked up a pitch from Robert Rugan, an award-winning commercials director, who is writing an updated take on the characters in what is being envisioned as a live-action/CG hybrid.
Mandeville Films/TV, the Disney-based production shingle run by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman that is also behind the studio’s Muppets franchise, is producing.
Chip ‘n’ Dale first appeared in a 1943 animated short starring Pluto, and went on to appear in 22 reels stretching into the mid-1950s where the duo either annoyed Mickey’s faithful four-legged friend or squared off against Donald Duck.
They popped up in various Disney cartoons and comics but got a makeover in in 1989 with Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. The show saw Chip, the brains behind the pair, and Dale, the goofball, running a detective agency and helping animal clients. Disney made three seasons' worth of shows that then ran in syndication for the next decade on The Disney Channel.
It is from Rescue Rangers that the new project would spring as it tells an origin story of sorts.
Mandeville's Alexander Young is overseeing for the shingle and will exec produce.
Live-action/CG hybrids have proven to be quite successful. Fox is in the process of making a fourth Alvin and the Chipmunks picture while Sony Pictures Animation made two Smurfs movie.
Mandeville's Muppets Most Wanted hits theaters March 21.
Rugan has done spots for companies such as Visa, IFC, HBO, Kodak, Nikon and Durex, winning two CLIO Awards and the CyberLion at Cannes. He was also behind popular video Wiley vs Rhodes, a live-action spoof of a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon.
Rugen is attached to direct Genies (aka Children of the Lamp) at Paramount with Color Force (The Hunger Games) attached to produced. He is currently adapting the book series The Genius Files for Warners and wrote an original script titled Beauregard Thibodeau to which he is attached to direct while Logan Pictures is on board to produce.
He is repped by Verve, Kaplan/Perrone and Hirsch Wallerstein.