The Wild True Story Behind The Funniest Joke In Chip 'N Dale

This post contains spoilers about the best joke in "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers."

Multiverses and metaverses are all the rage thanks to films like "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and the exceptionally wonderful "Everything Everywhere All At Once," so it should be a shock to no one that the Walt Disney corporation was going to get in on the fun. It was, perhaps, shocking that their foray into filmmaking filled with references bursting at the seams came in the form of "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers." In this live-action/animated hybrid action-adventure comedy, Chip and Dale have long since retired from the world of acting, with Chip (John Mulaney) now working as an insurance salesman and Dale (Andy Samberg), having recently gone under the CGI knife, trying his hand as a social media influencer and frequent convention attendee. The chipmunks had a falling out years ago, but after the disappearances of a handful of beloved animated characters, including former Rescue Ranger Monterey Jack (Eric Bana), the duo reunite to find their friend, and save their animated comrades.

The film is loaded with Easter eggs, references, parodies, and cameos from animated characters from beyond the Disney umbrella, including one unexpected cameo that completely steals the show. While hawking wares and autographs at the convention circuit, Dale shares celebrity row with arguably the most hated animated character in cinematic history ... the original, rejected design for the titular star of the "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie, lovingly named "Ugly Sonic," and voiced by Tim Robinson ("I Think You Should Leave").

A brief history of Ugly Sonic

Do you remember where you were on April 30, 2019, when Paramount dropped the first trailer for "Sonic the Hedgehog" and unleashed an image so unholy, it's a shock that any of us are still alive to tell the tale? Fans had been patiently waiting for three decades to see Sonic given the big-screen treatment, only to find their beloved hero transformed into an unrecognizable sleep paralysis demon with the gloved fingers of a low-rent children's birthday party magician, far apart eyes, weirdly muscular chicken thigh legs, and most traumatizing of all, tiny human teeth. To call the original Sonic design "cursed" is an insult to the hard work of witches and warlocks everywhere, but the English language does not possess a word that is capable of encapsulating the wannabe Eldritch horror of Ugly Sonic.

Fan, critic, and casual observer reactions were swift, merciless, and completely justified. The original Sonic design was absolutely unacceptable, and Paramount announced that they were going to delay the release of the film to give the blue blur a complete redesign. It marked one of the only examples of fan outrage and loud demands being the right call, but in the 48 hours between Ugly Sonic's arrival and his celebrated death, the internet was a cruel and chaotic Thunderdome of Sonic memes. Ugly Sonic did the impossible and united the world for a brief moment, joining forces in the shared hatred of a god awful character design.

Sonic hits the convention circuit

The decision to pursue a more faithful redesign helped the fastest thing alive spawn its own cinematic universe, but the original Ugly Sonic is now infamous, never to be forgotten. Based on the trailer, I expected to see a plethora of animated cameos "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers." What I was not expecting was a beer-bellied Ugly Sonic at a convention table giving advice to Dale on how to earn more money and signing autographs for fans who equally cannot believe what they're seeing. Fan conventions can be a great way for people to come face-to-face with some of their favorite actors, but they can also feel like a sad arrangement of people desperately trying to stretch their 15 minutes of fame. Ugly Sonic is a perfect addition to the former reality TV stars of canceled '90s shows, professional wrestlers who never won a belt, zombie extras from "The Walking Dead," and that dude who had a three-second appearance in a seminal slasher movie as a kid and somehow turned it into an entire career.

Ugly Sonic is easily the best unexpected cameo in the whole film, and Tim Robinson voices him with absolute vocal perfection. "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers” doesn't hold back from roasting Ugly Sonic directly to his face, but in an odd form of poetic justice, allows Ugly Sonic the chance for redemption, and to prove that he has value beyond memery and relentlessly mean (albeit hilarious) insults. If there's any proof of Disney magic, it's that they somehow convinced Paramount to let them shine an even bigger spotlight to one of their biggest blunders ... and we are all better for it.