Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, I don't hate the pilot, nor do I think it's bad. I just... can't help but notice its problems as I watched it a few times.
Anyway, let me start off by what was good about it.
#1: How the rangers met. While it was quite odd how Chip wanted to get back at Monterrey for a misunderstanding in the middle of a heist, their interactions as they joined forces otherwise was actually pretty solid. I especially loved the part how Chip gave Gadget a heartwarming pep talk about how they needed her inventing skills in their quest when she felt worthless. Stuff like that really gave this pilot some much needed heart.
#2: The only time Nimnul and FatCat interacted with each other. Ok, to be fair, they didn't exactly interact, but it was nice to see them acknowledge each other and work together. To be honest, I really wish they would have done this kind of duo again, even if it was merely them intentionally helping one another.
#3: The invention Gadget made when chasing after Klordane. Yea, it was very unrealistic and all, but eh, I can't help but find it a cool scene. One of the better moments near the climax.
There are probably other good moments too, but I can't think of any other at the top of my head, so I'll just move onto the problems I can't help but dislike more and more I think about it.
#1: The dogpound scene.
I'm sorry, but this just felt like pointless filler. First of all, are the police so stupid they can't even check to see if Pluto really has rabies before condemning him there? Secondly, the French dogs the Rangers meet to help them are flat out irritating. They're not funny, not interesting or add anything that big to the plot. Heck, if anything, they're just racial stereotypes. This is a scene we could have seriously done without. It would have been better if Klordane just took both Drake and Plato prisoner.
Yes, I know Plato helped them blast through a wooden barricade with his strength, but they could have had Gadget either blow it up with some specially made explosive or even make a device to cut through. I guess they felt Plato had to contribute SOMETHING to the plot. It's not like he caught Klordane in the end with his signature bite, right?
#2: The plot where the Rangers retrieved the Ruby only to have it stolen back not even 10 minutes later
Like with my previous complaint, this scene contributes literally nothing. Why waste the audiences' time by making them think they won only to have it stolen within minutes of screen time? And how absurdly it was stolen back too. You mean to tell me one little diversion was all it took for Nimnul to swipe that gem back without a single cop notciing him? Give me a friggin break... yes, I know the cops are incompetent in this cartoon, but this was beyond suspense of disbelief.
#3: Klordane's plan.
Ok, I'll be honest here. Not everything about Klordane's plan was bad, but the majority was utter foolishness. Let's start with Phase 1. He lets Drake get the ruby back in order to frame him. Ok, seems logical. And then the flaws of it starting to pile up. First off, he decides to let his cat be the one to set up Drake? How is that the best plan of action? His cat is not exactly what would call a common breed. I think anyone with a brain at the station would recognize him.
Secondly, Klordane plants fake evidence to make it look like Drake not only stole the ruby, but had a motive too as well. Well, I'm sorry, but unless they found the ruby, and I mean a fake one since he needed it for his plan, why would anyone with common sense buy this? Haven't they heard of the saying, "Evidence is 9/10 of the law?"
Yes, I know they found the necklace in his coat, but again, they didn't find the ruby, which makes me scratch my head WHY they would 100% believe he stole it. Suspect? Sure, but it makes no sense for Klordane to think the cops would just completely buy it. Only reason they did is because they're complete idiots.
Thirdly, his plan of busting out Drake to frame him even further. Ugh, I have such an issue with this. Wasn't it enough he framed him for stealing a ruby? If convicted, he'd probably be getting 10-25 years, lose his badge and the respect of the city. What, he wanted him jailed for life too? Seems like overkill to me.
But anyway, I could overlook that if it wasn't for the NEXT part of his plan. He decides to break Drake out of jail IN BROAD I just... I'm completely dumbfounded by this. THIS is the mastermind the Rangers and police have been running around trying to catch? You can't be serious! I could have bought this if it was done in the darkest hours of the night, but he does it during the day where anyone could have spotted him! Heck, he did the exact same thing when obtaining the ruby. At least I can excuse that because it was a matter of getting before the owner came in and did.
But not this... this is just painful to accept. What were the writers thinking here? And the police line afterwards is absurd beyond measure. "Detective Drake has escaped!" SERIOUSLY?! None of them could tell just by examining the scene it was foul play? UGH!
Lastly, while Klordane's plan to use gelatin to rob a bank was a bit ingenious since people would just assume it was mainly an earthquake, it's still a horribly flawed plan. One, as the Rangers pointed out, all they had to do to wreck his scheme is just hit the gelatin with something big again. Why didn't Klordane at least attempt to have it melted down just to be safe? What, he didn't think someone could possibly set it off again?
Two, all it would have taken for the police to find out where the coins went to was discover the hole Klordane made with his gelatin and find out where it led. Yes, I doubt they'd find out right away knowing their incompetence, but looking at that loot, you can't tell me it would haven't taken them awhile to gather it and haul it away. Heck, the train carts were already full. It would have taken them another couple of trips just to get it all back to his hideout.
And his escape plan? Not exactly that bright either. I mean, we're not talking about him escaping by car or even plane. He's using a train. Which means, THERE ARE TRACKS THAT THE COPS COULD HAVE EASILY FOLLOWED AND TRACKED HIM DOWN! I know technology wasn't as good compared today, but you cannot tell me they could have radioed in and had all traintracks locked down with a perimeter.
I'm sorry, but the more I look at Klordane and his plan, the more I can't help but scratch my head how in the world he's supposed to be a mastermind. His whole plan was just so ridiculously flawed. It makes zero sense he got away with so much. Heck, even his own cat is smarter than he was, and his plans are usually just trivial ones.
#4: The cops involvement(or lack thereof I should say)
Ok, I understand this show is about the Rescue Rangers and not the police, so I can perfectly accept them saving the day. It is about them after all. However, what I CANNOT accept is the fact unlike the later episodes, the cops were utterly worthless in this pilot. As mentioned above, the whole reason Klordane's plan even worked is because the fact they bought his whole set up hook line and sinker. None of them actually thought other than the Rangers and Plato that something was off.
And the most insulting part was the fact several of Drake's friends on the force said they believed him, and yet didn't even bother to investigate to maybe clear up his name. Yes, I get the fact the Rangers were supposed to be the ones to clear Drake's name, but that doesn't excuse the fact all the cops literally sat on their asses the whole time and basically let Klordane do whatever he wanted unhindered. They didn't do a blessed thing to try to even slow down his plan.
At least in the later episodes, they actually showed the cops investigating the crimes and even possibly trying to stop a few. Would it have killed the writers to do that here? Heck, for all we know, had the Rangers not intervened, the police would not have only bought Drake stealing the ruby, but all the gold coins from that bank too.
That just hurts me head to think about... you know, if I was Drake, I would have sued the department for their insultingly pathetic conduct. They not only let him take the fall, but did NOTHING to look into it and see if he was possibly framed. And the worst part about it is the fact he had a nearly flawless track record for 40 years. Are you telling me after all that, he's not due at least a little benefit of the doubt when something like this comes up?
For shame, writers. You know, I still love this show, but this pilot really had some issues. Thankfully, the writing got better as it went on, so I can sorta let this go, but still... it just seems kinda sad Talespin got an epic pilot, and this show just got something not even half as good. The concepts of it are not bad, but the execution in several places was utterly pitiful.
And for those who saying I'm taking a kid's show too seriously. Maybe I am, but after all I pointed out, can you honestly say Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers got a pilot worthy of their prestige? I certainly don't think so.
So, that's why I'm giving this 5.5 out of 10. Like I said before, it's not a bad pilot, but its plot definitely does not hold up that well when examined up close.