Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers has been lauded for its extended Ugly Sonic cameo. But a storyboard artist who worked on the movie has revealed that Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks originally filled that spot in the film.
Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers hit Disney+ on May 20, 2002, and features the voices of John Mulaney (as Chip) and Andy Samberg (as Dale).
The story finds the dynamic duo investigating the disappearance of a friend 30 years after the cancellation of their TV show, which was also called Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.
It gets more meta, with cameos coming from the likes of Batman, Roger Rabbit, Baloo, He-Man, and Paul Rudd. But the movie’s most memorable cameo was nearly very different.
Who is Ugly Sonic in Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers?
In the version released on Disney+, the chipmunks meets “Ugly Sonic” – voiced by Tim Robinson – at a convention. That’s the version of Sonic the Hedgehog that appeared in an early trailer for the 2020 video game adaptation.
Fans were horrified by the character’s appearance at the time, especially his terrifying teeth. So the Sonic filmmakers scrapped that design and came up with a version that pleased everyone, to the tune of $320 million at the global box office.
In Chip ‘n Dale, Ugly Sonic appears midway through proceedings, and has been reduced to signing autographs at a convention table, and making wild claims about his career.
To keep it authentic, he’s even animated by the same company that worked on the original Sonic movie. Chip ‘n Dale director Akiva Schaffer told Total Film: “We had to recreate our own for this movie because we had to make everything from scratch, but there was something pretty great about having the original company that had made the design do it again and repeat their mistakes on purpose this time.”
How did Jar Jar Binks fit into the story?
However, in an early versions of the script, Jar Jar Binks – of Star Wars infamy – played the embittered character in question.
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Storyboard artist Simeon Wilkins dropped this bombshell by posting a pencil-drawn animatic of the same sequence, where Jar Jar is behind the autograph table.
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Next to the drawings, Wilkins wrote: “One more sequence from Rescue Rangers – the Fan Expo chase. It’s great that the bones of this scene stayed fairly firm, while a bunch of characters were swapped out. Most notably, Jar Jar was replaced with Ugly Sonic.”
Which begs the question – what other cameos were swapped out during the filmmaking process? Guess we’ll just have to wait for more storyboard art to find out.