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Cartoon History Lesson #39: Gadget Hackwrench (Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers)

985327-tininha_largeAccording to Wikipedia: Gadget Hackwrench is a character from Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, voiced by Tress MacNeille. She is the beautiful child prodigy daughter of a famous mouse inventor and scientist named Geegaw Hackwrench. She has the uncanny ability to take a few odd-ball objects and invent nearly anything with them. Like most wacky inventor-types, she can be extremely focused and, therefore usually oblivious of what is happening around her while inventing. She first met Chip ‘n Dale on their first case as “Rescue Rangers” when Monty brought them to Geegaw’s in search of an airplane and helped them solve the crime by lending her inventive talents to the case. Having nowhere else to go and no other obligations, she joined Monterey Jack (a friend of her father’s) and became an official member of the Rescue Rangers.

Chip-N-Dale-Rescue-Rangers-1She now lives with Chip, Dale, Monty and Zipper the Fly in a hollow tree limb in a city park. Both Chip and Dale are very attracted to Gadget and can be found often vying for her attention (similar to their infatuation and rivalry over Clarice from Two Chips and a Miss). She doesn’t seem to notice in many cases and has never demonstrated any preference for either.

In addition to building and maintaining the Ranger Plane, Gadget is the one responsible for the various technological items used by the team and is regularly inventing new vehicles and tools for the team’s use. She has the uncanny ability to take discarded and unrelated items, and invent nearly anything with them. Unfortunately, her creations don’t always work the way she intends and have sometimes failed at just the wrong moment to cause the team trouble.

Physical Appearance

Gadget_Hackwrench_002_by_BDTXIIIHer eyes are blue, while the color of her hair has frequently been a topic of discussion as it changes from episode to episode. In many episodes, her hair appeared to be orange in color. In still others, it showed up as being a strawberry blond. At one point, Tad Stones, the producer of the show was contacted by a fan and gave this explanation:

  • I believe the intention was sandy blonde. Because we work with a limited color palette, we pick the closest color to what we want. There was no intention of adding red. I did the first paintings of Gadget and she was completely blonde wearing blue coveralls.

She usually wears a pair of lavender mechanic’s coveralls, a purple belt, and a pair of blue goggles which she keeps on her forehead when she doesn’t need them. A white shirt can often be seen under her coveralls, but it is even more inconsistent than her hair, sometimes disappearing and reappearing within one scene. Though she can occasionally be seen in different outfits matching the situation, she never wears a dress or make-up unless it is part of a disguise.


M. Meyrink in "Real Genius"

M. Meyrink in “Real Genius

Gadget’s personality was based upon the inventive female character Jordan in the 1985 movie, “Real Genius“. She’s a combination of the “cute girl next door” combined with an obsessed and quirky inventor. There are a few people she doesn’t like, but those few are typically villains. Gadget has a natural warmth about her that makes everyone welcome and pleased to see her. She’s very loyal to her friends and frequently goes out of the way to help them.

590165-gadgetAt the same time, Gadget constantly is thinking. As exhibited in the episode Gadget Goes Hawaiian, she has trouble focusing on just one way to do things. However, once her focus has come she can invent at a staggering pace—for instance her armored gyromobile in The Case of the Cola Cult.

Gadget has her quirks. She thinks so much from an inventor’s standpoint that it tends to make her naive at times. She’s upset Chip and Dale’s romantic advances more than once, simply by not understanding what it was they were after.

5847309657_gadgeth1_answer_2_xlargeWhen Gadget’s excited about her inventions she’s known to use scientific jargon freely and talk at an extremely rapid pace. This tends to leave anyone listening to her clueless as to what she actually meant, but it never seems to bother her.

Gadget can be angered. As we see in “Kiwi’s Big Adventure”, “The Case of the Cola Cult” and “Dirty Rotten Diapers”, Gadget has a limit beyond which her cute veneer is lost and she becomes, well, aggressive. Woe to the villain or anyone else who manages this feat, because once Gadget’s riled she’s a juggernaut—thankfully, such incidents are rare.



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