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Exclusive: Worst Episode Ever Returns to Remind Us Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Once Went Bizarrely Racist

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Worst Episode Ever Returns to Remind Us Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Once Went Bizarrely Racist

#Worst #Episode #Returns #Remind #Chip #039n #Dale #Rescue #Rangers #Bizarrely #Racist

A cartoon cat, holding a rice bowl and Chip the chipmunk uo with chopsticks, looks shocked.

Screenshot: Disney

In 2020, Disney added a warning in front of several of its films, including Dumbo, Peter Pan, and more, cautioning viewers about the racist portrayals found within. It read, “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people and cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and they are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.” It’s the sort of thing you might not expect, but wouldn’t be surprised to see, in front of movies from the 1940s and ‘50s. But what about an episode of Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers… from 1990?

Because that warning is the first thing you see if you try to watch the third-season episode “Puffed Rangers” on Disney+. And the warning is warranted. It’s absolutely crazy this cartoon was made barely more than 30 years ago. In fact, the episode is so problematic that it was redubbed and re-edited after it originally aired in 1990, and that’s the only version currently available for viewing, and it still has the warning in front of it. And it should!

Welcome to Worst Episode Ever, io9’s ultra-sporadic look back at the lowest points of the cartoons of yesteryear. Usually, in this column, I like to reexamine the dumbest installments of classic animated series, like G.I. Joe playing an intramural football game against the terrorist organization Cobra, or Captain Planet fighting Hitler. I rarely tread into truly problematic episodes, because they’re usually just a bummer—but I have to make an exception here, because this shockingly racist episode of Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers should not be lost to the mists of time.

“Puffed Rangers”—presumably a pun, but one that I’ve yet to parse—begins when Dale learns, to his absolute fury, that there’s no toy car inside the box of his favorite cereal, Puffy Wuffies (seemingly a Rice Krispies analogue). Stretching the idea of “rescuing” to its absolute limit, Ranger mechanic and cult goddess Gadget suggests the group save other little boys and girls from the disappointment of also failing to receive their toys, and thus they head to Chow Imports, the shipping factory where the cereal is brought in from overseas.

Things fall apart immediately when Dale spies a car he calls a “Dyundi Gesundheit” outside the building. Inside is an executive who looks like this:

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Screenshot: Disney
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Tommy Chow, as he’s called in this new version, avows he’s the “American nephew” of Hong Kong executive Chow Li in unaccented American English, but you can practically see the horrifically stereotypically “Engrish” dub that originally accompanied the character emanating off him. He also does what TV Tropes refers to as the “Noblewoman’s Laugh,” a high-pitched giggle where the character covers their mouths with the back of their hands. It’s a trademark visual trope in anime among female villains, but was also used by effeminate male characters, so… great, just great stuff.

Image for article titled Worst Episode Ever Returns to Remind Us Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Once Went Bizarrely Racist

Screenshot: Disney

Chow Li’s devious plan, as it’s revealed, is to “molecularly dehydrate” (i.e., shrink) down his generically Asian vehicles and put them into boxes of Puffy Wuffies in order to avoid paying import fees. When the cereal arrives in America, Tommy simply takes the faux prizes out of the cereal boxes and douses the cars with water, at which point they return to normal (read: comically small, a common stereotype back in the ‘70s and early ‘80s). This seems to all be going swimmingly when Tommy receives a package sent from his Uncle Chow Li containing—wait for it—a fortune cookie, as Uncle Chow “always sends his messages this way.” The fortune reads, “You will take a long ocean voyage,” which Tommy interprets as a message to head to Hong Kong, and the Rescue Rangers follow by sealing themselves up inside the aforementioned package after marking it “RETURN TO SENVET.”

Image for article titled Worst Episode Ever Returns to Remind Us Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Once Went Bizarrely Racist

Screenshot: Disney

In Hong Kong, the mailman, wearing the uniform of a U.S. postal worker with the addition of a rice hat, karate kicks the Rangers’ package through the mail slot of Chow Li’s door when it doesn’t fit. Uncle Chow is “comically” short with large front teeth, a long, long-held stereotype of Asian people—too short to reach the lever on his own shrink ray, sigh—and looks like this:

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Image for article titled Worst Episode Ever Returns to Remind Us Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Once Went Bizarrely Racist

Screenshot: Disney

Chow speaks in heavily but not egregiously accented English, which I suspect is also part of the redub, but cannot say for certain. He also reveals a secondary step to his nefarious plan, where he has augmented his molecular dehydrator to also enlarge compact Asian cars to become the giant, gas-guzzling, air-polluting, impossible-to-park, expensive road behemoths that are “everything Americans look for in automobiles.” It’s a stereotype of its own, although one that’s weirdly prescient for 1990.

But please don’t give “Puffed Rangers” credit for anything, because after the Rescue Rangers are forcibly removed from the factory, they’re forced to sneak back to it at night. The building is located on Cat Street (which I was shocked to learn is a real street in Hong Kong but still manages to be problematic; please see “Assorted Musings” below) which, as one would expect in a Chip n’ Dale cartoon, is literally full of cats. Cats who are also wearing rice hats. Cats who, upon seeing delicious rodents enter their territory, ring a gong to alert their fellow felines dinner has been served.

Image for article titled Worst Episode Ever Returns to Remind Us Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Once Went Bizarrely Racist

Screenshot: Disney

Eventually, Chow’s pet, Genghis Cat, captures Chip, Dale, and Gadget, sticking them in a bowl of rice and pouring soy sauce on them using the bottle you’ve seen in virtually every Chinese restaurant in America, and picking them up with chopsticks. Monty arrives in the nick of time, eventually the Rescue Rangers are embiggened with the ray, and they shrink down the car Uncle Chow and Tommy are in so it gets chased away by Genghis Cat. All’s well that ends well, except for the cats of Cat Street, because human-sized Monty returns to the alley to beat the living shit out of them, including swinging one by its tail into the gong. Repeatedly.

So this is all very horrifying, but again, let me remind you this is the second version of the episode that exists. Obviously, a lot of the racism of the episode was so baked in that it couldn’t have been edited out without cutting down the runtime to about eight or so minutes, but… wouldn’t that probably have been fine? To just not re-air “Puffed Rangers” on the 1990s Disney Afternoon cartoon block, or later on Disney XD?

I will give Disney credit for owning up to this shitshow by making it available on Disney+ with its warning as opposed to shoving it in the vault alongside its other racist horrors. But I also think that credit should be mitigated by the fact that this episode of Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers is a mere 32 years old. So if you knew racism was bad in 1990, congratulations! You’re a better person than either Chip or Dale.

Image for article titled Worst Episode Ever Returns to Remind Us Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Once Went Bizarrely Racist

Screenshot: Disney

Assorted Musings:

  • I was very surprised to discover there actually is a Cat Street in Hong Kong, a notorious place where stolen goods are fenced. The “cats,” apparently, refer to the buyers of those stolen goods.
  • Please note the single, exceedingly long fingernail on the pink of Uncle Chow’s left hand (above). My quickly exhausted internet research indicated this was (and maybe still is?) a not uncommon sign of a high-status individual, as it indicates they don’t do manual labor. You could give the animators the benefit of the doubt and assume this was meant to be authentic in some form and not racist, but… I probably wouldn’t?

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. 

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Exclusive: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game – TalkOfNews.com

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game

#Star #Trek #Deep #Space #Nine039s #Opening #Titles #Rule #N64 #Game

Star Trek has had an up-and-down history with video games, sometimes managing to succeed in gaming genres it arguably shouldn’t, while never managing to quite succeed in the ones it should. There’s been plenty of great ones, but now a very cool little animation imagines one of its finest entries getting a ‘90s tie-in that never was.

Twitter user SpinaSanctuary’s hypothetical title screen for a mid-’90s Deep Space Nine game on the Nintendo 64 imagines a sideways glance where the platform that gave us Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire instead took a visit to the Gamma Quadrant for some licensed gaming goodness, essentially riffing on the opening moments of Deep Space Nine’s own title sequence, but in a gloriously polygonal retro style.

What could’ve Star Trek 64: Deep Space Nine even been? An adventure game aboard the station? A starship strategy game set during the Dominion War? A retail management sim dedicated to the Promenade á la Roller Coaster Tycoon or Theme Park World? A first person shooter like Voyager got with the Elite Force games, that shouldn’t make sense, but totally does? Whatever it would’ve been, this cute little “demake” has me wishing we could’ve found out.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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Exclusive: Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year – TalkOfNews.com

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Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year

#Amazon #Prime #subscribers #GrubHub #free #year

Amazon Prime subscribers in the US are getting a new benefit as part of their subscription, the company has announced. From today, they’ll be able to redeem a free year of Grubhub Plus, the monthly subscription service that offers free food delivery on orders over $12 from participating restaurants. Grubhub Plus normally costs $9.99 a month.

According to Amazon, free deliveries associated with Grubhub Plus are available from hundreds of thousands of restaurants across over 4,000 cities in the US. After the year is up, Grubhub will automatically start charging $9.99 a month for continued access. Existing Grubhub Plus subscribers can still make use of the promotion, which will be applied from the start of their next billing cycle. Canceling Prime automatically cancels Grubhub Plus.

The deal comes just a few short years after Amazon shut down Amazon Restaurants, its own attempt to compete in the takeout delivery market. The service was live between 2015 and 2019 but faced stiff competition from the likes of Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Since then, the e-commerce giant has mainly focused on grocery deliveries, but has kept a toe in the takeout delivery market through partnerships with other firms. It announced an investment in Europe-focused Deliveroo in 2019, and started offering access to its Deliveroo Plus subscription service as an additional perk for Prime members in the UK last year.

“Amazon has redefined convenience with Prime and we’re confident this offering will expose many new diners to the value of Grubhub Plus while driving more business to our restaurant partners and drivers,” Grubhub CEO Adam DeWitt said in a statement. The company, which is owned by Just Eat Takeaway.com, says it expects Grubhub Plus subscriptions to rise as a result of the deal.

GrubHub Plus isn’t the only additional benefit Amazon is announcing for Prime members today. The e-commerce giant is also making a short teaser trailer for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power available exclusively to Prime subscribers for 48 hours. Members can watch the teaser over on the show’s Amazon page. The trailer ends by promising yet another teaser is coming on July 14th ahead of the release of the series on September 2nd.

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Exclusive: Explained: What is the Toll Fraud malware, how it attacks digital wallets and how to protect yourself – TalkOfNews.com

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Explained: What is the Toll Fraud malware, how it attacks digital wallets and how to protect yourself

#Explained #Toll #Fraud #malware #attacks #digital #wallets #protect

Microsoft recently published a blog post that warned Android users of a new malicious malware that is going around, called the Toll Fraud malware. The concern that Microsoft raises about this malware, is the fact that it can drain the payment wallets in infected devices, and, can also empty your bank accounts.

Microsoft researchers Dimitrios Valsamaras and Sang Shin Jung detailed the continuing evolution of “toll fraud malware” and the ways in which it attacks Android devices.

The malware falls under the subcategory of billing fraud “in which malicious applications subscribe users to premium services without their knowledge or consent” and “is one of the most prevalent types of Android malware.”

According to a Google transparency report, most of the installations of this malware are in India, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia, and Turkey.

How does the Toll Fraud Malware work?
What this malware does, is that it disconnects your device from WiFi, and allows the device to only operate on the cellular network. It then takes over the WAP or the Wireless Application Protocol.

WAPs, normally allow consumers to subscribe to paid content and add the charge to their phone bill. Once it hijacks the WAP, the malware starts subscribing to premium services while also intercepting one-time passwords (OTP) that a legit service provider may have sent you to verify your identity.

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These SMSs are then forwarded to a database, which malicious hackers and actors can use to hack into various accounts that you own, even your bank accounts.

The Toll Fraud malware is one of the oldest malware in existence and has been going around since the time of dial-up internet. However, over the decades, it has evolved into something very sophisticated.

The current version of the malware is able to evade detection and can achieve a high number of installations before a single variant can be removed. It uses dynamic code loading, which makes it difficult for genuine mobile security solutions and antiviruses to detect threats.

It also suppresses SMS notifications and app notifications from wallets and dedicated banks. This way, by the time a user gets to know that their device has been infected, it is very late.

How do Android devices get infected by the Toll Fraud malware?
Not all apps on the Play Store are legit. Most of the free antiviruses, file managers, beauty filters and wallpaper apps have some sort of malware embedded in them.

The biggest red flag that such apps throw up is asking for bizarre permissions. For example, a camera app, asking permission to send or read SMSs make no sense. Or, a wallpaper app, asking for permissions to read notifications and monitor them again makes no sense. People often ignore what sort of permissions certain apps ask for. 

How to protect yourself from Toll Fraud malware?
Users need to be very careful of the apps they download, even if they are doing it through the Play Store. Also, avoid sideloading apps.

Avoid installing apps that ask for excessive permissions for programs that don’t require such privileges. Also, avoid apps which have similar UIs or icons to that of legitimate proper apps.

Keep an eye on the developer profiles that look fake or have poor grammar, and if the app has a slew of bad reviews.


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