Chip 'n Dale are two animated chipmunk created by The Walt Disney Company. Their names are a pun based on the name "Chippendale" (see Thomas Chippendale). This was suggested by Bill "Tex" Henson, a story artist at the studio. Originally the two had the same colored noses, but as a way to tell them apart, Chip was given a black nose and Dale was given a red nose.
According to Disney, Chip is the logical schemer, and Dale is the goofy, dim-witted one. An easy way to visually tell them apart is that Chip has a small black nose (it looks a bit like a chocolate "Chip" as a way to help people remember who is who) and two centered protruding teeth, whereas Dale has a big red nose and his two prominent buck teeth exposed. Chip is also depicted as having smooth, short fur atop his head while Dale's tends to be ruffled.
In the '50s, they were finally given their own series, but only three cartoons were made; Chicken In The Rough (1951), Two Chips And A Miss (1952) and The Lone Chipmunks (1954).
Chip 'n Dale first appeared in the cartoon Private Pluto (1943), though they did not have their names or distinguishing characteristics. Pluto has been assigned to guard a pillbox where the two chipmunks are storing their nut supply, with the large gun being used as a nutcracker. However, various portions of Pluto's anatomy (such as his head) are realized as useful nutcracking implements. Eventually, they retreat into the pillbox, leaving Pluto weeping outside.
Read more about Chip and Dale at Wikipedia
Official Site: Disney
Researched by: Cylon Commander