Rango: movie review

Rango PosterGenre: Animation, western, comedy

Year of Release: 2011

Rated: PG

Director: Gore Verbinski

Summary: Rango is a pet chameleon always on the lookout for action and adventure, except the fake kind, where he directs it and acts in it. After a car accident, he winds up in an old western town called Dirt. What this town needs the most is water, but they also need a hero and a sheriff. The thirsty Rango instantly takes on the role of both and selfishly agrees to take on the case of their missing water.
Review: The main character is trying to his place in the world. When he stumbles upon the town of Dirt, he picks up the name Rango and acts as the hero that the so desperately town needs. The whole lying about who you are storyline and then tell the truth later takes a back seat in this movie.

The animation with the setting and backdrop fits right into a western. The characters all look bag-ragged beaten up roadkill. The whole movie has this surreal quality to it. Not just in the dream sequence. It’s on the edges of reality and weirdness. The music is good a mariachi band of spotted owls that each have their own personality. Also, there a spoof of the Star Wars scores as well as some nods towards western movies.

I would like for there to be a little bit more of a conclusion at the end. Everything didn't feel tightly wrap up.

There are some mature themes as while as some adult humor. This is an intelligent kids’ movie that is well suited for everyone.


Fun Facts: 
  • Instead of recording voice-overs in booths, with every actor isolated from everyone else, most of the voice-over work was recorded on a set, with the actors voicing their characters while performing with their fellow cast members. This enabled the performers to follow the rhythms of their co-stars, while also giving them room for improvisation. The same thing was done for Shark Tale 
  • At the poker table in the saloon when Rango first enters, there is an owl in a top hat holding a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights. These were the cards held by notorious Wild West gunman "Wild" Bill Hickok, the moment he was shot dead in a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota. Bill's hand is since known as "The Dead Man's Hand". 
  • Both scenes in which Rango was running away or being chased (in the desert and in town right before he meets the mayor) were nods to or riffs on the chase scenes in Raising Arizona (1987), particularly the music.

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