MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin
Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutesWhat It Is? Rango (Depp) is as sheltered a Chameleon as you’ll ever find. And like any chameleon he’s having an identity crisis. I mean who can blame the guy his whole species is normally dependant on blending into the enviroment. Luckily for Rango this is a skill he’s worked at both physically, and emotionally. You see Rango is something of an actor. Playing different parts in the shorts he writes or thinks up in his head. But tragedy strikes our reptilian hero. One evening his whole world is shattered, literally the poor guys tank falls and just BAM! Explodes. Now ole Rango is stuck in the desert in the middle of nowhere. Thirsty, hallucinating, and lost Rango falls asleep and gets swept away in a water duct. He washes up near the town of Dirt. It is hear he meets a girl named Beans (Fisher), who is now responsible for her family farm following the “untimely” demise of her father. Rango is in a situation at the local saloon when he decides to go into full actor mode. Now one thing you should know about Dirt its currency is water, and as it’s mayor (voiced brillianty by Ned Beatty) famously states “If you control the water you control everything”. Which in the desert I suppose is true.
What We Think: Industrial Light and Magic, a studio with a long history of first in the film industry, for me has done it again. Never in my life have I seen characters in an animated motion picture like the ones in Rango. Its almost as if, actors are wearing furry suits. The animation flows so smoothly and the frame rate so fluid that neither fur nor feather looks out of place…EVER! Now these superficial marvelaities aside the script on this one is awesome. Not only is there something for all age groups in this but nothing ever feels out of place within the story and everything flows amazingly. The content of the script is refreshing and new especially for an animated feature. Additionally the little movie buff moments within this are good for a laugh if you can catch them. Voice acting isn’t a problem either as the cast of principles infuse each character with a bit of themselves, while creating something new, and not making these characters simply CG renditions of their vocalists. After the initial cast there is no dropoff in quality in either voice work or animation. It’s as if ILM made each and every character on screen a priority.
Our Grade: A, I said ILM had a lot of first in this industry, well I think it’s time for another first. Their first Oscar win for Best Animated Feature. Nothing, and I mean nothing animated thus far this year has topped this Verbinski masterpiece, and it’ll take a veritable miracle to top it. This one is good for you, or the whole family to enjoy.