Rango

(2011)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Animation

Review: Rango

Transcript for Review: Rango

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
That’s a scene from "Rango," an animated movie that manages to be beautifully textured and detailed without relying on 3-D. How about that.  Johnny Depp lends his voice to the title character, a pet lizard who gets stuck in the desert when his aquarium bounces out of a car during a road trip. There's a gorgeous realism to "Rango," but at the same time it has a playful, slapsticky physicality, like something you would see in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Clip 1 -- Rolling bottle

CHRISTY:
Rango stumbles into the tiny town of Dirt, which is filled with birds, rodents, reptiles and other critters. The folks are poor and ornery and don't have much hope -- their water supply, the only thing that keeps them going, is quickly dwindling. And they don't take too kindly to strangers passing through.

 

Clip 2 -- Welcome to Dirt

CHRISTY:
But since Rango already had a flair for the theatrical, he has no trouble reinventing himself as one tough hombre. "Rango" pays tribute to plenty of classic Westerns, and it may have too many pop culture references for its own good. But it's so visually dazzling and has such infectious energy and humor about it, I had a great time.

IGNATIY:
It’s interesting how far we’ve come that Johnny Depp playing a talking lizard is now totally normal.

CHRISTY:
It’s be weird if he didn’t play a talking lizard, right.

IGNATIY:
It’d be weird if he didn’t play a talking lizard or the Mad Hatter or you know Willy Wonka.  This is like everyday Johnny Depp nowadays.  I like this movie.  I’m really not sure it’s for children however.

CHRISTY:
No? How come?

IGNATIY:
Well, I saw this at a preview screening with a lot of kids as I’m sure you probably did as well.

CHRISTY:
I did.

IGNATIY:
My experience was that I was in a room full of children that were either confused or terrified and weren’t laughing and that a lot of adults including critics and the parents who had to bring the kids, laughing really hard.  As an adult, I really enjoyed this movie.

CHRISTY:
I don’t know, it’s very colorful though and that’s part of Rango’s shtick…he’s a chameleon so he can change color all the time and I would think that the kids would like the kind of physical energy about it.

IGNATIY:
Unlike me, you do have a kid.

CHRISTY:
Yeah, he’s too young for this, but maybe someday.  You know what’s cool about this is that they shot it like a live action film.  It’s the first animated film from Industrial Light and Magic, this is George Lucas’ operation and they shot it with all of the actors physically acting out their parts and that I think lends a lot of great energy as opposed to doing their own individual voiceovers separately in different booths.  

IGNATIY:
That’s very true and I feel like the cast here is really, really great.  I mean you have a lot of character actors like Harry Dean Stanton shows up, you know people like Ray Winston, Bill Nighy…this is a really string cast for an animated film.  I guess a film that appeals to adults definitely; kids possibly.

CHRISTY:
Yeah and no there’s a scene where they go from in one breathe, from Apocalypse Now to Star Wars and parents will get that and they’ll kaugh at that, but I loved this movie.