Wrangling Rango, A Review

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Rango

Rango

Movie night! And it is my weekly trip to the local cin­ema with tonight’s offer­ing the ani­mated flick Rango. I had seen the pro­mos for some time and found they gave no real indi­ca­tion of this movie at all. They are some­what mis­lead­ing, but in an unusual way in that Rango is far from just another ani­mated film.

The feel­ing you get from the pro­mos is that this is ani­ma­tion pri­mar­ily aimed a younger audi­ence but which adults would enjoy to. It is the norm with ani­mated films today. But this couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. Rango is ani­ma­tion for adults and if adults take kid­dies along so be it. Bums on seats equates to more bucks so a film mak­ers aren’t going to cut out a poten­tial mar­ket by push­ing it as solely adult ori­en­tated. I have con­sis­tently stated through­out my movie watch­ing life that ani­ma­tion isn’t solely the domain of chil­dren and have tried hard in break­ing down this bar­rier of igno­rance within adults. If Rango doesn’t finally get through to adults then I sadly fail to won­der what ever will.

This reluc­tance of adults to watch­ing ani­mated films is ridicu­lous. You watch The Simp­sons don’t you? And you can­not seri­ously tell me that our yel­low four fin­gered friends are for a younger audi­ence. No, they are strictly aimed at adults.

So Rango for me is a real breath of fresh air. OK it is some­what under mar­keted in terms of the audi­ence it is aimed at, but ani­mated film mak­ers are all too aware how dif­fi­cult it is to get adults into an ani­mated fea­ture. So unfor­tu­nately Rango suf­fers from being under pro­moted in try­ing to be all things to all peo­ple. It is a shame because it a very good ani­mated film for adults.

I don’t need to go into a syn­op­sis for by now most of you out there are aware of the film or have seen it. All I need to go into is what I liked about it and more impor­tantly , is it any good.

So what did I like about Rango? Well…everything! And I mean every­thing. I can­not fault this movie in any­way, that is a good way to start is it not?! Where to start though?! I sup­pose since it is ani­mated it must be the ani­ma­tion. And what ani­ma­tion it is! Hon­estly it is sim­ply unbelievable…breath taking…jaw dropping..incredible, and will just blow your mind with its crisp­ness and clar­ity. The detail is just stag­ger­ing, it is so good that this is as close as ani­ma­tion can get to repli­cat­ing real life imagery.

And here again, why is this just the domain of chil­dren? I don’t believe kid­dies could ever com­pre­hend and enjoy the crafts­man­ship of Rango. It is flaw­lessly ani­mated and the viewer can only sit watch­ing slack jawed as one amaz­ing scene after another comes before their feast­ing eyes. And that is what it is, a visual feast. It is so good that it is a pity that most will never see it in all its glory on the big screen. I will tell you now that I intend to see this film in the the­ater sev­eral more times just to let my eyes gorge them­selves on this visual wonderment.

So yes the ani­ma­tion is some­thing really spe­cial! So clear, crisp and stun­ning. And if you don’t believe me then you haven’t seen the scene where Rango meets ’ the man with no name’! You can hon­estly believe it was Clint East­wood him­self stand­ing there! The fea­tures are so true to life, as are all the ani­mals of the town, warts and all!

The sto­ry­line has the oblig­a­tory moral tone of all ani­mated fea­tures. There are sev­eral here per­tain­ing to telling the truth as lying makes things worse, and being true to your­self and oth­ers, etc. They rarely vary but I will never knock this within ani­ma­tion. If it puts a good mes­sage into a kids head through humor and fun then all for the good I say. But again this is an adults movie. It is very west­ern based and if you are immersed in west­ern watch­ing you’ll love this movie. It is all there. Posses, gun­fights, gam­bling, drink­ing, women of dubi­ous char­ac­ter, saloons, desert, cac­tus, sher­iffs, guns for hire, the sup­pressed, and the loner good guy in the guise of Rango who even­tu­ally saves the day.

Yes, all you west­ern watch­ers will love it. There are many so many in house jokes and sub­tle ref­er­ences to famous west­erns you have to be on your toes to rec­og­nize them all. But it is visu­ally a west­ern to. The scenery is Utah, Death Val­ley etc of west­ern fame. The dust, heat, and sheer bar­ren­ness are beau­ti­fully por­trayed. This may be ani­ma­tion but I can’t see why it can’t be called a west­ern in the tra­di­tional sense. It is a remark­able ani­mated film as I can think of no other that has attempted this genre.

It even goes as far as par­o­dy­ing the Star Wars films but within a west­ern type of way. Great stuff, and immensely enjoy­able as a true film watcher will ‘get’ all the inhouse­ness and parodying.

Johnny Depp is a mar­vel as Rango! He is fan­tas­tic as a chameleon who doesn’t know who is. His voice and whole sense of char­ac­ter comes through mag­nif­i­cently and it is hard to imag­ine another actor being as good. Depp was just born to be Rango as he could play the char­ac­ter in a true to life film just as well.

All in all Rango is as per­fect a ani­mated fea­ture as you can get. The sto­ry­line is good and con­ducive to its west­ern theme, the voices, espe­cially of Depp, are won­der­ful, the char­ac­ters are believ­able and rec­og­niz­able. This really comes down to it being a ‘must’ see, because for no other rea­son the ani­ma­tion is flaw­less and just stun­ning. You’ll want to see it again on the big screen because it is just that good.

For valid rea­son that I stated above the mak­ers couldn’t push this solely as an adult fea­ture. My advice to you is to see it with­out the kids because I doubt they’ll be able to absorb Rango. If they start fid­get­ing and whin­ing then you’ll miss out yourself.

So come on all you adults out there, get over your igno­rance and prej­u­dice of ani­mated films!! If you watch The Simp­sons, Fam­ily Guy, etc why not a full length fea­ture film? This one is aimed at you, and whilst not rude or crude it is still damn good fun and I promise you this…you will enjoy your­self, and I’ll be very sur­prised if you don’t come out mar­veling at some of the best ani­ma­tion you are ever likely to see. Pixar had bet­ter start look­ing over their shoulders!

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About Brent Pearce

Brent joined BCDB because of his blog posts. Dave noticed this New Zealander's posts, and recruited him to also write for BCDB. Now Brent is our in-house movie reviewer, too. Want to say Hi? Send Brent a note here.

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