Rango, Gore Verbinski’s quirky Wild West animation tells the story of how one ordinary chameleon becomes a beloved sheriff in the town of Dirt. A drought is causing the city to suffer with extreme thirst and it’s up to Rango’s bizarre methods to discover just where all of this water is disappearing to. Featuring great vocal talent, such as Johnny Depp, Isla Fischer, Bill Nighy and Alfred Molina – Rango sets itself apart from any other animated film, due to its strange and unique vision.
It is essentially a drug induced spaghetti western, brimming with quirkiness – which overrides a predictable plot. The unique and strange creatures throughout the film are a delight to see due to the sheer imagination of the designs used. Rango himself is a particular character to pick apart, due to his overall look. His cricked neck, bulging stomach and scrawny limbs make for a unique identity, and Depp brings his own special flavour to the role.
Verbinski brought to the table a different method of filming animation, throwing away tired processes and instead he adopted motion ‘referencing’, allowing a more direct connection between actors. It’s nice to see a different technique used, instead of just slapping a couple of actors into a sound booth – and the film benefits greatly from it.
Whilst it is teetering with humour and homage’s, Rango doesn’t stop itself from providing the viewer with an amazing array of action scenes, such as the flawless wagon chase much later in the film. The animations are so fluid, and almost lifelike – that at some points during the film, you’ll be left questioning whether or not you’re watching a computer animated tale.
Whilst Nickelodeon’s logo may appear at the beginning of the film, don’t be hasty to judge it primarily as a children’s story. If anything, Rango is more applicable to adults with its humour and use of sequences – children won’t understand the references towards old westerns. The film has character, and its added heart and art design make for an extremely enjoyable experience.
It’s always nice to see an animated film without 3D being forced on you, and whilst I do adore Pixar’s work, it’s always great to see the little companies really showing their worth. Dreamworks, this is how you do it; get away with your clichéd smiles, your over-cuddly characters and try to create something akin to Rango. It’s an intellectual, hilarious and fun film, I’d recommend it to anyone.