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on 21 January 2012
Reading some of the reviews, I thought Rango might not be suitable for my three year old daughter, and considering it was a PG I had a watch of it first to see what I thought.

The film begins in a very similar way to the excellent Aardman/Dreamworks Flushed Away, a pampered but lonely pet is thrown into the wild world and forced to fend for himself.

It then morphs into the classic western plot, stranger in town, corrupt mayor, gunslingers etc, all played out by a cast of beautifully animated ugly wild creatures.

Yes, it is weird, the animals are not standardised Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks cuties - they are rough and ready, battered looking wild creatures.

Yes, some of the references - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Clint Eastwood westerns, assorted Tarantino-esque moments - will be lost on little ones, but then the best animated films appeal to all age groups.

After watching I decided my daughter would get along OK with Rango, and it has quickly become a favourite, being requested most days!

I would say that if your kids can handle the weirder side of animation - my daughters favourites include Coraline, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox, the Nightmare Before Christmas and the Studio Ghibli movies - they will love this film. If they prefer their animation a bit more cute and cuddly, perhaps steer clear or buy it for the grown ups to enjoy!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 March 2011
I expected a lot from the duo Verbinski/Depp and I was not disappointed. Both me and my 10 y.o. daughter we spend a great cinema moment together watching "Rango" and I recommend this movie for a whole family evening, as it is a typical "kidult" (kid+adult) movie. In fact, when I looked, there were more adults than kids in the cinema and they were all having a really great time!

The reasons why this movie is so good are many, and I will try to enumerate the more important, avoiding the spoilers as much as possible:

1) It is a really really good, solid classical western, with all the necessary ingredients: a lawless town (named Dirt), a mysterious lone stranger, a cemetery filled with dead sheriffs, a cute (although tough) senorita in dire straits, a bank robbery, a saloon filled with the scum of the earth, a joyful merry undertaker (which is only normal - his is the only prospering business in Dirt), a deadly evil gunfighter who ALWAYS "takes a soul" in every town he visits, an Indian tracker (who molts, but we shall not hold it against him, shall we?) and also desperadoes, buzzards, posses, dynamite, old timers with shotguns, youngsters with Colts, hillbillies with Gatling machine guns, booze galore, Far West stories, coffee and beans around a campfire, mariachis on the cactuses and let's not forget the seven brothers killed with one bullet...)))

2) Johny Depp gives to Rango more than just his voice - this lizard IS Johny Depp! And also by placing in his mouth some of the lines from "Pirates of the Caribbean", Johny Depp made me relieve some of the best moments of this franchise. There were moments when I half expected seeing Barbossa behind that Gatling machine gun!

3) The Spirit of the West - as a wise old armadillo called Roadkill teaches Rango, "the Spirit of the West rides in a white chariot with a guard of golden warriors" - and indeed he does! And I guarantee you that when you finally meet yourself the Spirit of the West you will spill the soda on your pants and choke on your popcorn, like half of the public did (me included) when we were watching it in the cinema! I almost died laughing at this moment (although my daughter did not get the joke - and I think most of the kids will not get it either). No more spoilers here about The Spirit of the West!

4) Visually and graphically this is a very well done movie, quite unique in style, unlike anything else made by Pixar or Dreamworks. In fact I really hope that Nickelodeon Movies will carry on, because this style of movie making completes very pleasantly the offer on the market of kid (and kidult) movies. VERY good job on the visual aspect of this movie!

To keep the things short I will not say much more and I will just invite you to see it in the cinema if you still can and then to enjoy it on DVD. And I am all in favor of a sequel, in which we could hear for example an old grumpy one eyed rat saying: "Fill yer hands, rascals!" before charging ahead with his Colts blazing!
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on 26 May 2016
I bought this based on the positive reviews I had seen. Boy, that was a mistake! Honestly, I tried to watch it but after half an hour of torture, I gave up. I don't know if I need to be on drugs to watch it, or if the people were on drugs when they made it, but it is simply put, flat out weird. It isn't funny, I've been to funnier funerals. It's not anything, it's just, well, there, like a hat stand without hats. It serves no purpose other than to take up space on what was previously a perfectly good blank dvd. A dreadful film and a total waste of time and money.
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on 1 August 2013
This film is pretty amazing to be honest , made me laugh a lot. Also when it came to that fight between Rango and the big evil snake! I literally was in tears from laughter , could seriously just sit down and watch this more than once and I still wouldn't let it go XD.
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on 26 April 2011
We went to see this on the spur of the moment as there was nothing else we fancied on at the pictures that night. I'm glad we did as this is one of the most 'feel good' films I have seen in a long time. I wont go on as the other reviewers have mentioned all the best bits already but I have to say that the 'Ride of the Valkyries' played on banjos - a parody of the iconic Apocalypse Now scene - was brilliant.
I've seen it twice now and can't wait to get the Blue-ray when it comes out.
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on 22 April 2016
VIDEO:

This 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 2.40:1 picture is truly magnificent. Detail is exceptional. Every nuance of texture is vividly depicted, especially on Rango's scaly skin. Fine detail can be observed in every unique desert creature, from hide to hair. All the furry critters roaming about the town of Dirt come equipped with sharply distinct hairs that seem to move independently of each other. The facial and body movements of some creatures are simply astounding with breathtaking realism and lifelike motion. Costumes are incredibly vivid, with every thread and stitch perfectly resolved. Colours are perfectly balanced. Contrast is perfectly executed with deep blacks and exceptional shadow delineation. (5+/5)

AUDIO:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is a masterpiece of high fidelity delight! The voicing talents of Johnny Depp (Rango), Isla Fisher (Beans), Ned Beatty (Mayor) and Bill Nighy (Rattlesnake Jake) are exceptional. Bass extension is deep and solid. Hans Zimmer's wonderful orchestral music score performed by Los Lobos is dynamically powerful and spatially enveloping, with an aggressive surround presence. This lossless mix as a whole feels spacious with a very wide expanse in the imaging. Room-penetrating dynamics are crystal-clear with amazing clarity detail. (5/5)

TRIVIA:

Did you know that Ned Beatty based his performance on that of John Huston in Chinatown? Johnny Depp character Rango was modeled after Don Knotts character Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show. Rattlesnake Jake was modeled after Lee Van Cleef. And Spirit of The West was modeled after Clint Eastwood. Also, at the back of Spirit's golf cart are four golden trophies...Clint Eastwood has won four Oscars.

GOOF:

There are no natural Saguaro cacti in the Mojave Desert. They are native to the Sonoran Desert.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Gore Verbinski's 'Rango' is a thoroughly enjoyable postmodern western that essentially celebrates the spirit of the west. With a budget of estimated $135 million, it has grossed $240 million worldwide, but only $123 million in US. This is the first animated feature produced by the Industrial Light And Magic, created by George Lucas to work on Star Wars (the Complete Saga on blu ray came out on September 16!). They have done a magnificent job. Both video and audio are top-notched. I am glad that the movie is in 2.40:1, thus with my anamorphic lens, the whole picture fills up my entire 12 foot wide screen. Magnificent sight! And the movie is a thoroughly enjoyable one, more for adults. There are two versions: theatrical (01:47:18) and extended version (01:51:50). Highly recommended.

UPDATE:

Rango deservedly won the Oscar for the Best Animated Feature Film. Congratulations!
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on 16 April 2016
My rango dvd arrived very quickly and was well packaged. Having seen this film recently on the TV, I decided to purchase it as my boys enjoyed it so much perfect for rainy day school days. Funny film a big thumbs up from my boys. I would recommend it.
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on 13 December 2015
I must say, I never liked this film as much as a lot of other films that I own but its ok to watch once, but not one I would really recommend. I do really recommend ....Pirates of the Caribbean 1 to 4 , Sweeney Todd, Edward scissor hands etc but this film doesn't quite get in to that list.
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on 12 December 2011
With Rango, his first completely animated feature film, co-writer/director Gore Verbinski returns to the anarchic spirit of his movie debut Mousehunt as he follows the existential quest of hapless hero Lars, a chameleon voiced by the ever quixotic Johnny Depp.

I don't want to dwell too much on the suitably of the film for younger children, it has been rated PG and I think that speaks for itself. If it had wished to be marketed specifically for family audiences it would have strived for a U certificate like the Pixar and Dreamworks movies it's being unduly compared to.

Rango actually marks the foray of the George Lucas foundered special effects company Industrial Light & Magic into feature length animation; working under the guidance of the Coen Brothers regular cinematographer Roger Deakins they have crafted quite simply one of the most detailed, breathtaking and genuinely beautiful CGI pictures seen to date.

When we meet Lars he is stuck in a hermetically sealed world of his own imagining; an aspiring actor with an identity crisis, confined to a tiny terrarium he improvises scenes of would-be heroics, bouncing lofty dialogue off his inanimate inmates, a clockwork toy fish, a dead insect and a headless Barbie doll.

As Lars has the sudden realisation that the reason his life lacks definition is due to the absence of any real conflict his world is launched into space as the camera pulls back to reveal it's being carried by a car hurtling at high speed along the freeway which has been sent into a tailspin after hitting an armadillo attempting to cross to the other side.

Despite having a deep tyre tread across his thorax the armadillo (Alfred Molina) doesn't seem at all phased by the accident as if it's a regular occurrence; his metaphysical musings set Lars on journey far off the beaten path, across the wasteland to the desolate town of Dirt where he shall glean self-knowledge and meet the 'Spirit of the West'.

Before setting off on his epic quest the film doesn't miss an opportunity to have Lars nearly run off the road by Johnny Depp's character from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas the delusional paranoiac, Raoul Duke the first in a litany of iconic cinematic references that raise the movie above and beyond the expectations of mainstream entertainment.

On the outskirts of Dirt, Lars meets the outlandishly named Beans (Isla Fisher), the daughter of a recently deceased prospector, who suspects foul play is the cause of the town's diminishing water rations. Much is made of the fact that Lars struggles with the physiognomic changes you'd typically expect from a chameleon, this serves as a metaphor for his personality disorder which manifests itself in his efforts to constantly re-invent himself as a heroic figure.

During an extended improvisation the lizard takes on the persona of a fearless gunslinger in order to impress a local bar room crowd, he brags about killing the notorious Jensen brothers - all seven of them - with one bullet! Taking the name of 'Rango' from a bottle labelled 'Made in Durango' his exalted reputation is confirmed accidently when he takes out a menacing hawk by chance; the townsfolk of Dirt are so in need of something to believe in that they appoint him as the new Sheriff.

Rango is a post-modernist comedy co-written by John Logan (Sweeney Todd) which manages to pay homage to every great Western from the Gary Cooper classic High Noon to the 'Spaghetti' variety of Sergio Leone; not content with celebrating cinematic cowboys it also borrows the Valkyrie sequence from Coppola's Apocalypse Now and a mysterious watery plot direct from Polanski's Chinatown with the malfeasant Mayor of Dirt (Ned Beatty) being a dead ringer for John Huston.

It's worth mentioning the quartet of Mariachi owls who also act as a chorus in the classical Greek sense whilst serenading the audience with amusing little ditties proclaiming the hero's imminent death. Rango sticks to its six shooters and brings the whole metafictional tale full circle with Lars finally arriving on the other side of the freeway to find the 'Spirit of the West' embodied by Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name (Timothy Olyphant) from whom he learns that attaining self-knowledge is the ultimate heroic act and that we are all the stars of our own stories.

Despite being every bit as odd as it sounds the film is consistently entertaining and easily held my son's attention without him needing to be au fait with the many in-jokes or countless movie references. Rango was obviously conceived as a star vehicle for Depp's quirkier sensibilities by Pirates of the Caribbean director Verbinski and the pair are clearly relishing the refreshingly surreal sabbatical and have crafted a landmark work of startling originality in the process.
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on 17 January 2015
Another film bought for watching with my daughter but again loved it myself :D Bit disappointed with the delivery and the fact the case was damaged but not surprise really because no bubble wrap at all, just the cardboard packet..

That aside, nothing else wrong with it :) Longer film but keeps us both entertained when we watch it :)
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