“No man can walk out on his own story”
A vibrantly colored, off-the-wall comedy that has more laughs for the adults than the kids, Rango is now available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack and DVD.
Johnny Depp re-teams with his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy director Gore Verbinski to bring to life one of the most original animated characters in years. Much credit goes to Verbinksi as director, producer and story co-creator in giving us one of the absolute zaniest animated films the screen has ever seen. A Comedy-Western that pays tribute to classic movies in a rapid-fire fashion, Rango is quite unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Rango (perfectly-voiced by Depp) is a chameleon with a very active imagination, after experiencing a series of unfortunate and life-threatening events, he finds himself stranded in the desert. Rango makes his way into the town of Dirt, which is experiencing a serious drought that has its inhabitants desperate for water. He makes up an entire identity and life story and ends up as Dirt’s new sheriff. Soon, he finds himself leading an eccentric posse of townspeople-make that townscreatures- on a search for Dirt’s missing water supply, making more than one dangerous enemy along the way.
Rango is full of entertaining and unique characters. From the title chameleon to the humorous Greek chorus of Mariachi owls to the chilling villain Rattlesnake Jake, each of the characters are given a moment or two to make them memorable. The combination of great character design, perfect voice casting, and a wacky script help bring Dirt’s denizens to hilarious life. The cast of talented actors lending their voices includes Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Ned Beatty, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant, Harry Dean Stanton, Stephen Root, Blake Clark, Vincent Kartheiser, Charles “Roger Rabbit” Fleischer, Gil Birmingham, and the always excellent Bill Nighy as Rattlesnake Jake.
Perhaps what makes the vocal performances of Rango stand out is the fact that the cast recorded them together, acting out the scenes on a set with costumes, rather than individually recording their parts in a sound booth. It adds a little something extra and helps the film stand out from others in the genre. In their first atttempt at a computer animated feature, Industrial Light & Magic has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the animation world.
The highlight of Rango is that the entire film is a non-stop homage to movies. These references come so fast that it’s tough to keep up with them. Whether it be a sight gag, a line, a character, or part of the plot, each of these in-jokes should put a smile on the face of any movie fan in the audience. Just a partial list of the movies referenced-
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Apocalypse Now
- Cat Ballou
- Easy Rider
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (One of the best jokes in the movie)
- A Fistful of Dollars
- For a Few Dollars More
- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- The Quick and The Dead
- Raising Arizona
- The Shakiest Gun in the West
- Singin’ in the Rain
- Star Wars
- True Grit
- And a slew of Depp’s other films
Don’t let Rango’s PG rating fool you, there are plenty of jokes and lines that are so outlandish and irreverent they’re definitely not there for the kids. Rango is must-see viewing for any movie fan, animation fan, or anyone just looking for a goofy, weird, absurd, imaginative, smart, fun, well-made movie. It just may be the best computer-animated non-Pixar movie released yet.
Blu-Ray Special Features
Quite possibly one of the best Blu-Rays available, the HD transfer really makes the brilliantly stunning colors in Rango pop off the screen. The Blu-Ray Combo Pack is loaded with extras:
- Both the Theatrical and Extended Versions of the movie
- Deleted Scenes with an Alternate Ending
- Commentary with Gore Verbinksi and members of the production team
- Breaking the Rules: Making Animation History- an informative, in-depth documentary on the all aspects of production
- Real Creatures of Dirt
- A Field Trip to Dirt
- Storyboard Picture-in-Picture
- Theatrical Trailer
- Digital Copy and DVD
“That wasn’t altogether unpleasant”