Monday, 10 August 2020
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 00:00

RangoRango is about the weirdest combination of influences I could have ever imagined in my wackiest dreams! Mixing Spaghetti Western with animated lizards and throwing in the voice of Johnny Depp – well, it’s pretty hard to imagine this being a bad thing. The result is a total work of art that is brave, creative and surprising, breaking new ground in animation and children’s movies.

The lizard in question, Rango, starts off life as a domesticated pet. He’s got his tank, his “friends” (a shockingly nude Barbie torso, and a wind-up fish), and most of all, he’s got his art - that being his love of theatre and putting on extravagant Shakespearean productions without an audience.

Johnny Depp is RangoOne day, an accident sets him loose in the dessert. Scared, alone and thirsty he stumbles upon a little western town called Dirt. The residents are a rag-tag group of dessert vermin whose town water supply has all but dried out. Due to Rango’s penchant for acting, he manages to convince them that he’s the right man for the job of Sheriff… mostly so he can avoid being eaten.

Followed by a troupe of townsfolk including the, um, “lovely” lizard Beans (Isla Fisher) and a mariachi band of adorable owls that provide the soundtrack, Rango has to earn his badge and find out what’s happening to the town water supply.

Riding the rangeRango is a beautiful looking film with absolutely cutting edge animation. It’s endlessly creative and the characters are interesting and smartly written. I loved the dialogue and that it doesn’t talk down to the audience; there are plenty of lines and references that will totally go over the heads of young children. In fact, I would dare say that Rango is not a kids’ movie at all, but more a film for grown ups who still have a sense of wonder.

Rango will make you laugh, it will make you think, and it might make little kids scared. But I hope it still finds an audience that will appreciate what a work of art it is.


Directed by Gore Verbinski, Starring Johnny Depp and Isla Fisher.

Gore Verbinski also directed Johnny Depp in all three of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.