“Rango” talkback

Most mainstream movie reviewers seemed to like it – but not all. Roger Ebert loved it, but Leonard Maltin was a bit disappointed.

I saw Rango and I recommend it, despite its flaws. SPOILERS AHEAD: The first 20 minutes – up to the early scenes in the desert town of “Dirt” – and the last 15 minutes (when Rango leaves town, crosses the road and meets the “Spirit of the West”, through to the end) are fun, innovative and an almost perfect mix of art and entertainment. That’s 35 out of 100 minutes worthy of current inflated admission prices. The remaining middle section is a mash-up of western movie cliches and spaghetti westerns – with a dash of Apocalypse Now and a pinch Chinatown – that goes on a bit too long. The characters are ugly, but that’s okay – they are supposed to be grizzled desert creatures. The “emotion capture” reference footage technique won me over, though I thought Verbinski relied on way too many close ups…

…but that’s me. How about you? Comments are open below to our readers opinions – but only if you’ve seen the movie. What did you think about Rango?


P.S. Having seen the movie, I can attest that the behind-the-scenes book, The Ballad of Rango; The Art & Making of an Outlaw Film, written by longtime entertainment reporter David S. Cohen, is a perfect companion to the film. As with most of these tie-in’s, it is loaded with incredible artwork that preceeded the CG images on screen and Cohen’s text goes deep into Verbinski and ILM’s creative process. Regardless of your opinion of the film, the book is an important document of an unusual production. If you loved the film, the book is a must-have.


  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I more or less agree with you, Jerry. But I quite liked the Apocalypse Now part too. We’ve seen it many times but it was quite good on its own and it would have worked even without the music reference. I also thought the first and last act were the strongest, but the whole movie was pretty damn funny and surprising.

    I really loved the mariachi owls and the indian guy.

    The first minutes were like a psychedelic version of Duck Amuck. Fantastic stuff. The first scene in the saloon (the one with the character-gasp!-smoking) was also hilarious. Actually that part reminded me a little of Drip-A-Long-Daffy too. You’ve got to love a movie that has references Chuck Jones, Terry Gilliam and spaghetti westerns.

  • Arse Gratia Artis

    I’ve read some reviews that say Rango doesn’t have “heart”. Are you kidding me? He slowly becomes the person he’s pretending to be, and just as the town begins to put their trust in him, and he begins to believe in himself, he’s ripped apart by the most evil and frightening animated villain in memory. (In case anyone was wondering, this is prior to the last 15 minutes) If you didn’t feel like you were getting punched in the gut at that point, I’m not sure you ought to be allowed to use the word “heart” referring to anything other than artichokes.

    I’d shy away from calling subtle (some not so) visual cues a mashup – they are part of the director’s film vocabulary. A mashup takes two or more known properties and jams them together with a broad wink and a nudge. In the case of Rango, those visual allusions work on their own regardless of the viewer recognizing the source – something that pop-culture references in most ‘mainstream’ animation cannot say. If you don’t get a little nod to Miyazaki, so what? It’s still a nice weird moment. If you do, it’s just another layer to enjoy (and to feel superior about spotting!)

    I liked it. I’ll see it again. Bonus: no Randy Newman!

  • Meg Casey

    I really liked it for it’s weirdness and it’s definitely worth checking out, although I do agree that the 2nd act drags at parts. Still, there is some very inspired stuff in the film that makes the trip to the theater worth it.

  • http://kevindbell.blogspot.com Kevin Bell

    I really enjoyed it. It was a fun western adventure and a welcome change of pace in art style from the other computer animated films. Its look and tone were wonderful and every shot was handled well. I agree that is was a bit too reliant on close ups, but that is a minor complaint for me. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this and I will be going to see it again.

  • http://tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    I really enjoyed this film. There were a couple of times of trying to stay with it, but overall, it was a fun thrill ride! It was very raw and intense, especially with the antagonists. Made them more serious and not to be thought as soft. I really like that in a villain. LOL I do want to see this again, very soon.

  • Nick Swift

    Spoilers ahead…maybe?
    I was really super excited about “Rango”, but I gotta be honest and say I didn’t care too much for it. I thought it lacked focus. I liked some of the characters, but the supporting cast was really too large and not established enough. The story felt a little all over the place, and didn’t really seem to find its center until the 3rd act. In fact, I personally feel like the entire story arc dealing with chasing after the alleged water thieves and the big chase scene following really seemed unnecessary to the story. I felt that there was far too much visual noise for my tastes too. I understand that yes, they’re supposed to be dirty, dry desert animals, and I’ll give the movie that, but at times the action became very hard to read from time to time.
    I do have a question though. I was very confused with the armadillo character. He did get run over right? And then he’s fine 2 minutes later? At first I thought “okay, he’s like a spirit or something”, but then his later reappearance kinda threw me off.
    I didn’t completely hate the movie though. Along with what I said above, yes the movie started to drag on and on, but there were a few things I really liked. I really enjoyed the snake character, he was a joy to watch. The saloon scene was cool, one of my favorite scenes. What I enjoyed the most was the reference to Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood. The snake had that black flat-brimmed hat and little mustache like Lee Van Cleef, and that little touch really made my chuckle.
    All in all, while I didn’t hate the movie, I found it kinda forgettable. It had its moments and I’m glad I gave it a shot, but wish I had waited to rent it instead of go to the theater to see it. I was disappointed. I should mention that I had gone to see it with my girlfriend, who loves films and animation, and she left the theater saying “that was a waste of film…” The kids in the theater were also extremely restless throughout the movie, and they seemed to struggle with keeping up with the movie.

    • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

      I was also confused with the armadillo but I guess he was a spirit…After all the other scene in which he appears it’s a daydreaming sequence of some sort.

    • Mad dog

      I thought the armadillo character was real he was the cause of Rango’s entire situation.

      Plus he helped those weird plants return the water back to the town.

      ????

    • Vincent

      I believe the armadillo was the spirit of Don Quixote.
      Also it is a cartoon with talking animals. Run-over does not necessarily mean they are dead and gone.

      • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

        To clarify I think he was real and the reason of the accident.

        And I agree run-over doesn’t necessarily mean he was dead, but on one side it looked like a REALLY serious injury and on the other hand his middle part looked perfect when he walked to Rango. I think we never saw how he incorporated and walked in direction to Rango, I believe that happened off screen.

        So I’m pretty sure he was real at first, but I’m not sure whether he was alife or dead later. I liked most of the odd things in this movie but I think I’d have liked it more if they had clarified this odd thing in particular.

      • J.M

        Trust me Vincent Don Quijote has nothing to do with this.

  • Jorge Garrido

    I didn’t see the movie, but were the close-up somewhat Sergio Leone style, or were they just standard modern movie composition style Michael Bay close-ups?

    • Jean-Denis Haas

      More Spaghetti Western, not Bay.

    • Ridd

      some definite leone moments for sure. a few rack focus shots too which were cool. actually there were a lot of spaghetti western nods in this. if you’re a fan of the genre you’ll like the movie.

  • Anthony D.

    Definitely a great movie! Johnny Depp was at his best in this. Highly recommend it to everyone.

  • http://www.mike2d.blogspot.com Mike Caracappa

    I thought the film was surprisingly adult for an American animated feature. I loved the “ugly” designs of the characters. The look and animation were all terrific. I agree it drags in some parts, but for the most part it was an enjoyable ride. I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s definitely worth checking out.

  • http://jgchan.blogspot.com Jerry Chan

    This movie was absolutely phenomenal. I was pretty much grinning the whole time. Nevermind the hyper-realistic textures and the beautiful lighting and the absolutely insane action sequences, the story for the first 3/4 of the movie was a completely wild, hilarious, and unpredictable ride.

    My hats off to the entire crew that worked on this, especially for pushing their own unique style and flavor. I’m crossing my fingers that this movie is a success in the hopes that we’ll see a more diverse selection of flavors in animated features

  • Chris Sokalofsky

    Thought it was great, and as some others have hinted at, a lot of it’s charm comes from it’s “strangeness”. There’s some very unconventional moments in the film that really give it some zest, and I came out of the film very happy with the end result. 9/10, would see it again!

  • ElDoDo

    By the end of the film I was quite impressed; it’s got a lot of personality going on, both visually and story-wise, but I really think that’s outbalanced by a general lack of focus:

    * The designs, while beautiful and flawlessly executed (as you can expect from ILM), are all over the place, with steep shifts in stylization across the cast, and in quite different directions, some of them just not working as animation characters at all. It would have been nice to see some LVC in the snake beyond the hat and moustache, too.

    * The main character is likeable enough (probably the Depp Factor at work), but most of the time he’s completely unpredictable, and not in a specially good way.

    * The story, spread way too thin at times as it is, is the bit I have less complaints about. Also, we are not seriously grumping about western cliches, are we? I mean, that sort of was a good part of the plot.

    Overall, a fresh but not that memorable film, with barely concealed ‘cult’ intentions. Probably worth watching even just for the visual thrill ride.

    • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

      I agree about the unpredictability of the main character. While it was a little different to the usual underdog story I think he became a little less likeable once he adopted his sheriff personality. It was funny to see how he tried to hide his clumsiness pretending he’s arrogant and brave…but he became a little too arrogant and over confident to be totally likeable. I know the movie is about how he learns this lesson, but he is more likeable in the first scenes, and even if he’s pretending he pretends a little too well. He even does things that are pretty risky without knowing how they are going to turn out, which is kinda unbelievable for a theoretically coward character.

      I don’t know, it was different but it seemed weird at times.

      It was not like Daffy Duck who is arrogant by nature, this was more like he takes the role of an arrogant and brave guy and he starts to think he’s like that. I guess that was the idea, that he doesn’t know who he is since he has been living all his life isolated and “acting”, but it didn’t seem totally believable to me.

  • Am

    I thought the film was something different from other animated films. It was bizarre and it might of dragged at times, but it had its own unique charm to the world that we as an audience suspend belief in. It was a fun film that was closely related to a live action film.

    It’s worth the time to go and formulate your own opinions about it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/SquidyUK Jonathan Sloman

    I wrote up my review of Rango here: http://www.thefilmpilgrim.com/reviews/rango-review/1986

  • Some Girl

    First off, this movie isn’t for kids under 10, or for yound kids at that. Alot of the audience (full house) were made up of alot of little kids and a handfull of older people as well. I bet it was a little off-putting for some of the parents of the younger kids, who assumed it was going to be a kiddie film.
    This movie definately had darker tones and more adult humor, and of course some of the language, than some people expected.
    But I enjoyed the risk it took. Especially since this is distributed along with Nikelodeon.
    I enjoyed the film all in all. It’s a fresh, new way for animated story telling.
    It also helped for the fact that the director is more inclined to live action, which it gave the viewer some nice realisitic eye candy.

  • Robby

    What I liked
    -The character designs were fresh and fun to look at.
    -How they mocked 3-d films. For example in the opening scene when he sticks the sword out into the camera, and when he uses his finger to draw on the fogged glass. Maybe I’m looking too much into it, but hey thats how I saw it.
    -the method of acting is apparent through the gags and improv that deep and the rest of em performed, it looks like they had a lot of fun making this film.

    What I didn’t like
    -the character models looked great and animated well, but some of the textures and special effects like mud and sand looked very dated, almost as bad as toy story and toy story 2.
    - some unorinngal scenes, I’m looking at you aladin ( when jefar unmasked prince abubu)

    Overall I found this movie to be very fresh and a lot of fun, but most importantly its strong theme about being the person you want to be, really stayed with me.

  • http://room23store.blogspot.com/ paburrows

    I loved the movie 100%. Great characters and designs. I love how one of Rango’s eye is bigger then the other and how for the most part I wasn’t thinking Johney Depp whenever Rango was on the screen. All of the characters had interesting quirks, like with the main lizard girl and how she would go into a trance. I also felt that both Rango’s journey and the relationship was well earned unlike a lot of movies nowdays. I’m not sure if I’d take my kids to it quite yet since its so dark and suspenseful, the couple next to me brought their 4 year old and it freaked the kid out. But all-in-all, a well crafted movie.

  • http://www.bobharper.net Bob Harper

    Loved the Spaghetti Western motif and cliches – made a whole genre accessible to a younger audience. My kids dug it completely and I thought it was a perfect homage to the Spaghetti Western. Being a fan of the this genre, I’m used to the pacing and tried and true cinematography, but there was more dynamic sequences, which made this perfect for animation. The story was solid and not the same ole stuff we keep seeing, and the animation and designs were sublime. Johnny Depp actually did voice acting in it and was charming to say the least. I’ll be watching it again.

  • Glowworm

    Unlike most animated films, I knew almost nothing about this one–except for what I could gather from the trailers. However, don’t let the trailers fool you into thinking this is another “funny talking animal” movie. My boyfriend and I loved it–especially Jake the Snake (his design was awesome–I especially liked how his tail acted like a machine gun–and he had heaps of bullets wrapped around his tail) and the owl mariachi band.

    Ned Batey once again gives a fantastic performance as yet another usually cute animal that we’d never view as evil–a turtle. Johnny Depp is great as Rango and Alfred Molina is great fun as Roadkill the armadillo.

    All in all, I knew this wasn’t going to be the typical “funny talking animal” movie when a toad being swept up by a hawk utters “You son of a!” before being cut off by the hawk screeching.

    The funniest part of my movie experience was that there were a lot of small children seeing this movie–and a woman with a clipboard–who I at first took for a movie critic. She was actually conducting a survey for Nickelodeon and afterwards asked us how we’d rate the movie. We of course gave it five out of five stars. She told us that a lot of the parents with young children were quite shocked by the movie.

  • Ryoku75

    My only issue with this film is how its claimed to be ILMs first animated feature, how were Avatar and the Star Wars Prequels not animated features?

    I’d really like to see Rango once I see it on DVD cheap though, looks like a good film. Though with ILM at the wheel the animation may get jello-y at times.

    • Funkybat

      Unless Avatar or Star Wars were entirely animated (or mo-capped) a la “Final Fantasy the movie” they would certainly not qualify as “animated films. That would be like calling “Mary Poppins” or even “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” animated films. Roger walks the line, but other than that, there really aren’t any movies where the distinction is unclear.

      • Ryoku75

        True, I’m surprised ILM didn’t get into the field earlier.

      • Simmons

        ILM did get into the field earlier. George Lucas sold the ILM digital animation division early on to Steve Jobs. It became some other company, the name of which escapes me.

      • Christina S.

        I think it was… Bixar or something.

      • Ryoku75

        If Pixar is the result of ILM getting into the animated film field then hows Rango a first animated film for them? Dangit, I’m gettin’ confused now.

      • Jaime Vazquez

        Then this means that Rango is a Pixar Film?! Damn…Its so confusing!

  • Glowworm

    Unlike most animated movies, I went to see this one with my boyfriend without knowing much about it, except for the basic plot I could gather from the trailers. Contrary to the trailers, this is not a family friendly movie. Take older children.

    I knew this wouldn’t be the typical “funny talking animal movie” when a toad seized by a hawk utters “You son of a!” before being cut off by the hawk’s shrieks. Actually, I was surprised at the profanity in this movie–not a lot mind you, but more than your average animated movie.

    My boyfriend and I loved it. We especially liked Jake the Snake(who was a fantastic villain with a fantastic design. I loved how his tail acted like a machine gun and all those bullets wrapped around him.) and of course the owl mariachi band. In fact the music was great, we kept bobbing along to it.

    The voicework was excellent. Johnny Depp was great as Rango, and Ned Batey was great at sinisterly voicing a character that one wouldn’t normally view as evil–a turtle. Alfred Molina was great as Roadkill the armadillo.

    The funniest part of our movie experience was that a lot of unsuspecting parents brought their young children to see this. After the movie, a woman who was surveying on behalf of Nickelodeon.(I had seen her earlier in the movie theater with her clipboard before selecting our seats and thought she was a movie critic) We of course gave the movie 5 out of five stars. She then mentioned that a lot of the parents were shocked by the movie.

  • Funkybat

    Ebert’s review seems to indicate a bit of confusion. He has been on an anti-3D movie crusade for a while now, and part of why he is thrilled with Rango seems to be because it is in “2D.” Now if he were just praising the decision to not present the movie in “3D” with the glasses and all, that’s one thing. But beyond that, his comments about “beautifully drawn” characters and how the film benefits from “animation drawings” in contrast to “frenzied CGI” make it appear he thinks Rango is hand-animated.

    I don’t know if this is just Roger being unclear or mixing metaphors, but I would expect most film people to easily recognize a 2D “drawn” cartoon vs. one made with 3D tools. The “3D” presentation format is a whole other issue, and I’m sure Roger is aware that most 3D animated films were presented in 2D until recently.

    I will admit I’m surprised that the studio honchos didn’t insist that a “3D version” be released alongside the traditional presentation. I actually find it refreshing that a 3D animated film is only available in “2D” for once. I don’t have 3D the way Ebert does, but it does dim the picture more than I like.

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    This was the semi-“Paramount alone” film I wanted to see, just to see what Paramount has on its mind about cartoons other than not releasing the Fleischer/Famous/Puppetoons library on DVD. Anyways, “Rango” had a lot of adult humor and big laughs from the audience. I even asked my mom if she “regretted” not seeing this film for the humor. “Rango” kind of felt like a Western spoof rather than just an “animated western” (depending on whether or not you consider the Emocap “animation” like James Cameron doesn’t think his Mo-Cap was animation for “Avatar”). The surprise ending got me, but I knew the birds were stretching the truth because I learned in Fourth Grade most main characters never die so it was either “right or wrong”. The one thing that got to me was it could fool an animation expert leaving from most films “Happy Feet” to “Wall-E” (or maybe “Yogi Bear” if you count what Jerry Beck calls “hybrids” as animated films) thinking the film was preachy about human water usage because it had shots of a city and golf course water sprinklers. But it was just a simple battle between good and evil, which made it more the animal protagonists’ fault for using up the water because they kept the faucet a secret. Plus it had more regular messages you’d hear as life lessons instead of what is in“Captain Planet”, “Yogi’s Gang”, “Super Mario Bros. 3”, and parts of many other shows.

    ParamountCartoons

  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    I really liked the visuals, far more than I ever thought I would. The story was a little thin, but apart from a few crummy jokes shoe-horned in there it was good.

    All in all it was a solid film, and I’d be interested in seeing a few move animated movies head in that direction.

  • http://otherthings.com Cassidy

    I went in with very low expectations based on the trailer, which set the film up as a shallow and not terribly funny joke-fest. I was surprised and delighted with what the movie actually turned out to be.

    It wasn’t perfect, in pacing, storytelling, or execution. But it had a very fresh approach, what I would call a unique voice for an animated film. And everything about the look of the film, and its characters, supported that vision. That really impressed me. And contrary to another commenter above, I thought the effects and lighting were outstanding, sometimes breathtakingly good.

    The one major failure I thought was the face design of the female lead, Beans. She wasn’t funny-ugly or cute-ugly or fascinating-ugly like the other characters, she was just look-away-ugly. Her proportions and textures made it almost impossible to read her emotions, which is the whole point of giving your character a face. And what kind of animal was she supposed to be, anyway? An informal survey of my friends gave these responses: snake, lizard, frog, mole, and some kind of hairless mutant mouse with a wig on. But a friend who worked on the film told me she is supposed to be the same species as Rango. Wow, what a misfire! That said, as a character she was actually very funny and likeable, largely because of the way the role was written, the animation, and voice acting.

    I’m hopeful that this is enough of a hit at the box office that ILM gets to make more all-CG movies. We need a variety of different voices in animation, and this movie really stretched the boundaries of what’s possible. Huge congratulations to all involved, it’s really quite an accomplishment!

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    Just saw it in Berlin tonight (original version), within an entire audience of adults. This film is awesome. Like some said, most of the time we were sitting with mouths open. Now this is what cinema is supposed to be: take some completely stupid idea and make it believable. This film does it right on nearly every level.

    It is intelligent. Never mind the story, this film knows its a film and a Western, and breaking the fourth wall constantly, to much amusement. Citing back and forth from Shakespeare to Miyazaki, but in a way which doesn’t jump you in the face.

    It is funny. Highly entertaining, and funny with all the timing done right. It has funny walks! And an animated character who imitates other animated characters! There’s so much personality just in the movements everywhere. And the use of classic toon gags (you see it coming) mixed with totally unpredictable stuff is amazing.

    It is visually rich, even more than Avatar which was the first totally convincing CGI world, IMO. The textures, the feathers and furs and pebbles and everything, the optical distortions, and the light! Ah, the light! Rango’s saloon scene alone is worth to be studied just for the light alone. There’s so much detail everywhere, it’s overwhelming.This is a real world with real people, you nearly smell them.

    It has a great soundtrack. The music is just right, which I didn’t expect from Hans Zimmer, but he managed to do the nearly-ripoff, uhm, the quotation of every famous western melody with grace, and the instrumentation is just on the spot. And the sound effects are as good, especially the villain’s rattle made of rotating gun barrels. The voice acting is superb. Every character seems to have its own accent.

    Nothing negative at all? Well, it has one (1) fart gag. But you might even miss it.

  • Ed Thompson

    I saw it this afternoon, and really liked it. I enjoyed the film references in it (don’t ask me to justify this because I have stated publicly that I dislike that in other films) and the voice characterizations. I was very glad that ‘Rango’ was not Cap’n Sparrow in an animated form. The use of lighting was impressive. It has been years since shadows have been used this well in any animation. The story was fun, if a little older than the audience of the theater we were at was prepared for. I expect at least a little controversy from some of the (implied) language, a couple of ‘hussy’ comments, and the cigar.

  • Clint

    I just saw this movie and I’ll admit that RANGO was one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had at the theater. The characters were all appealing to look at (especially the Beans character), Johnny Depp sounded like he was having fun with his performance, and it was hilarious all the way through. Definately worth the ticket.

  • http://www.chadtownsend.com ChadTHX1138

    the sign should read “Rango is Johnny Depp”

    dude is a parody of himself.

  • Matt P.

    I just got back and I thought it was really good. While I didn’t get nearly as many laughs as most people around me, I did smile at a lot of it. The hyper-realism actually looked appealing for once (sans for the “Spirit of the West”) and I thought Johnny Depp was great as Rango. Overall a 9/10

  • John F.

    In Rango everyone is ugly, including the rabbits. Rango himself is probably the ugliest of the bunch, with tiny eyes and awkward movements and very little emotional expressiveness. It took all of Johnny Depp’s sizable acting talents to make him an acceptable hero.

    The horribly dry, dusty, bleak desert atmosphere gradually grew on me as the story went on. The backgrounds were gorgeous, and the animals, while unappealing in appearance, were well-animated. By the halfway point, many promising seeds had been planted, including the mysterious Spirit of the West, some sidekicks with potential to change the course of the story, and a foreboding sense of doom for the lead character.

    Sadly, in the second half, little of the promise came to pass. It started off with an overlong wild goose chase that must have taken half an hour but added little to the story. The Spirit of the West was a letdown, a bad joke. My favorite side character, Priscilla, who might have added some edgy youngster attitude similar to Mattie Ross’s role in “True Grit”, had to stay in town during all the excitement and ended up just being part of Rango’s cheering section. And the ending, praised by many as gloriously absurd, struck me as stupid and disappointing, with the basic laws of physics and logic constantly being broken. It had all the earmarks of a story with too many writers, where the arc of the story is messed up and most of what you hoped would happen never does. Sadly, it also seemed to rigorously follow the story formulas which I was expecting to be shattered.

    It was a nice ride, but I had nothing much to think about on the way out of the theater, and I don’t think I laughed once, which is disappointing for what was intended to be largely a comedy.

  • VGREER

    I loved it. It was delightfully strange and it had a lot of heart. I’m disappointed that a lot of parents are worried that it’s not for kids-it makes me think we’re on track for raising a(nother?) generation of mollycoddled wimps. But then again I don’t have children…

  • mcrowther

    Just got back from seeing it-it’s great! Being a movie buff helped, it’s gorgeous to look at and has the type of quirky humor I love. IMHO this is the first contender for best animated film of 2011-especially after seeing the trailers for Hop, Rio etc (shudder).

  • Mongoose Jnr. III

    What a relief and a pleasure to see a film that is not held back by animation conventions.
    Rango felt MUCH fresher than 90% of animated films these days – including Pixar films (a blasphemous opinion I know..).
    I think the clearest sign that this film is truly original is that many animators seem to have problems with it: “the character designs are inconsistent” etc.etc.
    -That’s what I liked about them (among other things).
    Animation is still thought of too much of a “genre” even though we all go on and on about not being a genre – but a technique.
    It’s out own fault! We all watch too much animation, talk too much animation and get influenced/inhibited by those conventional aesthetics.
    In Rango, for once a live-action director seems to have taken animation seriously and come at it with a fresh, uninhibited perspective.
    I think this is the best thing to happen in animation for years.
    People rave about Pixar all the time but Pixar films still tread very familiar territory and FEEL like “animated” films to the average audience.
    Rango just feels like a FILM that HAPPENS to be animated. And that’s a great thing.

    • Philippe Tardif

      I was going to write a comment, but that sums up my thoughts exactly. I will just add: Really impressive character animation. It made me want to learn how to animate in CG.

    • Ryoku75

      Were they displeased about the designs changing from scene to scene or the designs not being just one style? Either way Rango sounds pretty interesting.

  • Mr Animator

    For me, Rango was surprising, incredibly entertaining and visually breathtaking, and with heart and sincerity in the right place. My non-animator friends really enjoyed it, and the audience seemed to be laughing, gasping and engaged throughout.

    I actually found the characters very appealing, expressive and readable (quite a feat, considering the realistic styling).

    The story was a little rambling, but my only specific criticism at the moment is the aerial chase through the canyon, which felt kind of long and unnecessary, though it was certainly a fun sequence.

    Whatever its weaknesses might be, Rango delivered numerous memorable characters, a lot of laughs, and a number of incredibly brilliant sequences (the opening minutes, the bar scene, the bird chase, Jake the Snake, Rango’s soul-searching/highway crossing).

    Overall, inspired and joyful filmmaking, fun and cinematic, with great animation and performances – highly recommended!

  • Keith McCaffety

    Apocalypse Now AND Chinatown… wow…

  • http://www.infurnation.com Rodso64

    Jerry, to your assessment I would add that the chase scene with the bit water bottle — right in the middle of the film no less — counts to me as one of those “Holy &%$*! this is why we go to da moovees!” moments. And the most exciting I’ve seen in a while. My friends and I found the movie an unmitigated blast from start to finish.

    I’m worried about the CinemaScore rating of C+ though. People seeing the film aren’t giving it high marks. Which I worry might be mostly dopey parents (who never read reviews OR ratings) who are shocked when they take their little kiddies to go see a movie like THIS…

    • John F.

      There was very little joy, happiness, or warm-hearted comedy in Rango. Many parents take their kids to the movies hoping to see those things and are disappointed when they’re not there.

    • Funkybat

      That must be the source of some people’ negativity. I went into Rango expecting little to no “joy” or “warm-heartedness” from the film. This was clearly not “Aladdin” or even “Lilo & Stitch.” I think after seeing it, the best description would be “a Coen Bros. movie for Kids.” On those terms, I found it to be refreshing and enjoyable, if not “lighthearted” or “warm.”

  • Lola

    The movie was okay. I certainly enjoyed the action sequences (especially the one with the hawk and canyon battle) but I could just never fall in love with Rango himself. He didn’t know what he was supposed to be, the townsfolk didn’t know what he was supposed to be, hell I didn’t even know what he was supposed to be. At some point I just stopped caring altogether and kept watching for the stunning visuals.

    Props to the Fear and Loathing reference, and for the fact that the jokes weren’t censored. Dreamworks/Pixar/Blue Sky could never create a movie with that kind of raunchy dialogue.

    All in all, not a terribly amazing movie. As I said it was just okay. But it DOES give me hope that maybe future film makers and producers will use it as an example to see that taking risks are okay and are often successful.

    So props to Rango. I may not have personally dug it but I hope it does well. :)

  • Ridd

    Really liked it. I’m a spaghetti western fanatic though so maybe I’m a little biased. Really enjoyed the Eastwood cameo and thought for sure it was him voicing but not surprised to find out it was Timothy Opyphant. Beautiful looking movie and really well storyboarded/edited. Thought of it as kind of a really good European graphic novel animated. Some of it was surprisingly (and refreshingly) dark, which kind of made the lighter comedic parts a little out of place at times, but I’ll definitely watch again on DVD and probably get the art of book. Worth the $$ to see it on the big screen though imo.

  • Ridd

    oh yeah – not sure if anyone’s mentioned it yet but did everyone catch the ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ highway scene? classic

  • Chelsea

    I really enjoyed it- there was some terrific action scenes, such as the hawk chase as viewed inside the glass bottle. I also really liked the style of the film- it was a nice contrast to a lot of the ‘perfect’ 3D models out there. Definitely not for the really little ones- expect a classic western (including deaths).

    One thing, and this goes for ALL animated movies, lay off of the toilet humor. I don’t think a single person in the audience laughed at the prostate joke (and it was a full house), it’s just not necessary.

    Also, and this is a idea for the ‘brewmasters’- I’d love to see the talkback stay on the main page for the month the movie is out. Not everyone sees the film in the first week it’s out. Just a suggestion, thanks!

  • sam

    really enjoyed the movie!!

  • Dave O.

    I’m obviously very late in coming into this, but I just rented RANGO last night. Wow. I haven’t been this impressed by an original concept since LILO AND STITCH.

    The film is both wildly ambitious and unassuming at the same time. The writing is fresh -turning some ‘Old West’ cliches on their heads- and the characterization, timing and art direction follow suit. Kudos to anyone involved with this work. My favorite things were the mariachi owls as Greek Chorus (as a Chicano, its nice to see a mainstream film that isn’t afraid to use mariachi-themed music throughout) and the subtle social commentary on water-rights and land development.

    If I remember correctly, I think RANGO suffered from a bit of mis-marketing. (Why on earth is a movie with smoking and prostate-exam jokes released on the Nickelodeon banner?) The studio should have seen the ‘Roger Rabbit’ writing on the wall and marketed it to adults.