Rango is a computer animated film starring Johnny Depp as a lizard named Rango who wants to be a hero. Rango lives out his dreams of being a hero by acting small plays in his cage. He always casts himself as the dashing hero and one day as if by fate he is allowed freedom from his cage and upon his release he travels to a town called Dirt. In Dirt he reinvents himself into the hero he always wanted to be. He models his hero character after people he encounters while coming into town and tells stories in the local saloon that add weight to his hero character. Soon Rango learns that Dirt is short on water and decides to help. As he is helping in the town, people of the town discover he is not the hero he claims to be. Can Rango set things right before the town of Dirt loses its inhabitants? More importantly, can Rango become the hero he always dreamed could be?
Rango is the first animated feature to be created by George Lucas’s animation studio Industrial Light and Magic. All of the characters in Rango are fully realized with a frightening level of detail down to the shadows each character casts. The level of detail that is shown in the town of Dirt is absolutely breathtaking. This town very much looks like the cliché western town you see in every western movie and in this case, that’s a very good thing. In short, Rango is a very beautifully realized film and world.
This film is very difficult to define because I believe it tries to put its footing in both adult and child humor. The humor that Rango seems to favor throughout the film is adult humor, with most of the dialogue driven jokes catering to adults and most of the child humor being physical gags. This film is a mixed bag that I believe children will have trouble enjoying because the adult humor will go over their heads. I think that the film works because it reminds us that sometimes we all want to be a hero and Rango gets a shot to be it. This film won’t inspire kids but it will make them happy for an hour and a half because they will learn heroes can be any size or any species.