Rango: An Animated Feature for Adults

I’m not a fan of contemporary animated feature films for a couple of reasons. First, the various types of computer-generated animation—from motion capture to Pixar’s three-dimensional photorealism—lack the formal artistry and painterly beauty of hand-drawn animation. With its flat, generic colors, computer animation looks mechanical, creating imagery devoid of atmosphere and style. Second, the writing in contemporary cartoons has been dialed down—way down—to a child’s level, with some notable exceptions. At best, animated features seem to be sentimental tales of lost toys and wayward children that are peppered with monotonous Randy Newman songs; at worst, they are hackneyed stories with forgettable characters that are peppered with cringe-inducing one-liners about bodily functions.

A rare exception among today’s generic rubble is Rango, the animated feature directed by Gore Verbinski currently in the theaters. Verbinski directed the original trio of the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks, a franchise that I found rich in imagery and rife with references to films of the past. Johnny Depp reteamed with Verbinski to provide the voice of Rango, a bug-eyed, scrawny-looking chameleon in search of an identity. Verbinski cowrote and directed Rango, and it was his name that pulled me into the theater to see this clever cartoon that works on one level for adults and another for children (though this cartoon is not for pre-schoolers). Studios are prone to advertising their animated features as being “fun for the whole family,” which is marketing speak for “adults could probably tolerate this cartoon and not want to gouge their eyes out.” And, some parents have tried to nudge me onto the Pixar bandwagon by confessing how much they related to films like Toy Story 3. But, “relating” to a cartoon is not the same as enjoying one that has been scripted on two levels. Those of us who grew up with such Warner Bros. masterpieces as Duck Amuck or The Rabbit of Seville, which cleverly wrap the intellectual depth of high art within the entertaining framework of low art, understand the difference.

Rango uses the iconography and conventions of the western to spin an entertaining tale for kids, perhaps introducing them to a genre rarely seen on the screen today. For adult viewers, who might be interested in a bit more, Verbinski offers a meditation on the nature of storytelling while reminding us that the heroic protagonist is still an important archetype for American movie-goers, even in these cynical times.

RANGO AND HIS POSSE SEARCH FOR THE OUTLAWS IN A LANDSCAPE RENDERED LIKE MONUMENT VALLEY.

The story opens on Rango the chameleon, who fancies himself a thespian, trying to produce a play with his cronies, including a wind-up toy fish and a plastic palm tree. When his production fails to come alive, he can’t decide whom he wants to play next—a sea captain, a rogue archeologist, or the world’s greatest lover. The idea that Rango is a chameleon, a lizard that can change the colors of his outer skin, is a clever connection to his occupation as an actor, another creature who can change his outer “skin” at will. A chance meeting with an armadillo on a personal quest sends Rango into the desert, where he stumbles into Dirt, a dilapidated, one-horse town straight out of the Wild West. When he accidentally kills the giant hawk that has been terrorizing the town, he is appointed sheriff, relishing his new “role.” More trouble awaits Rango because Dirt—as the name suggests—is dangerously low on water; it seems the greedy, corrupt Mayor is siphoning off the water supply for personal profit. The mayor hires the most dangerous gunfighter in the West, Jake the Rattlesnake, to keep townsfolk shaking in their boots and the new sheriff on his zygodactylous toes.

Interestingly, the characters in this film are all varmints, that is, unappealing pests or predators such as lizards, snakes, rats, birds of prey, amphibians, moles, shrews, and mice. In other words, they are not the cuddly cuties that usually populate animated cartoons. The animation in Rango is a computer-generated, three-dimensional type in which certain objects and settings are rendered in a super-photorealism, making them look more live-action than animated. The characters are rendered in a technique dubbed Emotion Capture, in which the facial expressions and gestures were captured from their human portrayers in vivid detail. Because every image in this film is intentionally unpleasant—from the characters to the dry desert to the dilapidated town—this computer-generated style enhances the expressive quality that the truly ugly can  have.

THE HAWK IN 'RANGO' IS AN HOMAGE...

Movie lovers should appreciate Rango for the references to classic and Italian westerns. When Rango first arrives in Dirt, he notes that westerners all seem to have peculiar walks as he watches various residents stroll by him, including a porcupine that saunters down the street in an exaggerated version of John Wayne’s walk. The townsfolk form a posse and follow Rango into the desert to search for the men who stole their water against a backdrop that is clearly Monument Valley. The music is definitely an homage to Ennio Morricone and Hugo Montenegro, who scored so many of the Italian westerns from the 1960s and 1970s. But, the score includes several choruses sung by four bird mariachis, which pop up throughout the film perched on rocks or cactuses as they narrate the exploits of Rango—much like the minstrel characters played by Stubby Kaye and Nat King Cole in the Hollywood western-comedy Cat Ballou. The lyrics to the birds’ tunes are downright funny: One song declares that Rango will surely “lose his cajones,” while another describes Rango’s delusions of grandeur as “sinking deeper into the guacamole of his own deception.”  In another nod to Cat Ballou (airing on TCM on May 16 at midnight), the outlaw hawk that taunts the townsfolk wears a silver beak guard like the nose guard that adorns Lee Marvin’s character, Tim Strawn.

...TO 'CAT BALLOU.'

In addition to the score, many other references are to Italian westerns. When Rango strolls into the saloon for the first time, the room goes quiet as the customers check out the stranger. The only noise comes from a ceiling fan, which has the same rhythmic squeak as the windmill in the opening sequence of Once Upon a Time in the West. Also, the Mayor of Dirt, a turtle voiced by Ned Beatty, rules the town from his wheelchair, reminiscent of the railroad tycoon in Sergio Leone’s most famous western. During one of the gunfights, Rango marches down the street to meet his destiny as a coffin-maker lines the sidewalk with his stash of wooden coffins, a la Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars. Jake the Rattlesnake wears a flat-brimmed hat and a thin mustache like Lee Van Cleef’s character, Angel Eyes, in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Finally, when Rango has lost his way in his quest to save the town of Dirt, he meets the “Spirit of the West,” a human dressed in a poncho who looks and sounds like Clint Eastwood, though he is voiced by Timothy Olyphant.

THE MARIACHIS SING THE STORY OF RANGO, ANOTHER FORM OF STORYTELLING, OR MYTHOLOGIZING.

These references to previous movies make Rango fun viewing for adults, but I think there is another purpose to them, just like I believe the references to everything from Captain Blood to Lawrence Jordan’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner has a deeper significance in the Pirates films. I think the references add up to an homage to a genre that has produced some of pop culture’s most memorable heroes. The opening sequence to Rango, which occurs before the narrative shifts to the western backdrop, is a self-reflexive commentary on the nature of storytelling. Rango muses about character development, conflict, and the role of the hero: “Every story needs a hero,” he declares. His story begins in earnest when the armadillo, who is dressed like Don Quixote, sends him on a quest, so that Rango can find the path to knowledge and meaning to his life. The armadillo, prophetically named Roadkill, is on his own quest for enlightenment, which involves crossing a busy highway—an “impossible dream” for the slow-moving animal. Yet his sense of responsibility toward his goal is admirable and inspires Rango—and us—to think about the journey of life as a quest for ideals and enlightenment through self-sacrifice.

JAKE THE RATTLESNAKE IS PATTERNED AFTER LEE VAN CLEEF'S CHARACTER IN 'THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UGLY.'

Throughout the film, Rango has problems with identity. Characters continually ask who he is, and he sidesteps the question until he decides to play the role of western hero and then adopts the persona of Rango. But, he’s only acting a role until he realizes how much the townsfolk of Dirt are counting on him to be the hero. With inspiration from the Spirit of the West, who tells him that deeds make the man, he steps up to become a true hero. When the Spirit of the West reminds him, “It’s not about you, it’s about them,” he’s alluding to the movie-going audience as much as the townsfolk in the story, acknowledging the ability of mythic heroes and legends to inspire and influence. That many contemporary Hollywood films lack the ability to inspire is suggested in the dialogue spouted by the Mayor, who turns out to be a corporate monster, siphoning off the lifeblood of the townsfolk to the detriment of the community and the environment. He quips to Rango and Jake the Rattlesnake that he lives in the new West, where he and his kind wear new hats, implying there is no room for such old-fashioned characters. As for Rango and Jake, “You are nothing but legends,” he says. No one will believe you existed.”

Those words echoed in my ears as I remembered the six trailers that preceded Rango. Five of the six were for mediocre animated fluff coming to theaters in the near future, including Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Hop, The Smurfs, and Rio. All five will be released in 3-D, and all will include their fair share of poop jokes, which were prominently featured in the trailers.

42 Responses Rango: An Animated Feature for Adults
Posted By franko : March 28, 2011 1:23 pm

Rango has become one of my all-time favorite movies for pretty much exactly the reasons you have listed above. Thank you!

Posted By franko : March 28, 2011 1:23 pm

Rango has become one of my all-time favorite movies for pretty much exactly the reasons you have listed above. Thank you!

Posted By debbe : March 28, 2011 2:34 pm

havent gone to see it yet… but loved what you wrote about it and will definitely see it. i having worked in animation….. always looking for something better than the last…. and i love johnny depp….. great post.

Posted By debbe : March 28, 2011 2:34 pm

havent gone to see it yet… but loved what you wrote about it and will definitely see it. i having worked in animation….. always looking for something better than the last…. and i love johnny depp….. great post.

Posted By missrhea : March 28, 2011 6:45 pm

We saw this a couple of weeks ago, primarily because my husband wanted to. I can’t say I really cared much for it because I don’t like westerns in most forms (StarWars, notwithstanding). However, I did recognize a lot of the homages and appreciated them. Thanks for identifying the movies for us. Even though I didn’t care for it, I have to say it was well done.

(I suppose I should admit that we also saw the most recent animated offering of Shakespeare’s tragedy on the same day. It had a couple of cute moments but not anywhere near enough to justify the 3-D or the cost f the ticket, imho. That aside, it was fun trying to track all the references.)

Posted By missrhea : March 28, 2011 6:45 pm

We saw this a couple of weeks ago, primarily because my husband wanted to. I can’t say I really cared much for it because I don’t like westerns in most forms (StarWars, notwithstanding). However, I did recognize a lot of the homages and appreciated them. Thanks for identifying the movies for us. Even though I didn’t care for it, I have to say it was well done.

(I suppose I should admit that we also saw the most recent animated offering of Shakespeare’s tragedy on the same day. It had a couple of cute moments but not anywhere near enough to justify the 3-D or the cost f the ticket, imho. That aside, it was fun trying to track all the references.)

Posted By michaelgsmith : March 28, 2011 7:00 pm

I’ve been wanting to see this movie not because I care about animation but because I love westerns. Your review just gave me more incentive!

Posted By michaelgsmith : March 28, 2011 7:00 pm

I’ve been wanting to see this movie not because I care about animation but because I love westerns. Your review just gave me more incentive!

Posted By medusamorlock : March 28, 2011 7:44 pm

I know that you have NOT liked other animated films, so hearing that this one is better is very good. I rather like armadillos, snakes and so forth, so I think I’ll probably enjoy it a lot! Are Westerns alive for younger audiences anymore? Maybe this could bring ‘em back.

That other bunch you saw in trailers sound not so good, and I’m quite annoyed with NBC who’s been touting the HOP movie all over their air with huge lower third animation that is completely disruptive to the programming. I guess I saw it during “30 Rock” last week — not target audience, I wouldn’t think.

Great post, Suzi — as always!

Posted By medusamorlock : March 28, 2011 7:44 pm

I know that you have NOT liked other animated films, so hearing that this one is better is very good. I rather like armadillos, snakes and so forth, so I think I’ll probably enjoy it a lot! Are Westerns alive for younger audiences anymore? Maybe this could bring ‘em back.

That other bunch you saw in trailers sound not so good, and I’m quite annoyed with NBC who’s been touting the HOP movie all over their air with huge lower third animation that is completely disruptive to the programming. I guess I saw it during “30 Rock” last week — not target audience, I wouldn’t think.

Great post, Suzi — as always!

Posted By Rango Movie Activities : March 28, 2011 8:48 pm

[...] Rango: An Animated Feature for Adults (moviemorlocks.com) [...]

Posted By Rango Movie Activities : March 28, 2011 8:48 pm

[...] Rango: An Animated Feature for Adults (moviemorlocks.com) [...]

Posted By Heidi : March 28, 2011 9:45 pm

Thanks for posting this. I had decided not to see it, because I figured it to be the same as the Fluff mentioned at the end of your post. However, your post has given me incentive and I hope to see it this weekend after work. Thanks!

Posted By Heidi : March 28, 2011 9:45 pm

Thanks for posting this. I had decided not to see it, because I figured it to be the same as the Fluff mentioned at the end of your post. However, your post has given me incentive and I hope to see it this weekend after work. Thanks!

Posted By fantomex9 : March 29, 2011 8:48 am

Snobby much, Suzidoll? Perhaps you’d like anime movies since they are still mostly cel-drawn with some CGI, but I’d bet that the adult nature of some of the anime movies (the late Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue being an example) might be too much for you to take.

Personally, I loved The Incredibles, Despicable Me, Astro Boy, Alpha & Omega, Mars Needs Moms, How To Train Your Dragon, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Toy Story, WALL*E, Igor, etc. and think that they retain quite a healthy balance between adult and child needs in the storytelling. I also think that like most people who watch movies, you are too much like the silly-stuck-in-the mud obdurate people who couldn’t stand sound when it was introduced in the late 1920′s but eventually grew to love it all the same, and I think that with time,just like those people did, you will like CGI (BTW-and this relates to what I mentioned beforehand-where were people like you when movies like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Beowulf, and the cel-animated Titan A.E. were in theaters?)

Posted By fantomex9 : March 29, 2011 8:48 am

Snobby much, Suzidoll? Perhaps you’d like anime movies since they are still mostly cel-drawn with some CGI, but I’d bet that the adult nature of some of the anime movies (the late Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue being an example) might be too much for you to take.

Personally, I loved The Incredibles, Despicable Me, Astro Boy, Alpha & Omega, Mars Needs Moms, How To Train Your Dragon, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Toy Story, WALL*E, Igor, etc. and think that they retain quite a healthy balance between adult and child needs in the storytelling. I also think that like most people who watch movies, you are too much like the silly-stuck-in-the mud obdurate people who couldn’t stand sound when it was introduced in the late 1920′s but eventually grew to love it all the same, and I think that with time,just like those people did, you will like CGI (BTW-and this relates to what I mentioned beforehand-where were people like you when movies like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Beowulf, and the cel-animated Titan A.E. were in theaters?)

Posted By Medusa : March 29, 2011 2:11 pm

Fantomex9, I’m going to come to the defense of my fellow Morlock. I think you’re way off dissing Suzidoll like that. She’s not at all stick-in-the-mud, as you can tell by reading her many posts on many different topics. And she’s no prude!

And re: where were all of us when those non-CGI flops were released? It wouldn’t have mattered much. We’re not the target audience, and if the younger audience didn’t go, the older demo weren’t going to be able to turn them into hits.

I hope we *will* all start liking CGI, since it’s here to stay!

Posted By Medusa : March 29, 2011 2:11 pm

Fantomex9, I’m going to come to the defense of my fellow Morlock. I think you’re way off dissing Suzidoll like that. She’s not at all stick-in-the-mud, as you can tell by reading her many posts on many different topics. And she’s no prude!

And re: where were all of us when those non-CGI flops were released? It wouldn’t have mattered much. We’re not the target audience, and if the younger audience didn’t go, the older demo weren’t going to be able to turn them into hits.

I hope we *will* all start liking CGI, since it’s here to stay!

Posted By suzidoll : March 29, 2011 5:08 pm

Medusa: Thanks for coming to my defense, or, in the spirit of my post, riding to my rescue.

Fantomex9: Love the CGI in the films of David Fincher and Michael Mann, among others. We will just have to agree to disagree on animation, which is not synonymous with CGI.

Posted By suzidoll : March 29, 2011 5:08 pm

Medusa: Thanks for coming to my defense, or, in the spirit of my post, riding to my rescue.

Fantomex9: Love the CGI in the films of David Fincher and Michael Mann, among others. We will just have to agree to disagree on animation, which is not synonymous with CGI.

Posted By moirafinnie : March 29, 2011 7:41 pm

Suzi-
Your words really got me psyched for what sounds like an imaginative and amusing movie, but it was all over when I saw the image of the owl mariachi band. This looks like great fun, thanks to your enthusiasm. What did you think of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I saw in a nearly empty theater?

Posted By moirafinnie : March 29, 2011 7:41 pm

Suzi-
Your words really got me psyched for what sounds like an imaginative and amusing movie, but it was all over when I saw the image of the owl mariachi band. This looks like great fun, thanks to your enthusiasm. What did you think of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I saw in a nearly empty theater?

Posted By dukeroberts : March 30, 2011 12:38 am

Rango was a great bit of fun. I saw it with another man in his thirties and a 10 year old girl and we all enjoyed it. It was not totally devoid of potty humor, but it was minimal, and much less than the majority of the garbage made for kids these days (I’m looking at you, Alvin and the Chipmunks and G-Force). I must take exception, and ride to the rescue, of my beloved Pixar films though. Pixar films work on several levels, for both adults and kids. Check out Ratatouille and Wall*E for computer animated films which are out of the ordinary, and by ordinary I mean bunk like the endless number of Shrek films. Dreamworks has made inroads recently with the first Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Kung Fu Panda touches on themes of the hero and what that means. These two films are also not loaded down with potty humor. While I do greatly lament the demise of hand-drawn animated fare, some computer animated films are really quite great. I think both kinds of animated films can work, but as box office grosses show, computer animated films outgross hand drawn films, and money talks.

And please ignore any suggestions to watch Anime. I detest that style of animation.

Posted By dukeroberts : March 30, 2011 12:38 am

Rango was a great bit of fun. I saw it with another man in his thirties and a 10 year old girl and we all enjoyed it. It was not totally devoid of potty humor, but it was minimal, and much less than the majority of the garbage made for kids these days (I’m looking at you, Alvin and the Chipmunks and G-Force). I must take exception, and ride to the rescue, of my beloved Pixar films though. Pixar films work on several levels, for both adults and kids. Check out Ratatouille and Wall*E for computer animated films which are out of the ordinary, and by ordinary I mean bunk like the endless number of Shrek films. Dreamworks has made inroads recently with the first Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Kung Fu Panda touches on themes of the hero and what that means. These two films are also not loaded down with potty humor. While I do greatly lament the demise of hand-drawn animated fare, some computer animated films are really quite great. I think both kinds of animated films can work, but as box office grosses show, computer animated films outgross hand drawn films, and money talks.

And please ignore any suggestions to watch Anime. I detest that style of animation.

Posted By suzidoll : March 30, 2011 1:14 am

Dukeroberts: I, too, thought Ratatouille and Wall*E were exceptional. I just don’t like the way that the Pixar style dominates animation, and I don’t see why it had to obliterate hand-drawn styles. I don’t think every film they do is a masterpiece, and some of them are downright dull. Pixar tends to get a free pass from reviewers. In Europe, hand-drawn work is still prevalent–even revered. It makes no sense that it cannot be successful here, too.

Posted By suzidoll : March 30, 2011 1:14 am

Dukeroberts: I, too, thought Ratatouille and Wall*E were exceptional. I just don’t like the way that the Pixar style dominates animation, and I don’t see why it had to obliterate hand-drawn styles. I don’t think every film they do is a masterpiece, and some of them are downright dull. Pixar tends to get a free pass from reviewers. In Europe, hand-drawn work is still prevalent–even revered. It makes no sense that it cannot be successful here, too.

Posted By Lisa W. : March 31, 2011 10:19 am

I’m so surprised to find you reviewing Rango and more surprised at how rich a film it is! I unfortunately saw (at a discounted ticket price, thank goodness) the recent Shakespearean 3D thing mentioned by missrhea and it was all I could do to remain in my seat. My kids didn’t particularly care for it, either. They love a good poop joke, but the films that stay with them are the ones with substance or style—The Secret of Kells has serious staying power, for instance. My kids couldn’t care less if a film is in 3D or not and most times the 3D effect does nothing to compliment or enhance the film. A story that’s lacking is always going to be lacking no matter the style or effects. I agree with Dukeroberts too, as I did enjoy Kung Fu Panda and I thought seeing How to Train Your Dragon (from a wonderful series of books by Cressida Cowell) in 3D did surprisingly enhance the sense of exhilaration of riding on a dragon, an important component of the storyline. I love a good western yet have had ZERO desire to see Rango (also my thinking: Depp’s appeal is actually seeing him in action!) but after reading your coverage, Suzi, I am very intrigued. I appreciate your insight and ability to illuminate the film references so well. Thanks!

Posted By Lisa W. : March 31, 2011 10:19 am

I’m so surprised to find you reviewing Rango and more surprised at how rich a film it is! I unfortunately saw (at a discounted ticket price, thank goodness) the recent Shakespearean 3D thing mentioned by missrhea and it was all I could do to remain in my seat. My kids didn’t particularly care for it, either. They love a good poop joke, but the films that stay with them are the ones with substance or style—The Secret of Kells has serious staying power, for instance. My kids couldn’t care less if a film is in 3D or not and most times the 3D effect does nothing to compliment or enhance the film. A story that’s lacking is always going to be lacking no matter the style or effects. I agree with Dukeroberts too, as I did enjoy Kung Fu Panda and I thought seeing How to Train Your Dragon (from a wonderful series of books by Cressida Cowell) in 3D did surprisingly enhance the sense of exhilaration of riding on a dragon, an important component of the storyline. I love a good western yet have had ZERO desire to see Rango (also my thinking: Depp’s appeal is actually seeing him in action!) but after reading your coverage, Suzi, I am very intrigued. I appreciate your insight and ability to illuminate the film references so well. Thanks!

Posted By Jose : March 31, 2011 5:00 pm

I know I’m off topic. But does anyone know why suddenly I can’t access Movie Morlocks on my IPad? I used to see it through the Safari browser, now I get a blank page.

Posted By Jose : March 31, 2011 5:00 pm

I know I’m off topic. But does anyone know why suddenly I can’t access Movie Morlocks on my IPad? I used to see it through the Safari browser, now I get a blank page.

Posted By Juana Maria : April 1, 2011 5:22 pm

Haven’t seen “Rango” yet, I will wait to rent it later or watch it on TV. I hate wasting good money at theatres. However, I do love well made cartoons and especially westerns, Gracias!
Viva westerns!

Posted By Juana Maria : April 1, 2011 5:22 pm

Haven’t seen “Rango” yet, I will wait to rent it later or watch it on TV. I hate wasting good money at theatres. However, I do love well made cartoons and especially westerns, Gracias!
Viva westerns!

Posted By smalllerdemon : April 2, 2011 1:56 am

Holy cow! You failed to mention the single most obvious film reference of the movie! CHINATOWN. My wife, in fact, had never seen Chinatown, and so after going to see RANGO while we had a babysitter in town she finally rented CHINATOWN and was genuinely surprised as just how close the storyline matches RANGO (minus the incest and infidelity of course).

RANGO was not “great” but it was such a step above the tripe out there in the animated market today that it’s hard no to give it some warm fuzzies in talking about it. It is a genuinely heartfelt movie. When we saw it, the theater was full of kids of the right age to enjoy it, some that I could hear were highly concerned for RANGO during his exile from the town after his first encounter with RATTLESNAKE JAKE. It make me glad that some parents are brave enough to trust their kids with something like RANGO. My young daughter loves Wallace and Grommit and Shaun the Sheep, so I am very much hoping that she will be able to appreciate well done works like RANGO.

Not everything has to be a great masterpiece, after all. Sometimes expertly accomplished entertainment is worthwhile in itself.

Posted By smalllerdemon : April 2, 2011 1:56 am

Holy cow! You failed to mention the single most obvious film reference of the movie! CHINATOWN. My wife, in fact, had never seen Chinatown, and so after going to see RANGO while we had a babysitter in town she finally rented CHINATOWN and was genuinely surprised as just how close the storyline matches RANGO (minus the incest and infidelity of course).

RANGO was not “great” but it was such a step above the tripe out there in the animated market today that it’s hard no to give it some warm fuzzies in talking about it. It is a genuinely heartfelt movie. When we saw it, the theater was full of kids of the right age to enjoy it, some that I could hear were highly concerned for RANGO during his exile from the town after his first encounter with RATTLESNAKE JAKE. It make me glad that some parents are brave enough to trust their kids with something like RANGO. My young daughter loves Wallace and Grommit and Shaun the Sheep, so I am very much hoping that she will be able to appreciate well done works like RANGO.

Not everything has to be a great masterpiece, after all. Sometimes expertly accomplished entertainment is worthwhile in itself.

Posted By Jenni : April 3, 2011 8:14 am

My boys want to see Rango,and we probably will, but will wait until it’s on dvd, as movie ticket prices are getting more and more outrageous for our family’s budget. Have to defend Toy Story 3, though. Not so much for it’s animation, as I also love the look of the old way of drawn animation, and all of the 3-D hype is just a lame way to increase ticket fees imho. TS3′s story line was what got to me. Our oldest left the nest this past August to join the US Marines. Right before he left for boot camp, TS3 came out, so for a treat, I took all 7 of my kids to see it. Part of the plot is all about Andy, the son, moving on to college, getting rid of his stuff, which includes his toys, going on with a new life, his own life, without his mom and sister being a daily part anymore. It really hit me hard seeing all of this unfold and I was glad I had a handkerchief with me! I have warned my friends that are now facing the first child to leave for college to be ready to cry when they view TS3. Pixar films usually have a way at tugging at the heartstrings, and that’s why I usually rate them as topnotch.

Posted By Jenni : April 3, 2011 8:14 am

My boys want to see Rango,and we probably will, but will wait until it’s on dvd, as movie ticket prices are getting more and more outrageous for our family’s budget. Have to defend Toy Story 3, though. Not so much for it’s animation, as I also love the look of the old way of drawn animation, and all of the 3-D hype is just a lame way to increase ticket fees imho. TS3′s story line was what got to me. Our oldest left the nest this past August to join the US Marines. Right before he left for boot camp, TS3 came out, so for a treat, I took all 7 of my kids to see it. Part of the plot is all about Andy, the son, moving on to college, getting rid of his stuff, which includes his toys, going on with a new life, his own life, without his mom and sister being a daily part anymore. It really hit me hard seeing all of this unfold and I was glad I had a handkerchief with me! I have warned my friends that are now facing the first child to leave for college to be ready to cry when they view TS3. Pixar films usually have a way at tugging at the heartstrings, and that’s why I usually rate them as topnotch.

Posted By suzidoll : April 3, 2011 2:00 pm

Jenni: Such a touching story. I think your story reflects what the best movies are all about.

Posted By suzidoll : April 3, 2011 2:00 pm

Jenni: Such a touching story. I think your story reflects what the best movies are all about.

Posted By Jenni : April 4, 2011 6:55 pm

Thank you, Suzi. Our oldest successfully completed his boot camp, is now serving with Aviation Operations, and his first duty station is Japan! However, he is far from the nuclear situation, and the devastation in the north of that country.

Posted By Jenni : April 4, 2011 6:55 pm

Thank you, Suzi. Our oldest successfully completed his boot camp, is now serving with Aviation Operations, and his first duty station is Japan! However, he is far from the nuclear situation, and the devastation in the north of that country.

Posted By NOTES ON THE SECRET WEAPONS IN KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR : Sinful Cinema.net : June 2, 2011 9:54 am

[...] doubt the movie references in Rango are legion. The difference here, as in Tarantino, is that they seem to leap whole from the identity-hobbled [...]

Posted By NOTES ON THE SECRET WEAPONS IN KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR : Sinful Cinema.net : June 2, 2011 9:54 am

[...] doubt the movie references in Rango are legion. The difference here, as in Tarantino, is that they seem to leap whole from the identity-hobbled [...]

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Streamline is the official blog of FilmStruck, a new subscription service that offers film aficionados a comprehensive library of films including an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films.