This movie should probably win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The attention to detail in the animation is outstanding. Compare the reptiles in this to the insects in A Bug's Life and you can see a vast difference in the detail. And yes, I know technology has gotten better since 1998.
When a pet chameleon who calls himself Rango (Johnny Depp) becomes accidentally stranded in the Mojave Desert, he has to use his "acting" skills to make sure he stays alive. After narrowly avoiding a hawk, he comes in contact with Beans (Isla Fisher). She takes Rango to her town of Dirt, which is an Old West community populated by desert animals. When the hawk returns and, by luck, Rango kills it, he is appointed sheriff by the mayor. The currency in the town is water, and the reserves are dangerously low. Beans convinces Rango to investigate the water shortage because she is skeptical of the mayor. After much investigation, Rango realizes the water shortage isn't really a problem, it's just been diverted away from the town. As he tries to figure out who could possibly want to keep water away from those who need it, Rattlesnake Jake returns to run amok and expose Rango for the fraud he is. So much for just trying to survive accidental abandonment.
As I said before, the attention to detail is the first thing you'll notice about this movie. Especially if you watch it on Blu-ray. Beyond that, this is a great western with a great western storyline. Newcomer comes to town, kills the enemy, becomes sheriff and must stop a greater evil. Countless westerns have started this way with worse results. The voice work was great. From Depp to Fisher to Ray Winstone to Abigail Breslin. The only problem I had with this movie was the fact that it's nearly two hours long. That's about 30 minutes more than an animated flick should be. Still great though. Grade: A-
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