RANGO DVD (2011)

SYNOPSIS: Get ready to tango with "Rango," a winner with critics and audiences that’s "like nothing you’ve ever seen before" (Peter Travers, "Rolling Stone"). Johnny Depp is spectacular as Rango, a kooky pet chameleon who gets tossed into a wild and raucous town in desperate need of a hero.


After playing the Mad Hatter, a tourist and a pirate for the countless times, Johnny Depp is voicing an animated character officially for the first time. Under the direction of Gore Verbinski, Depp plays Rango, a pet chameleon, which dreams about the theatrics, and one day finds himself lost in the desert after an accident. Alone, lost and thirsty, Rango stumbles upon an old town named Dirt where water is a prized commodity. After being conferred the title of Sheriff, Rango must pacify and lead the villagers of Dirt into finding the truth behind the lack of water reserve. Will he succeed?

Without any doubt, “Rango” is a damn fine piece of CG animated production. Even if the character designs of the desert-dwelling creatures by Mark "Crash" Mccreery aren’t the best-looking or merchandise-friendly enough for the kids. Yet it’s so photo-realistic and endearing. Armadillo, Iguana, Rattlesnake, you named it, “Rango” has it. And of course coming out from George Lucas’s ILM, you don’t expect the animation values to be anything lesser.

Credit must go to John Lango (Gladiator, The Last Samurai) for scribing an oddball wacky western comedy that pays homage to the great old western adventures and the extent of Clint Eastwood. There are plenty of quirky one-liners to look out for such as “I'm going to slice your face off and use it to wipe my unmentionables!” and “I think the metaphor broke my spleen.” Definitely not the usual mainstream animated fares from Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks. Logan and Verbinski keep the pacing moving at a hurried pace except for the first act and unexpectedly throws in a huge aerial battle that have you glue to your seat. Compared to the bloated pirates franchise, the humour and action factor is spot-on and Verbinski proves he is no flash-in-the-pan without Disney.

Johnny Depp himself is a chameleon when it comes to acting. He breathes life to every character he plays and this CG chameleon works because of his witty voicework. Isla Fisher is terrific as the voice of Beans the Iguana who is fighting for her late father’s land from the Mayor (Ned Beatty who also voices the evil Lotso in Toy Story 3). Other notetable cast includes Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Ray Winstone and Timothy Olyphant who voices the mysterious Spirit of the West.

Once again, the prolific Hans Zimmer contributed the zany, catchy soundtrack and you will love the sarcasm-filled Mexican mariachi band in the flick. It’s hard to nitpick any faults with “Rango”. It’s mostly unpredictable, clever and filled with uncompromising visuals; this CG fare is likely more a hit with adults than kids. One of the highly recommended titles of 2011.


Director Gore Verbinski; Head of Story James Ward Byrkit; Production Designer Mark "Crash" McCreery; Animation Director Hal Hickel; and Visual Effects Supervisor Tim Alexander chips in this Audio Commentary that touches almost every aspect of making Rango.

There are 9 Deleted Scenes here but it’s the Never-Before-Seen-Ending which is an absolute blast.

Real Creatures of Dirt is a 22 minutes educational segment that talks about the various real creatures residing in the desert.


Dialogue is clear while the sound effects are tremendously well-done with gunfire oozing past the soundstage and ambient effects are solid as well. Images are detailed and colours are perfect in every sense on this DVD but hey I’m looking forward to watching this again on Blu-ray.



Review by Linus Tee