Rango is a pet chameleon who loves action, adventure, and romance- as long as it occurs in his own tank and he can direct it.  One day Rango is on a road trip and after a car accident he finds himself stranded in the Mojave Desert.  He comes across a small lawless western town called Dirt.  Dirt is in need of two things: water and a sheriff.  The inhabitants of Dirt are dealing with a terrible drought that has left the entire town dried up.  Rango decides he can help this little town by becoming the sheriff and guarding the town’s last precious supply of water.  After he takes the job the local bank is robbed of the last of their water and Rango must round up a posse and recover it.  Without the water the town has no hope and without hope the town is dead.    Rango and his friends end up on a quest to discover where all the water went.  Will Rango find himself over his head in the mystery of the stolen water or will he learn how to be a true friend and hero?  Rango will be but to the test in a real mystery full of real adventure and romance.

Paramount Pictures animated feature Rango is a hilarious story full of unforgettable characters, outlandish adventure, and creativity around every corner.  I thoroughly enjoyed this clever and smart story with an ingenious plot.  It is one of the best non-Pixar movies that I have seen in recent history and director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, Mousehunt) takes things to another level by being as crazy as he wants to be.  It is a spaghetti western for the kids that will not disappoint the grown-ups with references to the old westerns, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Clint Eastwood.  Although it may not be perfect for the really little kids even though it is produced by Nickelodeon pictures. Rango is a fitting homage to the old western movies with plenty of funny spoofs making it all that more enjoyable.

Rango is special for another reason and that is the way that they recorded the voice performances.  Instead of each actor, like Johnny Depp as Rango and Isla Fisher as Beans, recording each part individually in a sound booth, the actors worked together and acted out the script on a sound stage and their voices were recorded, a technique not commonly used in today’s animated features. The animation used in the movie is superb.   It’s unique and gritty, perfect for the western surroundings and the wily group of rag tag characters that inhabit Dirt.  The scenery is especially beautiful as well.  All together Rango is a quirky and spectacular animated adventure whose weirdness will put a smile on just about anyone’s face.