“Rango” fits in nicely

Jack Kimball, writer

Nickelodeon’s “Rango” is an animated story about acceptance and fitting in; about how to find out where you belong. Rango (Johnny Depp) is a Chameleon who finds himself stranded out in the desert with no way back to his original home, so now he must find a new one. “Rango” is filled to the brim with jokes of all sorts that all seem to land, and with a plethora of darker or more adult jokes thrown in for the parents and teens watching.

“Rango” starts off with a Mariachi band of four owls giving a brief dialogue about roughly what the film is about. Then it moves to Rango, reenacting some sort of drama, during which Rango is talking about the play he is enacting needing an event to propel the hero into conflict, and then the car that Rango is in the back of swerves to avoid a truck which propels him out of the back of the car and into the desert. After this he,  sits around for a while thinking about what to do before heading out into the desert. In this desert he finds a town named Dirt where he through some odd events involving a Hawk and elaborate lies becomes the Sheriff. But he is told that a dangerous outlaw named Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy)

Through the dialogue of a lizard named Bean(Isla Fisher) and the banker Mr. Merrimack (Stephen Root) we learn that the town of Dirt is running out of water. Beans thinks that someone is stealing or purposefully getting rid of all the water but Mr. Merrimack says that it probably just happened, “During one of her episodes.” After this Beans is told to go take it up with the Mayor (Ned Beatty) or the new Sheriff Rango. Beans tries to get his help uncovering the truth of the conspiracy but Rango is too busy getting his new Sheriff outfit.

Later that night Rango finds a group of three moles trying to dig into the bank, but he doesn’t realize this and instead gives them a prospecting permit. The next morning all the water is gone from the bank, so Rango forms a posse and heads out to find the water, figure out who all is behind this conspiracy, and save the town of Dirt.

The characters in “Rango”  are some of my absolute favorites out of any movie. Each and every character has their own unique design, personality, and set of small quirks that set them apart from each other. The main character Rango is a chameleon who is lost in the desert, he is so out of place yet through some imitation and lies he manages to fit right in with the rest of the town. Priscilla (Abigail Breslin) is a small mouse-like mammal that is constantly either comically criticizing or encouraging Rango throughout the movie.

Beans is Rango’s main “love interest” throughout the movie, but her personality is quite independent and headstrong, she is mostly seen in the beginning of the movie trying to save her family ranch from the drought. The villians in this movie like Rattlesnake Jake and the others which I will not spoil are very obviously villains, the “behind the scenes” hidden main villain is actually very obvious and you can almost tell immediately when you meet them just because of their tone and voice. All of the side characters still have their own distinct personalities and roles, but most of their roles are just to provide witty and quick jokes when needed.

This movie is probably the best in my mind whenever it comes to animation and effects just because of how much detail is put into every single frame. The animation is great with all the characters having very fluid movements. And the attention to detail with every board on a house or even every grain of sand. There’s a scene in the latter half of the movie that always catches my eye, in this scene there’s a sort of sandstorm but the part that sticks out to me is that Rango is going to pick up something in the sand, and as he goes to pick it up all the sand is blowing away and off of the item, but the part that catches my eye is the fact that you could probably count every single grain of sand in that shot. There is no solid color, every single grain of sand is drawn into that shot. Another effect I love in the movie is the dust clouds behind the roadrunners (the horses of the movie), wagons, and any other fast moving object. The dust clouds may seem like such an insignificant thing but the way that they move is just so natural that it really shows the attention to detail.

The music in Rango fits perfectly with the Cowboy theme of the movie, the Owl mariachi band that you see in the beginning of the movie serve as the narrators throughout the movie, but they also serve as the band as they are seen playing the music in many of the conflicts and climax. All of the sound effects really ring out and fit perfectly with the action, like how the outlaw Rattlesnake Jake has a gatling gun on his tail instead of a rattle, but this gun does rattle usually as a sign of him being about to use it. Since it is a cowboy style movie there are plenty of guns which all make their own unique little clicks and clacks whenever being loaded or swung around.

The theme of “Rango” is one about fitting in, Rango is extremely out of place in the town of Dirt, yet somehow in the end he manages to work his way in like a piece of a puzzle. The movie as a whole somehow takes all the odd puzzle pieces from the odd character designs, to the odd message of “fake it until you make it” and works to piece them together to create the odd, yet highly enjoyable puzzle that is the movie “Rango”.