Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rango (A-)

Every year, around fifteen animated movies come out which are absolutely horrible. Just last Friday we had the animated abomination Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil. Not only are these types of animated movies horrendous, but now because of the 3D craze unfortunate parents are forced to cough up the extra three-and-a-half dollars a person for lackluster post-production 3D. Should I pity these sad souls suckered into buying $15 a ticket for the likes of Mars Needs Moms and the previously mentioned Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil? Absolutely not, for they missed out on taking their movie-craving children to see one of the greatest achievements in animation since the masterpiece which is Spirited Away. And how would they have been able to see this spectacular animated film? In glorious, spectacular, old fashioned, non-money stealing 2D! What could this movie be? It's name, is Rango.

Before I begin reviewing Rango I'd like to admit that I have a huge personal bias in favor of this movie. Even if it had been a crudely animated abomination of the likes of those already mentioned, it would have at least received a "C' simply for being a western. Not enough westerns are being made anymore, and I hope that the success of Rango and True Grit really bring the genre back on the map again.

Rango is simply one of the most stunning animated movies of the last twenty years. Every frame of the film is fully realized in the most realistic way I've seen in an animated movie...ever. The animation here really puts Pixar to shame, easily defeating any of their long lineup of films. At one point a human character appears which looks more realistic than the characters in A Scanner Darkly, and that movie was barely animated!

It takes real skill to come of the dreck which was the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels and make this movie, but director Gore Verbinski pulls it off amazingly, especially for his first time directing animation. Of course, he doesn't deserve all the credit. With the spectacular voice cast of:

Johnny Depp
Abigail Breslin
Ned Beatty
Bill Nighy
Timothy Olyphant

By this point, Rango probably is no longer playing in your local theater, but the moment it comes out on DVD, run to the REDBOX and rent it before someone else rents it first. Whether it's for a child or not.

Grade: A-

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