This is an odd duck of a film. Though animated, itís not exactly aimed at children. But it will have difficulty finding an adult audience, as well. Itís kind of amusing, on its own terms, but itís not nearly as engaging as, say, the ďToy StoryĒ or even the ďShrekĒ series, but it is edgy, and definitely different.
Johnny Depp is the voice of Rango, a chameleon who finds himself ejected from a car and stranded in the middle of the desert. There, he runs into other talking animals, like a turtle, and a rattlesnake, and a hawk, and some funny-looking humans, all inhabiting the dusty, almost-ghost town of Dirt . It seems the drought has been severe, and the most precious commodity of all, water, is nowhere to be found---except, of course, that which is hoarded/controlled by the developers for their money-making projects. Of course itís a parable. But to their credit, they concentrate more on the development of the characters, especially Rango, as he tries to find his Mojo somewhere in the Mojave. The five-year-old who was with me was alternately bored by the adult-type dialogue and frightened by the sudden scary sequences. The eight-year-old who was with me chuckled at some of the jokes, but he also fell asleep. Itís creative, itís unusual, itís unique, but itís not likely to charm or to thrill.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor, United Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Texas