I've seen a lot of strange animated movies as a critic. Sometimes they are strange in the right way and sometimes they are strange in the wrong way. If there's an animated movie that can certainly fit into being strange, it's "Rango". This is such a weird movie and it has a very interesting crew. It includes director Gore Verbinski who made it fresh of his endeavor of directing the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy, Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan, animation from special effects company Industrial Light & Magic, and also having it released by Nickelodeon Movies. This is such an odd combo for an animated movie, yet I still found myself oddly enjoying this film. It's a very weird film without a doubt, but if weird is done right I find myself enjoying it. This was a film I did end up finding myself enjoying.
After a pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) becomes stranded in the Mojave Desert in Nevada, he then is sent on a journey to a dried up town called Dirt. There he is seen as a stranger by most of the town folks, including an iguana named Beans (Isla Fisher), but quickly comes up with a fake story about being a drifter and taking out the Jenkens brothers with one bullet. He also gives himself the name of Rango. After accidentally killing a hawk that was terrorizing the town, he is then made the town sheriff by the mayor (Ned Beatty). There is a problem in the town of Dirt though, but it doesn't have to do with any outlaws. The town is running quickly out of water. After their last few water supplies are stolen by the town, Rango organizes a posse to help get the water back to the town of dirt. From there, some very strange and weird events occur that would take me a while to explain.
This certainly was a strange movie to watch, but I still had a fun time watching it. The story certainly was probably the oddest part of the film. I think the best way to describe the film is a very bizarre Western and yet John Logan's script really does make it work. It kept me very intrigued and had some quirkiness in it. Even though it does have tropes and cliches that have been done hundreds of times in the past and will be done hundreds more times in the future, they still seemed to be very fresh and new here in this film. The animation was really amazing. This is some of the most beautifully crafted CGI I've seen, then again when you have the Oscar-winning effects studio who brought to life special effects for hundreds of live-action films like "Star Wars", you know it'll be good. The dessert animation felt so dry and empty that it left me parched by the end of the movie. Watching this movie thirsty made me regret not seeing it without a glass of water nearby. I needed one badly by the end of the movie. As for the characters, I'd say they have some of the quirky charms to them. Rango does start off as a character you don't like at first, but you start to eventually warm up too. Though it's really Beans that is the character that I liked the most in the movie. She definitely has a strong attitude towards her and is a little rough at times, but she still has a good heart. She also isn't yet another damsel in distress and can stand up for herself. Even her odd defense mechanism was amusing. Although I did like this movie, it does have some flaws. For one, the beginning is a little boring and does take time to get fully invested in. Also, the ending of the movie was so abrupt that I didn't exactly like how it finished. I felt that there needed to be one extra scene added to give the film a proper close, but sadly we didn't get it. It did leave me feeling a little disappointed.
Still, though, I did find "Rango" amusing enough. The story is weird but still interesting, the animation was certainly fantastic, and the characters were amusing and had some fun quirks to them. I do recommend this movie, though I will say this. If you're seeing it for the first time, have a glass of water near you. Unless you want to be extremely thirsty by the end of the film after looking at dry dessert for nearly two hours, you're gonna need it throughout your viewing.