Rango is the latest animated feature from Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount, and it’s a bit darker than your average kid’s film.
The western-themed movie follows a pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) with no friends or life outside his tank, leading him to live out his own fantasy life, dreaming of an acting career. But after his tank is knocked off a truck on a busy highway, he ends up in a poor, dusty desert town called Dirt. After being brought to town by a fiesty female farmer named Beans (Isla Fisher), the chameleon pretends to be a western hero, dubbing himself “Rango”. Fawned upon for his supposed “deeds”, the town’s mayor (Ned Beatty) eventually appoints him sheriff, and “Rango” sets out to discover what has happened to the town’s water supply, which appears to have mysteriously dried up.
This movie is, bottom line, full of western energy. Sure, it has some values built in for children, like role models or… well, animals. But overall it has the spirit only found in a good old fashioned cowboy movie.
There have been claims that this movie is darker than most kids movies. Actually, I do agree with those claims. There is gun firing, a character hit by a car and a character drowned to death. I think the main assumption that this film rides on is that kids these days are learning more adult things earlier. I mean, maybe in 20 years time eleven year olds will be seeing slasher movies like Saw in a perfectly normal fashion! (Probably not, but still…)
Age Recommendation: This one’s tough… But I think maybe boys of 9+ will appreciate it.
Final Verdict: 8/10. Though dark, it’s still bursting with energy.