Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Rango

Released

Latest Home Video

Jul 15, 2011

MPAA Rating:

PG


Run Time:

107

Director

Gore Verbinski

Cast

Johnny Depp

Isla Fisher

Abigail Breslin

Alfred Molina

Bill Nighy

Harry Dean Stanton

Ray Winstone

Timothy Olyphan

Studio

2011 Paramount Pictures

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Rango.

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Reviewed by

OverallB-
ViolenceC
SexB-
LanguageB-
Drugs/AlcoholC+
Run Time107

Making the Grades

It’s been 21 years since the satirical television show The Simpsons released, making animation

as much of an adult form of entertainment as it is for children. But while most of us know the antics of Homer and Bart aren’t always suitable for kids, many parents still get sucked into theater seats believing that if a movie looks like a cartoon it should be okay for families. However, unless references to male rectal exams, a mammography or activities that take place under a woman’s skirts are suitable for your children, Rango may not be.

This nod to the Spaghetti Western is an odd mix of genres as well as time periods and filmmakers don’t appear to feel too constrained to stick with any one for very long. We first meet the small green chameleon (who dreams of being a famous thespian) inside a glass cage in the back of a car speeding down a desert highway. When the driver swerves to miss an armadillo (voice by Alfred Molina) wandering across the road, the lizard (voice by Johnny Depp), his cage and the other inanimate objects inside it (including the naked, upper torso of a headless Barbie) are thrown out an open window.

Not only is the cage shattered in the incident but also the little creature’s hopes for survival. Luckily the armadillo that caused the accident (and now has a tire indentation running through his middle) sends the lizard wandering off across the sand in search of water and some friendly townsfolk.

Unfortunately the citizens of Dirt have neither water nor a friendly welcome, especially for a new arrival that comes dressed in a Hawaiian shirt. Trapped solidly in the old West of the 1800s, they are down to their last drops of the precious liquid and don’t want one more parched throat to quench. With his life in jeopardy, the jittery lizard sees a chance to put his acting aspirations into practice. Spinning a tall tale about his outlaw-killing past and introducing himself with the manly moniker Rango, he is soon pinned with a sheriff’s badge.

While the shiny star seems to make him feel better about himself, it does little to impress Beans (voice by Isla Fisher), a young woman who is about to lose her farm to the Mayor (voice by Ned Beatty), or the precocious little Priscilla (voice by Abigail Breslin). Even the rest of the townspeople become worried about Rango’s ability to lay down the law when Rattlesnake Jake (voice by Bill Nighy) slithers down their dusty main street.

The opening scenes of the animation are driven by a herd of droll one-liners and funny gag jokes. But by the middle of the movie, Rango succumbs to rambling soliloquies. While the long dry spell of action may send the attention of little cowpokes wandering, the film’s frequent gunslinger scenes may cause some consternation for parents. Although animated, characters are shot on screen, crushed, fired upon with explosives and put in dangerous situations. The threads of this story also start to fray when the script gets so tied up in spoofing True Grit, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars and Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name character that it loses its focus.

Much like the furry critters in this movie that spend their time wading through sand in the quest for water, the script seems to be on an endless search for solid footing. With too much content and peril for many young children and not enough substantial storyline for adults, Rango will leave many audience members thirstin’ for a more engaging entertainment option.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Rango.

This film pairs two different eras. Is this a confusing premise? What might be the purpose for it? Does that make the answer to the water question more understandable or is it any easy cop out for the scriptwriters?

What consequences does Rango face for his lies? Do people sometimes need to pretend to be braver or better than they are in order to achieve those characteristics?

This animation attempts to spoof or make reference to several other movies. Does that kind of humor work in this film? What are the drawbacks of using it?

In this movie, one man envisions heaven as a place where he can eat Pop Tarts with Kim Novak. What would your ideal heaven include?

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Violence.
AB PG
MB PG Not Recommended For Young Children, Violence.
ON PG Violence, Not Recommended for Young Children
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Rango...

Rango releases to DVD and Blu-ray on July 15, 2011.

Rango: Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy includes:

- Audio Commentary

- Real Creatures of Dirt

- Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending

- Theatrical Trailer

- Breaking the Rules: Making Animation History

- Storyboard Reel Picture-in-Picture

- A Field Trip to Dirt

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blueekb2 says: Mar. 04, 2011

Wow- this might be the most inappropriate movie I have ever taken my kids to. I had to ask so many questions from my youngest (5) about the violence and the death - during the movie. We had to endure curse words “Go to Hell”. It was so loud during the scary moments that we had to cover our ears and look away. There were really mean villains. There were predators killing their prey. There was drunken-ness and references to a drunk father not dying in an accidental, alcohol-related death and leaving his child alone. It didn’t make sense as a kids movie. It should have been rated pg 13. Even my oldest (11) said, “it was good except for the scary parts”.

Rhonda says: Mar. 07, 2011

Regarding the movie Rango; it seems it was made for families/children, however, there is bad language, like “go to hell”, and reference made to someone’s prostate while riding horses, and the little mouse girl holding a gun like it was a toy, and all the gun fire throughout the movie is not really child-friendly.  It really is a violent movie for children with a message that firing guns is fun and exciting.  My son is 12 and he agrees with me.  He did not like the movie all that much.

kpulmano says: Mar. 11, 2011

I cannot believe this movie is from Nickelodeon.  I took my two 8-years-old and my 12-year-old to see it.  Even my oldest said it was not very appropriate.  First of all, it was very weird and creepy.  There was cursing, alcohol, shooting, hanging by a noose, walking into the street while cars going (we thought he was going to kill himself during this part), It was more like a dark death type movie, there was no comedy.  There was nudity on a manequin, sexual references.  I will think twice before seeing another nickelodeon movie.  Thank goodness my two younger children fell asleep during the movie (I guess that also says how boring it was).

momtothemax says: Mar. 13, 2011

This is movie is definitely not appropriate for young children. I took my 6 year old son and joined my sister with her 4 year old daughter and 12 year old son.  The 4 year old - thankfully - fell asleep pretty early on.  My 6 year old says he loved it, but I’m hoping he forgets all of it with the next movie he sees.  There was adult-language, themes, situations, and violence that should have earned this movie a PG-13 rating.  Don’t know why I wasn’t tipped off that this probably wouldn’t be kid-friendly by the fact that Johnny Depp was the title character.  Great actor, but weird content.

Sweebs says: Mar. 13, 2011

The site reviewer states of this movie under “VIOLENCE”:

“A hawk chases several animals,,,[a character is](Rango)impaled with cactus needles,and started on fire. Explosives are hurled at characters. A child plays with a loaded gun and points it at people. A bird has an arrow impaled in his head and through his eye. A snake threatens the townsfolk. An animal is drowned and others are put in a tank that fills quickly with water. Characters are beaten with a stick on several occasions. Birds are shown hanging in nooses.
Sexual Content: The naked torso of a headless doll is seen on several occasions, as is a buxom female. Numerous jokes include sexual innuendo, comments about anatomy or references to sexual activity. A male character wears a dress. One character licks the face of a girl.

nycgirl5 says: Mar. 13, 2011

I walked out on this movie. I took my 8yr old and 6yr old to see it along with my friend and her son.  The langauge, violence and crazy storyline were not kid friendly.

Do not take your kids to see this movie

UrbGrrl says: Mar. 19, 2011

Took my 9 year old daughter to see this.  She’s a big Harry Potter fan—both books & movies, so she’s not overly sensitive to violence.  This movie was too much even for her.  We made it through about halfway & then she told me she wanted to leave.  Didn’t like the movie—“too violent”. 

In addition, I must say I was surprised by the bar scene. Rango walks into an old-fashioned, Western bar & tries to order water.  The entire bar full of characters erupts into laughter while the bartender tells him, “We don’t serve water—only cactus juice!”  Rango agrees to some & is served it in a shot glass.  Several characters are smoking cigars, as well.  Just bizarre what passes for PG these days…  I’ve gotta’ say I’m even a bit surprised that Parent Previews gave this a B-.  I’d give it closer to a solid C.  A B- seems too generous. 

Bottom line: Glad we left & got our money back.  Find a better movie—you’ll be glad you did!

Pinewalker says: Mar. 21, 2011

I agree with the other posters, a LOT of inappropriate material (sexual, language, violence).  The opening scene with the naked doll top and his flirtations with it had my 13 yr old looking at me to see if I was making a bee line for the exit.  My two are 11 & 13 and it was barely ok for them to see this movie.  Any younger, definitely not. 

I was very irritated by the (yet again) mockery of the Christian religion and strong stereotyping of mindless ritualism that Hollywood feels we Christians practice.  In one scene a character is thumping the Bible (how original) and in another the whole town lines up and does a ritualistic dance and shouting “hallelujahs” that they are apparently instructed to do each week at noon to receive their portion of water that week.

I’m also not sure why people are shocked this was produced by Nickelodeon since they put out a good amount of mindless garbage on kids’ TV (regular Nick, not Nick Jr). 

It’s really too bad because if this were written a little better and the weirdness toned down a little, there were a lot of life lessons that could have been taught in this movie (hard work, perseverance, self respect, etc).

HDumond says: Jul. 15, 2011

Just watched this with my 12 year old daughter and 11 year old niece. The language horrified me and I couldn’t believe I heard “son of a….” given they didn’t complete the sentence, it was still partially said. And then the wonderful bar scene…drinking and Rango is asked if he “missed his mama’s melons” or something of that nature and he replies “yeah along with your daddy’s cooking!” I believe there was another breast comment made asking if they were real but I was between the kitchen and living room during parts of it and only heard bits. I just can’t believe that this is considered PG!?! How am I supposed to provide guidance as a parent when the movie leads me to believe it’s for children then starts using language like this? It’s a child’s movie. I doubt anyone was expecting to find language and comments and violence when they watched it. The movie, in my opinion, would have been much better had they not disappointed the parents who are disgusted with the language and other content and instead risked disappointing anyone who was excited to go see a cartoon lizard movie geared towards children with hopes of drinking and swearing being included. These producers and writers need to start making movies for children, and making different movies for adults. There will never be a good mix of child and adult content. Do one or the other. Find other ways, other than swearing and drinking, to entice or grasp an adults interest to watch. Not all adults enjoy swearing, violence, drinking and smoking.

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