“Rango” (2011)

Now here’s a film that was a lot better than I had remembered. While its plot is very reminiscent of your typical kid friendly fare, this final product almost assuredly is not. This is one of the very few Western (pun intended) animated PG rated films that seems to be aimed more for adults rather than for kids, with the obscure movie references, surprisingly edgy material, and its slower and more laid back pacing. The animation is stunning, and feels so photorealistic, that there are so many moments where you simply cannot believe that what you’re looking at is animated. The cinematography is gorgeous, the character designs are fantastic, and the film is brimming with creativity in almost every shot. On top of all that, the writing was smarter than I had remembered, with excellent dialogue, tons of hilarious moments, and lots of intelligent and incredibly subtle touches that make it very clear that the filmmakers cared about this film a lot. While the film’s premise may be a stock “liar revealed” story, this film is proof that it’s the presentation that makes all the difference in whether or not a film is any good, not necessarily if a premise has been done before. It’s clever, it’s funny, and it’s entertaining, this is one of the more overlooked and underrated animated films that definitely deserves a second look.

Rating: 5/5

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