Rango (2011)

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Released 6-Jul-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Alternative Version
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 102:46
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gore Verbinski
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Johnny Depp
Isla Fisher
Abigail Breslin
Ned Beatty
Alfred Molina
Bill Nighy
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $39.95 Music Hans Zimmer
Craig Wood
Denise Chamian


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Most animated films inhabit a fairly safe and confined set of rules about what can be included in terms of content and still be suitable to kids. This one, Rango, certainly breaks a few taboos with its slightly crude humour, smoking and some mildly scary sequences. It is probably not suitable for the smallest kids but my 8 and 6 year olds lapped it up, especially the older one. It is very fast paced and funny but also intelligent, wacky, witty and occasionally weird. There is lots here for adults to enjoy and not just the usual pop culture references. It is really a western first and an animated kids film second.

     Rango tells the story of a chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) who is someone's pet, living in a terrarium. He dreams of becoming an actor. His terrarium is flung from a car in the middle of a desert and the car goes on without him. After consulting with a partially squashed armadillo (Alfred Molina), he heads off into the desert in the direction of a town. He quickly becomes dehydrated and is rescued by a female lizard called Beans (Isla Fisher) who takes him to a small town called Dirt. He quickly realises that he is not particularly welcome in this small, very dry town which is very reminiscent of small towns in every western you have seen. In order to try to establish himself as a player he starts telling stories about his previous exploits including shooting a group of seven brothers with one bullet. He tells them his name is Rango. When he manages to deal with a hawk who has been menacing the town he becomes a local hero and starts to investigate where the town's water has gone. Other characters include the Mayor (Ned Beatty), his henchman Bad Bill (Ray Winstone), Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy) and local thief Balthazar (Harry Dean Stanton). Can Rango save the town and get the girl, without revealing his true nature?

     I found this film very enjoyable, with lots of big laughs for adults and kids. There is lots of action, chase scenes and fights to keep the story moving. The animation is incredibly good and the voice work is great too. The music is wonderful featuring a score by Hans Zimmer and performances by Los Lobos. Its impact on the film is huge. The approach is certainly inventive with lots of different elements including some quite esoteric scenes. It is possible that there might be a few too many ideas bursting out of this film. If you keep your eyes open you will even see a few characters that look like Star Wars characters including Jabba the Hut and Watto. Lots of other movies are also referenced including lots of westerns such as The Man with No Name trilogy and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Considering the animation was done by ILM, I don't think George Lucas will be suing.

     The disc includes both the original theatrical cut and an extended version which runs about 5 minutes longer. The extra scenes are also included as deleted scenes. About 2 and a half minutes of the 5 are an extended alternate ending, which I found very funny.

     Recommended for those looking for something different in an animated film or lovers of westerns.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is excellent for DVD. The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout showing off the excellent animation. The colour is excellent, bright and finely textured. There were no noticeable artefacts.

     There are English and English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles which are clear and easy to read.

     There is no noticeable layer change during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1, an English Audio Descriptive Track in Dolby Digital 5.1, plus an Audio Commentary in 2.0 stereo.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to hear and understand. The music is a real highlight, sounding great on this transfer. The surround speakers were used well throughout for action scenes, atmosphere and music. The subwoofer was also well used in action scenes and by the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A limited selection of extras.

Menu

     The menu was pretty standard featuring minor motion and music.

Deleted Scenes (8:16)

     The deleted scenes which are added to the extended version are also presented separately.

Commentary - Director Gore Verbinski and other crew members

     This commentary is only available on the extended version of the film. It is a quality commentary featuring technical information, discussion of the writing, acting, animation, the movies used as references and other worthwhile stuff.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version seems to be the same as our local DVD. The Blu-ray edition includes significantly more extras.

Summary

     A funny, fast paced and original animated film.

     The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is very good. Extras are good but restricted in quantity.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, July 29, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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