Some people think Steven and I are crazy, but we refuse to let Cadence get sucked into the mindless world of modern day children’s programming. I don’t care what anyone says, but some time in the early 90’s, children’s television took an ugly turn. Shows like Barney and The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers heralded the beginning of the end for quality children’s programming. I’ve sat through a few minutes of shows like Teletubbies and The Wiggles and Dora the Explorer and to be quite honest, two thoughts immediately ran through my mind.
1. What the hell were these people smoking when they created these shows?
2. How could I erase the horrifying images (and songs) from my mind without invasive surgery or voluntary decapitation?
Luckily, children’s movies do not seem to have suffered quite as drastic a decline as children’s television. We watch our fair share of TV and movies in our house, and I guess it’s just the English major in me, but I’ve always much preferred to watch things that have a little substance to them. Don’t get me wrong, the occassional leave-your-brain-at-the-door ridiculousness like the Austin Powers trilogy or Jackass is sometimes a much-needed escape from the pressures of reality, but in the end, I am a much bigger fan of shows that stimulate my mind and actually give me something to think about, whether I’m laughing or not. And that is definitely a trait that I hope my daughter has inherited.
When I saw the first trailers for the movie Rango, I immediately put it on my must-see list. I’ll watch any movie that has Johnny Depp in it, whether he’s in the leading roll or just lending his voice to an animated character. Plus, the trailer made me laugh. Sure, it’s billed as a kids’ movie, but we all know that much of the humor in kids’ movies is lost on the kids, and Rango is certainly a movie that can be appreciated as much, if not more, by adults.
When Cadence first saw noticed Rango in a commercial, she squealed and giggled and tried to climb up the TV stand to get to him. So, when the film was finally released on DVD and Blu-Ray, we figured it might be worth it to buy a copy.
And yeah, it was worth every penny.
First of all, the movie is a visual masterpiece. In a word, the animation is stunning. Anyone who made the mistake of jumping on the 3-D bandwagon will hop right back off again once they get a look at the exquisite detail in Rango. The scenery is gorgeous, the colors vivid, and the characters exaggeratedly detailed. If you have a Blu-Ray player and an HDTV, be prepared to marvel at the eye candy in this movie.
The characters themselves are not only visually captivating, but also very well-developed. From the hero to the villain to the extended cast of quirky sidekicks, you find yourself falling in love with each one, or at least appreciating the vital role they play in the story.
The overall storyline is another homerun. The story begins with an introduction to a slightly eccentric chameleon living a rather lonely, lackluster life as a family pet in the confines of a terrarium. But when an unexpected accident strands Rango in the Mojave Desert, he is suddenly thrust into the most important role of his life when he becomes the hero for a dying town. With intelligent, well-written dialogue delivered by a star-studded cast, this is a movie that hooks you immediately and keeps you engaged through the roll of the credits. Give Rango a go, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
And just for fun, a few of the lines that made me laugh:
Balthazar: Thespians? That’s illegal in seven states!
Rango: I couldn’t help but notice you noticing me noticing you.
Spoons: I once found a human spinal column in my fecal matter…
Bad Bill: I’m going to slice your face off and use it to wipe my unmentionables!
Beans: Get your dirty, webbed phalanges off of my boots!
Rango: Hell, I’ve seen things make a grown man lose control of his glandular function. You spend three days in a horse carcass, livin’ off you own juices. It’ll change a man.
Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the brilliant minds that brought us Rango. It’s one of those movies that I love a little more each time that I see it, and thank goodness for that, since Cadence has already asked to watch it three times this week.