A pet chameleon with acting aspirations (voiced by Johnny Depp) is given the chance to put his thespian prowess to the test when he's accidentally sent tumbling from his owner's car and into the Mojave Desert.
Hooking up with cute iguana Beans (voiced by Isla Fisher), the domesticated lizard accompanies her to her backwater hometown of Dirt, where he tries to fit in by presenting himself as a hard-bitten drifter named Rango. After an inadvertent display of bravery and skill, Rango is appointed sheriff, and the first item on his agenda is to unravel the mystery of the town's critical water shortage.
Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp reteams with franchise director Gore Verbinski for this ultraquirky animated oddity. Pitched at adults as much as children, Rango features colourful CGI characters, while riffing on movie classics like Chinatown, Apocalypse Now and Once Upon a Time in the West.
Often evoking Depp's tripped-out road movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Rango is boldly creative and visually stunning, featuring intricately rendered Wild West landscapes. An impressive first animation from special effects wizards Industrial Light and Magic, cinematographer Roger Deakins is also credited as a visual consultant, as he was on the equally beautiful Wall-E and How to Train Your Dragon.
Depp is excellent fun in the title role, while the likes of Bill Nighy, Ned Beatty and Ray Winstone use their characterful voices to pull off brilliantly villainous turns.