1st industry trade review:
Rango: Film Review
The Bottom Line
Madly clever animated sagebrush saga has style and wit to burn.
Johnny Depp voices the title character in a clever, witty movie from his "Pirates of the Caribbean" director, Gore Verbinski, that employs a technique the filmmakers call "emotion capture."
full review at:The dusty cards of the Old West are reshuffled into a winning hand in Rango, a madly clever animated sagebrush saga with style and wit to burn. Reconfiguring the spaghetti Western into a fusilli con camaleonte, Gore Verbinski's surprising escape picture after years in the Caribbean is eye-poppingly visualized in a hyper-realistic style that at times borders on the surrealist. The verbal flights of fancy will often sail right over the heads of rugrats, as will the innumerable references to and twists on classic movies, making this one animated feature some adults might enjoy more than their kids. But the presence of Johnny Depp in the title role virtually assures muscular returns for this Paramount/Nickelodeon production.
Rango has the feel of a lark, of a film-lover's spree in a playpen equipped with some of the world's most expensive and expressive toys. Verbinski also enjoys the advantage of some highly gifted playmates, including technical wizards at Industrial Light + Magic (working on the firm's first animated feature), some of his Pirates effects cohorts and visual consultant Roger Deakins, who helps make the picture look as much shot as animated.
Rango: Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter