Gore Verbinski directed the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. The special effects expertise of Industrial Light and Magic were a key to his success. Their pedigree goes all the way back to the "Star Wars" series. Their skills were sharpened on the "Indian Jones," "Jurassic Park" and "Harry Potter" films, just to name a few.
These two major forces team up for a full-length animated feature in the rollicking and boisterous "Rango." You already know the visuals will be first-rate in every respect. Johnny Depp eagerly voices the title character, a pet green lizard with a big ego and delusions of acting glory.
Rango escapes from his humans and lands in a thirsty desert town called Dirt. He becomes the unlikely sheriff of the local armadillos, moles, rats, and assorted reptiles. They are all desperate to get more water.
The plot offers many clever references to past Hollywood hits. Elements from "Chinatown," "Apocalypse Now" and Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns are all on display.