Drugs. Watching Rango made me feel like I was on a large quantity of psychedelic drugs.
I’m not just saying that because Raoul Duke and the Great Red Shark made a cameo…although it helped. The whole film had a dark and trippy feel. It’s like the plot was a peyote fever dream left over after Burning Man. I can’t remember the last time I saw a “kid” movie that was so dark…The Last Unicorn maybe? It’s been a while since I’ve seen characters actually die in a “kid” movie. Even odder were the scenes in which Rango is suicidally depressed. Depression isn’t something you often see presented to kids, although I assume most kids just interpret it as being sad. I don’t actually mind my kids seeing dark films. In fact, I get kind of paranoid that they’ll end up kind of retarded if I keep letting them watch stuff like The Squeakquel and G-Force. It’s not that I’m worried about them watching stupid shit, because I watched stupid shit as a kid and it didn’t make me retarded – it’s that they watch so much lowest common denominator stupid shit. I really am concerned that all those happy fucking rodents will turn them into Mouthbreathers…or even worse, Teabaggers.
As I write this – in my air-conditioned fortress – Texas is experiencing its most severe drought in recorded history, so I can commiserate with Rango and the townspeople of Dirt. In fact, my yard would look like Dirt, if it wasn’t for the sprinkler system. Like Dirt, the mayor of my backyard is a turtle. Also like the townspeople of Dirt, we live in constant fear of snake attacks. (No Rattlesnakes yet, but plenty of Copperheads and Water Moccasins.) We have also been visited by an unkillable armadillo, a bald eagle and an unidentified pooping bandit. I guess the one thing we’re missing is a quixotic chameleon?
Rango does get overly friendly with a naked Barbie torso. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…Rango also does a bit of Ed Wood-esque cross dressing. No pirates, chocolate or barbering, though. I’ll have watch again to look for any references I may have missed.
Obviously, little ones aren’t going to get the references to Hunter S. Thompson or Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns or High Noon…come to think of it, I don’t know if my kids have ever even seen a western? I may need to rectify that soon…I remember being traumatized by The Searchers at about my son’s age…anyway, there’s a lot of stuff for adults to enjoy that will fly right over the kids’ heads. This is the kind of film that is so un-annoying that you actually buy it and hide the rest of the DVDs, just to get a break…but it’s not quite so good that you won’t get sick of it after 500 or so viewings.