Film trailer: Johnny Depp as 'Rango' and must-see website

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The Independent Culture

The first trailer for the upcoming computer-animated film Rango features the voice of Johnny Depp, as a Hawaiian-shirt-clad chameleon with an identity crisis.

Footage reveals a desert setting and characters, highlighting Rango as he tries to escape a dive-bombing hawk with a rock-like toad that comes to the lizard's aid and a Greek chorus of mariachi owls. The story follows the household pet heading off on an identity quest in a town called Dirt.

The film was directed and conceived by Pirates of the Caribbean's Gore Verbinski with a screenplay written by The Aviator's John Logan.

Voice talent includes Bill Nighy (Harry Potter films), Alfred Molina ( Prince of Persia) as an armadillo, Abigail Breslin ( Little Miss Sunshine), Ray Winstone ( Beowulf), Ned Beatty (Toy Story films), Harry Dean Stanton ( Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), and Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard) as The Spirit of the West.

Also, a quirky teaser features a wind-up fish toy floating through the sky announcing the not-to-be-missed website (

The site shows a desolate road in a desert expanse but looks are deceiving as the interactive scene provides fun surprises. Click the cursor on the toad and he growls and complains, change radio stations for Western tunes, strum the guitar to activate the mariachi owl, the plastic palm spews coconuts, the pill bug rolls and awakens a pair of comical moles, roadrunners explore and clouds pass.

The film itself uses Industrial Light & Magic for "cutting edge techniques" according to the SlashFilm website, allowing Verbinski to do "emotion capture" - not motion capture.

Released by Nickelodeon Films, a division of the children's television channel which releases the live-action film The Last Airbender this weekend, based on its animated series, Rango hits theaters March 2011.