DVD: Rango (PG)

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The Independent Culture

"When is he going to die?" enquires one mariachi owl, part of a chorus of owls, to another. "Soon compadre, soon," is the deadpan reply.

Gore Verbinski's absurd, irreverent and very funny animation, which references every Western from High Noon to A Few Dollars More to Blazing Saddles, centres on a lonely, delusional chameleon, Rango (Johnny Depp, excellent), who is informed, by a dying armadillo (Alfred Molina), he must go on a Don Quixote-like quest of "enlightenment". He ends up lying his way into a sheriff's role in the town of Dirt in the Mojave desert, and facing up to a scary rattlesnake (Bill Nighy) and a villainous mayor (Ned Beatty). Lots of unhinged fun.