What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this animated film starring Johnny Depp is as dramatic as it is comedic, and it deals with several mature themes that may go over kids' head. The main character experiences an identity crisis and ponders life's big questions -- like "who am I?," "where do I belong?," and "why am I here?" (to name just a few of Rango's existential issues). There's also stronger language (both "damn" and "hell" are said several times, as well as insults like "trollop," "tart," and "floozy") and notably more violence than in many animated kids' movies -- violent/scary scenes range from gun showdowns and a gallows outfitted with nooses to a frightening killer hawk and a sadistic snake that threatens beloved characters. A few characters are killed (or nearly killed), shot at, or crushed, and there's a fair bit of smoking by supporting characters. But there are also positive messages about living up to your potential, defending those who are defenseless, and the importance of authority figures who do what's in their community's best interest instead of their own.
- Families can talk about the movie's message about becoming who you want to be. How does Rango change from a wannabe hero to the real thing? Would you consider him a role model?
- There are some pretty heavy themes here. Do you think that makes it too grown-up for younger kids? Who do you think the movie's target audience is?
- How does the violence in this movie compare to others you've seen? Does it have more or less impact? Why?