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  • Adorkable: Rango has an Ugly Cute appearance, and is a ditzy, awkward, nervous, adorable bag of sunshine.
  • Alternative Joke Interpretation: When Rango meets Sergeant Turley, he subtly inquires about the arrow in his eye, after which Turley responds that itís just conjunctivitis (in his other eye). Is Turley really somehow unaware of the arrow in his most likely blind right eye, or is he hinting that he thinks the arrow is a minor inconvenience compared to the infection in his other eye?
  • Animation Age Ghetto: The movie's one-star reviews on Amazon.com are full of parents complaining about this PG-rated film being not suitable for children. This probably explains why it only got a C+ Cinemascore, despite positive reviews on other sites. There were even petitions for the movie to be given an R rating for featuring smoking.
  • Awesome Music: Rango features easily one of Hans Zimmer's most underrated soundtracks ever.
    • What's more awesome than a chase scene involving critters riding bats like fighter planes in pursuit our heroes? Doing so to a Western-style version of "Ride of the Valkyries". Playing "Ride of the Valkyries" during an aerial assault scene? Meh. Playing "Ride of the Valkyries" during an aerial assault scene on banjos, diegetically? Hilarious.
    • The 'final showdown' music that plays when Rango recovers his discarded sheriff's badge from Boot Hill is chilling and inspiring — as well as a spot-on homage to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
    • The credits music, "Walk Don't Rango", which sounds like a Western remix of Misirlou, is exactly as awesome as that sounds.
    • End of The Road, a song that played in The Kingdom and makes a reappearance here when Rango is banished from the town. It fits the scene perfectly and beautifully.
  • Better on DVD: The extended cut is regarded as superior to the theatrical cut, with some plot holes filled and an extended ending.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Two, in a rather trippy film that they fit into well.
    • At one point when the characters are traveling underground, a giant eye opens and watches them walk away. One character remarks, "That's a big one," but nobody else even notices it. It's never explained, and never appears in the movie again.
    • There's also the dance when the town goes to get water after the bell rings. Granted, we are informed that getting water on Wednesday is a regular ritual — the dance itself, though, comes out of nowhere, and it's never explained what it has to do with anything. The Re-Cut takes it a bit further when they all spit during the dance. It's implied that it's part of the Cargo Cult the mayor deliberately built up around it (so that the townsfolk don't work out that only the knob is important), but the movie never actually says that.
  • Catharsis Factor: Rattlesnake Jake both showing Rango respect and then dragging Tortoise John away to his well-earned doom.
  • Complete Monster: Mayor Tortoise John is the corrupt mastermind behind Dirt's water troubles, forcing his town into drought and poverty so he can buy the land dirt-cheap. John strongarms Dirt's citizens into signing off their land to him lest they die of thirst, and has no problem having people who probe into his business murdered, such as the innocent banker Mr. Merrimack; a trio of bandits he has framed and set for execution; or, as confirmed in the novelization, a slew of previous sheriffs who met their ends at the coils of the Mayor's muscle, Rattlesnake Jake. Loyal to nobody and nothing but his visionary ideals, the Mayor tries to have Rango and Beans drowned as he did Merrimack, and tries to execute even Jake for having no place in his ideal city, telling him, "Pretty soon, no one will believe you even existed!"
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Rattlesnake Jake, especially when he first shows up.
    • Mr. Black is only in one scene of the whole movie, but what's not to love about a Perky Goth spider with a Cheshire Cat Grin rocking a top hat?
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Rattlesnake Jake, for being a complete, terrifying badass.
    • Priscilla, the little aye-aye girl, could easily count as one too.
    • Angelique. Why? Guess.
  • Cult Classic: Aside from its unexpected Oscar win for Best Animated Feature over its Disney/Pixar rivals, Rango was mostly ignored at the time of its release because of how much of a black sheep it was compared to other CGI animated films of the time. Years later, it's accrued a sizable following of people who love it, again because of how much of a black sheep it is.
  • Evil Is Cool: Rattlesnake Jake. A Bill Nighy-voiced, Gatling-gun-for-a-rattle-having, Evil Is Hammy slice of nightmare-inducing awesomeness.
  • Fanon: The hawk's metal beak and Rattlesnake Jake's missing tail have led to the common assumption that they received their respective injuries in a duel with each other. This would certainly explain why Jake freaks out to see a "hawk" in the climax, but it's never mentioned in the film itself.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Rattlesnake Jake isn't just any old style of rattler, he's specifically a Western diamondback. How appropriate. Because, you know, the movie is a Western.
    • In one scene, Rango (prior to actually becoming Rango) imitates a gun-slinging, bowlegged beetle. In real life, there's a large beetle that lives in the desert that's so poisonous and aggressive that one species of lizard imitates it as a juvenile — the only known case of a vertebrate imitating an invertebrate — by copying its markings and tall, bowlegged stance (at 1:30).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The fact ILM is now doing animation after Lucas sold off the Pixar section of its department years ago.
    • Some of Raoul Duke's hallucinations at the bar came to life!
    • In this movie, Johnny Depp plays a gunslinger who has a competent Native American sidekick. Seems the tables have turned. And by the same director, no less.
    • The above hilarity actually goes back further when one considers that Deadman also had Depp as a gunslinger with a Native American companion.
  • Improved by the Re-Cut: Though the theatrical version is a fan favorite, Oscar-winning film, many consider the Extended Edition far superior, with the addition of more jokes and, most notably, an epilogue that wraps up the characters' stories instead of ending immediately after the climax.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Quite a few people have admitted that they watched the movie purely for Rattlesnake Jake.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Rattlesnake Jake, the terrifying mercenary who slithers in the desert outside of Dirt, is employed by the corrupt mayor of the town as muscle, but proves himself too vicious and threatening for even the mayor to fully rein in. Jake tears Rango down in front of the entire town by exposing his lies, and drives him out before terrorizing the remaining townsfolk into obeying the mayor's scheme. Even despite his murderous temperament, Jake demonstrates a surprising amount of perception by seeing through Rango's ruse with a "hawk" comprised of hundreds of bats in a few seconds, and Rango finally proving himself a hero ends with Jake shamelessly acknowledging him as someone worthy of his respect — while personally dragging out the mayor to his doom for daring to double-cross him with one last Ironic Echo: "Pretty soon, no one will believe you even existed."
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Ain't nobody gonna tango with the Rango."
    • "I tip my hat to you. One legend to another."
    • Rango with "The Chain". Explanation 
  • Misaimed Marketing: The fact that this movie was released by Nickelodeon Movies alone makes it downright perplexing that this innuendo and foul-language-ridden animated movie was marketed to kids.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The Spirit of the West.
    • The split-second cameos from Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo.
    • The spider who serves as the undertaker for Dirt only appears briefly, but makes a huge impression for his striking and creepy character design.
    • That one toad who gets eaten by a hawk.
  • Squick:
    • When the posse members are talking around the campfire, and Spoons reveals a little too much information.
    • Also sort of a Gross Background Event, but during that scene, we see Elgin, the black cat-thing, wring out his socks... into his cup. Fridge Brilliance: they're running out of water. Waste not.
  • Trailer Joke Decay: "That's for my gun. That's gun lotion."
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Rango is basically a photorealistic anthropomorphic chameleon, but with that little Hawaiian shirt he's sporting and his constant freakouts, how can you not love him? Real-life chameleons aren't that ugly.
    • Priscilla is pretty adorable too, which is pretty impressive considering aye-ayes are pretty damn ugly in real life. Along with Ambrose and possibly Ezekiel, she's one of the closest characters to being traditionally cute.
    • Waffles the horned toad is red-eyed, spiky, and nearly toothless, and is one of the cutest characters in the film.
    • Poor Beans got slapped with the creepy stick harder than most of the other characters (she looks less like a desert iguana than an alien in a wig and a dress), but she has some undeniable appeal as well.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley: It's a tad jarring to see a bunch of eerily realistic animals running around in clothes and talking, but it was obviously done as a stylistic choice, similar to the illustrations of storybooks featuring animal characters in very human situations.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Just about all of the animation in the film is fantastic. Naturally, it's from Industrial Light and Magic, who had only ever done fully realistic effects before this.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Even barring the foul language, innuendo, and moments of violence, this isn't exactly the kind of flick that is designed to grab kids' attention, with the character designs that border on Unintentional Uncanny Valley and overall different themes and pacing to the usual animated kids' movie.

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