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Rango is a 2011 American computer-animated Western comedy film directed by Gore Verbinski from a screenplay by John Logan. Co-produced by Verbinski with Graham King and John B. Carls, the film stars the voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant. The film's plot centers on Rango, a chameleon who accidentally ends up in the town of Dirt, an outpost that is in desperate need of a new sheriff. Rango was produced by Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Verbinski's Blind Wink Productions, King's GK Films, and Industrial Light & Magic.

Rango premiered at Westwood on February 14, 2011, and was released in the United States on March 4, 2011, by Paramount Pictures. The film was both a major critical and commercial success, grossing $245.7 million against a budget of $135 million. At the 84th Academy Awards, the film won Best Animated Feature, making it the first non-Disney or Pixar film to win since 2006's Happy Feet, and the last one to win until 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.


A pet chameleon becomes stranded in the Mojave Desert after his terrarium falls from his owners' car due to an accident. On the highway, he meets the cause of the accident, a nine-banded armadillo named Roadkill who is seeking the mystical "Spirit of the West" by trying to get to "the other side" (metaphor for the afterlife). After telling him that he is looking for water, Roadkill tells him of "Dirt", an Old West town where it is said that water comes in through a mysterious rite on Wednesdays, but unfortunately, it is far out into the desert. Seeing no other options, he walks out into the desert. While wandering the desert, he narrowly avoids being eaten by a vicious red-tailed hawk before meeting Beans, a desert iguana, who takes him to Dirt.

Asked about his identity, the chameleon presents himself to the townsfolk as a tough drifter named Rango, lying about killing a feared gang known as the Jenkins Brothers using only one bullet. He quickly runs afoul of Gila monster outlaw Bad Bill but avoids a shootout when Bill is scared off by the hawk's return. Rango is then chased by the hawk until he reaches an empty water tower that Rango accidentally knocks down and causes it to crush the hawk to death. For defeating the hawk, the town's elderly desert tortoise mayor appoints Rango as the town's new sheriff. Meanwhile, the townsfolk worry that with the hawk dead, the infamous gunslinger Rattlesnake Jake (who fears predators such as said hawk) will return.

After discovering that Dirt is in the midst of a drought and its only water supply, which is stored in the town bank inside a water cooler bottle, to be nearly empty, a skeptical Beans demands that Rango investigates where the water has gone. That night, Rango inadvertently assists a trio of bank robbers led by a mole named Balthazar, mistaking them for prospectors. The townsfolk find the bank's bottle stolen the next morning, so Rango organizes a posse. During the search, they find the banker, Johannes Merrimack III, to be dead in the middle of the desert, but oddly enough, the cause of his death was from drowning. The posse tracks the robbers to their hideout in a canyon, where they fight Balthazar's bat-riding clan over the stolen water bottle before discovering it to be empty. The robbers profess that they found it empty, but the posse still takes them into custody.

Rango questions the mayor about his buying of the land around Dirt, but he denies any wrongdoing and shows Rango that he is building a modern city with the purchased land. He later summons Rattlesnake Jake, who runs Rango out of town after forcing him to admit his lies to the townsfolk. A dejected Rango returns to the highway and crosses to the other side amidst the heavy traffic before passing out and being taken away by a multitude of pill bugs. Waking up the next morning, Rango meets the Spirit of the West, appearing as an elderly Man with No Name. After telling him what he did to the citizens of Dirt, the spirit tells Rango that he must go back and set things right, telling him that "No man can walk out on his own story".

With the aid of Roadkill and mystical moving yuccas, Rango discovers an emergency shut-off valve in a water pipeline to Las Vegas, Nevada, which the mayor has been manipulating to cause the water shortage so he could buy the land for himself. The rejuvenated Rango returns to Dirt to challenge Jake to a duel, a diversion so the yuccas can turn the pipeline's valve to bring the water back to town and allow Rango to make his resolve clear to Jake. However, the mayor forces Rango to surrender by threatening Beans' life before the duo are locked inside the bank's vault to be drowned. He then prepares to shoot Jake with Rango's gun, intending to kill him along with the rest of the Old West, but Rango has taken its only bullet, which he uses to shatter the vault's glass door, freeing himself and Beans. Impressed, Jake salutes Rango for proving his heroism before dragging the mayor out of town to murder him for his deception. The citizens of Dirt celebrate the return of their water supply and Rango is recognized as a true hero.