As we're told at the beginning of the film, this story is about a hero. Actually, he's not one yet - he's more a hero in the making. Our first impression of Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) is anything but that - he's more of an artsy type with hero dreams.
The poetic chameleon lands in the Wild Wild West and, on his search for water, befriends Beans (Isla Fisher), a female iguana. Together they journey to the cracklingly dry town of Dirt, which is in the middle of a water crisis. All the water reserves are low and Rango, who is made sheriff, sets out to investigate.
Unfortunately his detective skills haven't quite caught up with his enthusiasm. But his idealism pushes him to become the hero he's always imagined he was.
Rango and his posse are far from adorable; in fact, they verge on the hideous, yet you're still engaged by their plight. Once you fall for Rango's personality, his looks begin to grow on you. Even when he's rambling on and on (mostly to himself) a la Woody Allen, you still feel for him.
At times, the visuals push the boundaries between reality and animation - you'd swear they were live-action shots and not computer-generated ones. Hardly surprising, when the folks at George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic worked on this gem.