dvd_rango_johnny-depp_ballad_art-making-outlaw-filmThe pleasure of watching Rango at home, especially as this terrific-looking Blu-ray DVD, is catching all the sly asides, the throwaway lines and oddball bits of wit that flew by at the theater.

Rango is that rare adult animated film that goes wherever the filmmakers felt like going, like Rocky & Bullwinkle did back when. In an extended scene, Buford, a toad, says, “I had a goiter removed once—looked like Tony Bennett steppin’ out of the shower,” to which his friend Mr. Fergus replies, in Pat Buttram’s voice, “Sheee—it. I’d put that on a tortilla!”

The fact that Rango is so loaded with references to old Westerns, and movies in general, only adds to the fun.

The process of directing and animating the movie is analyzed in considerable detail in David S. Cohen’s lavishly illustrated, coffee-table book, The Ballad of Rango: The Art & Making of an Outlaw Film. Cohen is a journalist and industry insider, particularly in the area of effects-driven movies. He knows all the right questions and who to get the answers from, so the writing is sharp and on-point. But the joy of the book is the art and the illustrations, which add a great deal to the enjoyment of the film.

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