Hollywood Film Festival picks ‘Rango’ as top animated pic


Paramount’s spring hit “Rango” is slated to receive the Animation Award at the 15th annual edition of the Hollywood Film Festival on Oct. 24. This fest is the first stop on the long road to the Oscars. The last four winners of this prize — “Ratatouille” (2007), “Wall-E” (2008), “Up” (2009), and “Toy Story 3” (2010) — all went on to win the Best Animated Feature race at the Oscars. 
In making the announcement, festival founder Carlos de Abreu said, “It is a great pleasure to recognize ‘Rango’ as the recipient of our animation award. This piece of cinematic treasure borders on surrealism and ‘Rango’ will be a classic for generations to come.”
Gore Verbinksi helmed “Rango,” a comic tale of a chameleon out on the range (voiced by Johnny Depp). The cast also included Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Timothy OlyphantHarry Dean Stanton and Ray Winstone. Two-time Oscar nominee John Logan scripted from a story he wrote with Verbinski and James Ward Byrkit
The film earned excellent reviews from most of the major critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the aggregate score from the top critics was 85 while over at MetaCritic a smaller sampling yielded a respectable 75.
Those results were boosted by hosannas from the likes of A.O. Scott of the New York Times who thought, “this rambling, anarchic tale is gratifyingly fresh and eccentric. Much of the time you don’t quite know where it is going, which is high praise indeed given the slick predictability that governs most other entertainments of its kind.” And raved Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, “‘Rango’ is some kind of a miracle: An animated comedy for smart moviegoers, wonderfully made, great to look at, wickedly satirical, and (gasp!) filmed in glorious 2-D. Its brilliant colors and startling characters spring from the screen and remind us how very, very tired we are of simpleminded little characters bouncing around dimly in 3-D.”

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