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The gags zing by like bullets in this fabulous-looking animated Western spoof, directed with panache by Gore Verbinski with Johnny Depp leading the vocal talent.

In a Wild West populated by animals, Depp, reuniting with Verbinski who made the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, is a skittish chameleon who passes himself off as gunslinger Rango and becomes sheriff of a desert town where the water has suspiciously run dry.

Among the critters and varmints he meets are Isla Fisher’s feisty lizard, Ned Beatty’s treacherous tortoise mayor and Bill Nighy’s villainous and deadly rattlesnake.

Adults will love all the references to classic Westerns, from High Noon and Shane to Sergio Leone’s legendary Spaghetti Westerns, and it sounds great, too, thanks to Hans Zimmer’s Ennio Morricone-inspired score and songs from Los Lobos in the guise of a band of mariachi-playing owls who pop up now and then to provide a running commentary on the action.