2D miracle: 'Rango' is animation at its best

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 2D. 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 3D.
    This is an inspired comic Western, deserving comparison with Blazing Saddles, from which it borrows a lot of farts. The more movies you've seen, the more you may like it; it even enlists big bats to lampoon the helicopter attack in Apocalypse Now. But let's say you haven't seen lots of movies. Let's say you're a kid. Rango may surprise you because it's an animated film that plays like a real movie and really gets you involved.
    The title character is a lizard, voiced by Johnny Depp. Just an ordinary lizard. You know, green and with scales and pop eyes. But to this humble reptile comes the responsibility of bringing civilization to Dirt, an untamed Western town tormented by villains and running desperately short on water. Full review.