Assessment 2: Movie Analysis
1500 words equivalent
Answer ONE (1) of the following:

Referring to ONE film we study, investigate how the themes of the film are
communicated to the audience. (HINT: look at techniques and motifs used by the

Referring to ONE film we study and ONE film by the same director, explore the theory of
unique vision by a single auteur. (HINT: look at all the aspects that suggest a director is
an auteur to answer, eg style, cast and themes)

Referring to ONE film we study, investigate how the editor of a film can be the narrator
of a story, and explain how the narrative is told to the audience. (HINT: look at narrative
structure, voice, and editing styles)

Referring to ONE film we study, investigate and explain how the mise‐en‐scene of a film
can place it in a certain genre/s. (HINT: Look at the 5 aspects of mise‐en‐scene to reveal
tropes used for the films main‐genre and sub‐genre categories)




Only use films from our study list! All of these films are available on XBMC and Media
Lab. (you may mention or discuss other films to expand or complete your answer):

1. Elephant by Gus Van Sant
2. The Royal Tennenbaums by Wes Anderson
3. Lost In Translation by Sofia Coppola
4. Kill Bill 1 (and/or Kill Bill 2) by Quentin Tarantino
5. Waste Land by Lucy Walker
6. Memento by Christopher Nolan
7. Rango by Gore Verbinski

You can submit this assessment as a written analysis (with proper paragraphing
structure) or any equivalent media work such as a video/photo essay, website, flash file,
interactive keynote, prezi, or any other media that you feel comfortable using.


This must be submitted on both JIVI and the BLOG. (We will not be responsible for
problems with uploading, fix it yourself!)

Written assessments should preferably be converted to PDF with a Title Page/Cover.
There is a guide on the blog on how to upload PDF’s as a POST. Also have proper
paragraphing structure.

The due date for this assessment is WEEK 13, Friday 8th.June




Theme of the Movie ‘Rango’

The wild animated movie ‘Rango’ by Gore Verbinski is a true assembly line of classic western themes. The fresh genre ecosystem is iconized in best possible manner bustling with desert animals. The arid desert spectrum is centre of attention and the western costumes are very much detailed. The settings used in the movie help in heightening the notes of evocative dreamlike. There is a sly mixture of subtexts and characters which makes Rango over and above the rest animation movies.

Although it is very crucial that western themes are dominated by perimeters and borders, but the Director of the movie, Verbinski totally tries to deconstruct the notion in the opening sequence of the movie through physical entrances by introducing a thespian and titular lizard ‘Rango’. Rango the main hero of the movie acts out his passion for playing at the back seat of the car owned by his master[1]. In this scene the director has used motifs like the headless doll which acts as Rango’s heroine, a wind-up fish toy and a palm tree in the theatrical cage[2].  The fish is yellow in colour and depicts the colour of the desert’s sand.  The yellow fish is the only friend he has in the cage [3]. All these motifs clearly show the fantasy world of Rango where deep rooted layers of deception exist.

Rango  is also one of the theme-park rides kind of animated movies just like “Megamind”  and “Despicable Me” which have posed as big-ticket corporate amusements to the core and thrilling till they are at box office and once gone they are forgotten[4]. However the theme of Rango is a bit different from the other counterparts of its genre although it is also have-fun-or-else cartoon movie by the anarchic and rambling tale is much more eccentric and crushingly gratifying too.

When the director, Gore Verbinski started making the movie Rango, he was very much adamant to make it not just look but also feel like other Western theme oriented movies which evoke the typical sweat, dirt and gritty feeling just like being in desert[5]. Even the associate animation supervisor was found saying that the director wanted to be able to smell the typical desert like breath of all the characters in the movie. The main feeling which the director wanted to convey to the audience was that if they take a deep breath, they should be able to inhale all the dust and dirt and probably start coughing as a result, much like what happens in the deserts. Although creating the look of traditional Western was one of the biggest challenges for both the animators as well as the director.

The Wild western theme is best picturised by the main character Rango, a domesticated lizard with an active power of imagination and wears Hawaiian short. There is  very small , blink- and- you- miss- it  nod being given to the memory of Hunter S. Thompson too who is a personal  touchstone for Johnny Depp too[6] and is well connected with the iconography of the West which the main character , Rango sets out to explore in this movie. The other techniques which Verbenski has used to communicate the theme of the movie to the audience is the tumbleweeds, dusty rock formations, and cactuses which typically symbolise the West. This is not it the director has also used the hallucinatory tradition of desert which includes Wile E. Coyote and Carlos Castaneda[7].

It has been found that for most of the animation movies, the director records all the lines or dialogues of the actors in empty sound studios where there is no other sound. But in order to make the Theme much realistic and convey  the feel of ‘Rango’ to the audience the director of the movie convinced all the actors in the film to perform and deliver their dialogues  on a physical , tinker-toy set based in the tiny fictional Mojave Desert Town of Dirt,  where the whole plot of the movie moves[8].

Verbinski wanted the whole movie ‘Rango’ to be flooded with natural light as it happens in deserts, but doing it in digital film is tough, but techniques were used so that the scenes which need natural abundant lighting should appear the way they should and in the same manner as it happens. ‘Light Bouncers’ were used, albeit digital ones, for direct lighting on the digital sets at an angular level, which gave a lot of light just like natural light in deserts[9].That is how the saloon scenes appear to be darker whereas the scenes shot in the desert are flooding with bright light. Even the characters sitting inside the saloon appear darker, whereas the windows outside the saloon are bathing in light.

All the characters in the movie were designed taking the base as animals, but they had some exceptions like they behaved like human beings just to correlate with their audience or spectators. All the characters except for few wear multiple layers of clothing’s too just like human beings. Rather we can say that all the characters of the movie are human beings in reality with animal design motifs layered on to them to add the effect of desert. Even the mayor in the movie acts like John Houston from the movie Chinatown, but he does not act like a turtle[10].

Then in the Desert town, Dirt most of the suspicious animal citizens can be seen wearing clothes which seem to be designed straight away by Sergio Leone spaghetti western, who greet Rango when he enters the town. Even the wary characters sitting in the saloon in the Dirt can be seen wearing vests, cowboy hats and gun belts just like typical cowboys[11].

Although it was quite difficult for the modellers to create the two main characters of the movie Rango and Bean and even the look developers had tough time to make them. Rango, the main hero of the movie who was suffering from identity crisis needed the right amount of detailing; just a little bit more of detailing would make him look crusty. At the same time even the Beans needed to look pretty although being a lizard. She needed to be detailed and look pretty just like a leading lady of the movie. To depict the central theme of the movie some of the characters in the movie were made to look grotesque, like one model was a kid who had a mullet and belonged to the animal world of Dirt and looked very ugly[12]. The detailing of this character is so fine in the movie that the over-agitated fur due to scratching has also been depicted. Another character is a rodent who has gauze on his one eye. With all these little detailing all the characters typically depicted where they are from.

Even the ‘emotion capture’ techniques have been used for some scenes by Verbinski in the movie to get the spirit of the west into the movie[13]. The ugly characters and the varied techniques used by Gore Verbinski in the movie Rango are a perfect way to communicate the theme of the movie to the audience in right manner. Everywhere we can see that the director has tried to create the motifs like the ‘Yellow Fish’ wind-up toy, the dirt and teh grime of desert, the cacti, the main lead hero ‘Rango’, and his muse ‘Bean’ lizard are some of the animated figures which are used to picturise the Western theme[14]. The ‘light bouncers’ and ‘emotion capturing’ along with typical animation techniques make us feel sometimes as if we are walking in the desert, which is what Verbinski wanted to portray.





Beck, J. (2011) “Rango” Talkback, 4 March, [Online] [2 June 2012].

Heath, G.J. (2011) Rango: Movie REview, 28 February, [Online], Available: [2 June 2012].

Kane (2011) Rango: theme, [Online], Available: [6 June 2012].

McCarthy, T. (2011) Rango-Film Review, 3 January, [Online], Available: [6 June 2012].

Robertson, B. (2011) ‘Claim Jumpers’, Computer Graphics World, March.

Scott, A.O. (2011) There’s a New Sheriff in Town, and He’s a Rootin’-Tootin’ Reptile, 3 March, [Online], Available: [2 June 2012].

Shi Jingwei, S. (2011) Movie Analysis: Rango , [Online], Available: [6 June 2012].

Terdiman, D. (2011) With ‘Rango,’ ILM wrangles first animated feature, 1 March, [Online], Available: [2 June 2012].

 Western Animation: Rango, [Online],Avaialble: [6 June2012].





[1] (Heath, 2011)

[2] (Heath, 2011)

[3] (McCarthy, 2011)

[4] (Scott, 2011)

[5] (Terdiman, 2011)

[6] (Scott, 2011)

[7] (Scott, 2011)

[8] (Scott, 2011)

[9] (Terdiman, 2011)

[10] (Robertson, 2011)

[11] (Robertson, 2011)

[12] (Robertson, 2011)

[13] (Beck, 2011)

[14] (Shi Jingwei, 2011)


“The presented piece of writing is a good example how the academic paper should be written. However, the text can’t be used as a part of your own and submitted to your professor – it will be considered as plagiarism.

But you can order it from our service and receive complete high-quality custom paper.  Our service offers MOVIE  essay sample that was written by professional writer. If you like one, you have an opportunity to buy a similar paper. Any of the academic papers will be written from scratch, according to all customers’ specifications, expectations and highest standards.”

Please  Click on the  below links to Chat Now  or fill the Order Form !

order-now-new                            chat-new (1)


  1. Pingback: Allice
  2. Pingback: Nikol

Comments are closed.