In the new animated comedic Western movie "Rango," director Gore Verbinski encapsulates the true identity crisis every living being undergoes one time in their life. We had the opportunity to interview Gore Verbinski as well as Abigail Breslin (who played Priscilla, the mouse).
Verbinski, who studied at the UCLA school of film, described that there is nothing intuitive in animation; everything is conceived. That is to say, every small gesture, wink, or chin scratch must be fabricated meticulously, culminating in the end goal: achieving a desired feeling. Gore explained that for 16 months, 7 members of his team worked in the hills above Pasadena with their "microphone and Macintosh." Making the movie was "basically a lot of pencil and paper." The crew had 20 days with the actors and created highly detailed two-dimensional artwork. Verbinski was able to portray astoundingly human-like facial expressions and emotions to personify the odd creatures. For Gore, getting a "thought behind the eyes" was essential in achieving this emotional reality.
His inspiration for the film evolved out of a discussion of doing a Western. He had previous experience directing animation in part of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. He said, "You can say Pirate’s films are sort of Westerns. In the same way Star Wars is." He believes the character of Rango has a classical and Western sense. "It’s kind of classically-geeky," Verbinski admits.
He says the message he wants viewers to take away is "try to be who you are." He further says, "Things get complicated when people start believing you."
Verbinski said that Johnny Depp, the oh-so-famous man who played Rango, was onboard with the movie very early. They had discussed doing an animated Western while filming one of the Pirate’s movies. Verbinski mentioned that there are certain moments of Johnny that completely remind him of the character Rango.