Directed by Gore Verbinski, ‘Rango’ is a computer-animated Western adventure film with a powerful voice cast comprising Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, and Timothy Olyphant, among others. Following its release in 2011, the movie quickly received critical acclaim and even scored an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature film. It tells the journey of a titular pet chameleon who gets stranded in a wild desert full of dangers and challenges. The only problem is Rango is grossly unskilled to survive in the region. Through a series of accidental and unintentional events, however, he somehow finds himself becoming the sheriff of the desert town.
As Rango plays pretend in his new role, he meets new people and eventually transforms into the real hero the town needs. ‘Rango’ tells a bizarre yet touching story while being visually stunning and engaging. It’s easy to lose yourself in the world and characters of the movie’s making, so after watching it, the viewers must be left looking for similar animated stories. If you’re looking for something similar to ‘Rango,’ here is a list of recommendations that you might like!
8. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
‘Wreck-It Ralph’ is a Disney animated movie directed by Rich Moore. In the after-hours of Litwik’s Arcade, every video game character gets to live their lives outside of the roles they play in their games and travel to other worlds. Ralph, the assigned Bad Guy in his game, Fix-It Felix, is tired of being a villain and constantly being antagonized by everyone around.
In an effort to change his life, he escapes into other games and eventually ends up in a car racing game called Sugar Rush. There he befriends an outcast named Vanellope von Schweetz, and together the two try to prove their worth. However, their journey unknowingly puts the lives of all the arcade characters in danger. Ralph and Rango are similar characters that try to prove themselves and, as a result, save their worlds from an evil villain.
7. The Lego Movie (2014)
Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, ‘The Lego Movie’ has an insanely stacked voice cast, including Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Ferrell, among many others. The story is set in a world of Lego, where Emmet, a regular constructor worker, is recruited into a ragtag team of individuals who try to foil an evil businessman’s plans of taking over the world. A whacky premise that is executed remarkably well and brings a new story to the world of animated movies, ‘The Lego Movie, like ‘Rango’ is an adventure story revolving around an entertaining hero’s journey.
6. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
Directed by Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon, and Tom McGrath, ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ is the third installment in the Madagascar franchise. With a voice cast consisting of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith, the movie continues the story of Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria. After escaping Africa, the four try to make their way to New York.
In the process, the team buys a circus in hopes of getting an American tour deal with an American promoter. Meanwhile, an animal control officer, Captain Chantel DuBois, tries to hunt Alex to add him to her collection of taxidermy animals. Like ‘Rango,’ ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ is also filled with wild adventures and bizarre characters.
5. Megamind (2010)
Directed by Tom McGrath, ‘Megamind’ is a superhero comedy with Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, and Brad Pitt behind the voice of its characters. It takes a different approach to the classic superhero story by having its protagonist start out as a supervillain instead. Our protagonist, Megamind, is an alien baby sent to Earth for his safety. However, he isn’t the only one, as his arch-nemesis, Metro Man, has an identical backstory to Megamind.
Nevertheless, Metro Man is celebrated by their peers while Megamind is bullied. The two naturally fall into a superhero/supervillain dynamic, but the lives of the citizens of Metro City are changed forever when Megamind actually manages to defeat Metro Man. If you enjoyed the comedic, eccentric storytelling in ‘Rango,’ then ‘Megamind’ would be great for you!
4. WALL-E (2008)
‘Wall-E’ is Pixar’s sci-fi family movie directed by Andrew Stanton. It tells the story of Wall-E, a trash collector robot who is the last of his kind, left behind to clean up Planet Earth. After years of corporate greed that had resulted in irreversible environmental damage, humans fled Earth to live in advanced spaceships. Now after centuries, Wall-E remains the sole inhabitant of Earth until another robot named EVE is sent on a recon mission to get information on the sustainability of life on Earth.
When the two discover a little seedling, it sends them on an adventure throughout the galaxy in an effort to bring life back to Earth. ‘Rango’ and ‘Wall-E’ are both character-driven stories, with protagonists that accidentally get shoved into the roles of heroes.
3. Kung-Fu Panda (2008)
‘Kung-Fu Panda’ is the first installment that started its franchise of the same name. Directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne, the film revolves around Po, a giant, clumsy Panda whose dreams of fighting alongside his warrior heroes, Masters Tigress, Monkey, Crane, Viper, and Manti s—The Furious Five — become true when he is chosen to be The Dragon Warrior.
The movie has an impressive voice cast consisting of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, and many others. Like Rango, Po also stumbles into his heroic journey but only realizes his actual role as a savior after he stops pretending and comes into his own. Fans of ‘Rango’ will enjoy his entertaining comedic world of ‘Kun-Fu Panda.’
2. A Bug’s Life (1998)
Directed by John Lasseter and co-director Andrew Stanton, ‘A Bug’s Life’ is a comedy about an ambitious but prone-to-accidents inventor ant named Flik. Flik’s ant colony is terrorized by a band of grasshoppers led by Hopper. After Flik accidentally destroys the colony’s food stock meant to use as payment for Hopper, he embarks on a journey to find bigger bugs to help his colony fight back against the grasshoppers. What he finds instead is a circus troupe. Similar to ‘Rango,’ the protagonist in ‘A Bug’s Life’ is also incompetent but lovable and saves his community against tyranny.
1. Cars (2006)
Set in a world devoid of people and instead entirely inhabited by sentient vehicles, Pixar’s ‘Cars’ is directed by John Lasseter with Owen Wilson as the voice of its lead. Lightning McQueen, a hotshot fresh-faced race car, is on his way to California when he gets into an accident in the small town of Radiator Springs. Forced to repair the town’s road as community service, McQueen finds himself becoming a part of a community full of charming oddballs and misfits and learns the importance of teamwork.
McQueen, like Rango, goes through a transformative experience brought on by unexpectedly getting stuck in a new place. Both movies also employ a cast of quirky, lovable characters that help the protagonists in their character development and offer them friendship and support. If you were a fan of ‘Rango’ and are looking for a similar story structure, then ‘Cars’ would be the perfect fit for you.
Read More: Best Animated Movies of All Time