Five Things You Didn't Know About 'Rango'

A lizard who lives in a terrarium. Starring Johnny Depp. Directed by Gore Verbinski. Set in the Mojave Desert. Has there ever been a more unlikely combination? Maybe, but "Rango" looks like it's going to pass with flying colors regardless when it hits theaters today.

But there's a lot of elements of the film that you probably had no idea about, like the way the CGI was captured and who Depp based Rango on. After the jump, we give you some insight into just how special this little film actually is.

The Film Was Shot In Live Action

"Rango" might not be the first film to employ its actors to be shot live and in action ("The Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Monster House," "Happy Feet" and "Beowulf" were all shot similarly), but it certainly is the best looking. Instead of locking its actors in sound studios for them to recite their lines, director Gore Verbinski had his actors perform their roles in live action to capture their movements and get more realistic chemistry between them. From the looks of the trailers, we're impressed.

It's Industrial Light & Magic's First Animated Film

The special effects company that George Lucas created for "Star Wars" after the special effects department at 20th Century Fox was shut down has worked on many films over its 35 year lifespan, but somehow it hasn't made a fully animated film. Until now, that is, which explains why the animation looks so darn good. And if the story stands up as well, Pixar might have another rival on its hands.

It's Also Gore Veribinski's First Animated Film

And knowing Verbinski's great relationship with Depp through the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, we're sure the chemistry the two of them have will be enough to carry this movie through any potential mishaps.

Johnny Depp Based His Character On Hunter S. Thompson

This shouldn't be too much of a surprise based on the look of Rango, but Johnny Depp has supposedly based the character he created in the film on the late gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson, a man he already played in "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" and will play again in "The Rum Diaries." Welcome to lizard country!

It's The First Animated Film To Have "Smoking" In Its MPAA Rating Description

Well, also for rude humor, language and action, but it is a bit surprising to learn that the film is rated PG for smoking too. Then again, knowing what Depp based Rango on, it's not the biggest shock of the century.

Is "Rango" a film you're looking forward to? Were you surprised by any of these things? Let us know in the comments section or on Twitter!

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