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'Rango' riffs on classic movies

The animated “Rango” is packed with cinematic shout-outs

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Do the hardscrabble desert critters in Rango remind you of certain legendary characters from the silver screen? They should. The animated romp is packed with cinematic shout-outs. Here are six.

1. Johnny Depp’s Rango sounds like Kermit but is modeled on Don Knotts’ gunslinger/dentist from The Shakiest Gun in the West.

2. The tortoise mayor’s white hat, suspenders, and stentorian voice are nods to John Huston’s nasty Noah Cross from Chinatown.

3. Machine-gun-tailed baddie Rattlesnake Jake recalls The Good, the Bad and the Ugly‘s Lee Van Cleef, complete with scaly mustache.

4. Depp’s own Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas pops up when Rango is thrown from a car and splats on Duke’s windshield.

5. In bad times, Rango dreams of a Spirit of the West, who appears in the poncho-wearing form of A Fistful of Dollars-era Clint Eastwood.

6. A metal-beaked hawk who terrorizes Rango and the townsfolk is a tribute to Tim Strawn, Lee Marvin’s tin-nosed villain from Cat Ballou.