I rarely watch movies and since I've been here in Ukraine I don't have much taste for TV either. Neither of these facts is the result of a conscious choice. I do like films and if I had to admit a weakness for any particular genre then it would be for animated films. After seeing a trailer on YouTube, something pushed me to make time for "Rango". The soundtrack is great and some of the scenes, most even, are riotously funny and truly entertaining.
"Rango", however, has a very adult theme, even if the animation is spectacular and certain characters, like the armadillo and the head of the mole family, are so well drawn they deserve a place in an art gallery. When I say that the film has a very adult theme, what I mean is that it has "no redeeming social value" as it so scorns or scoffs at the things of the spirit. It's cutesie atheism or agnosticism flaunted on the silver screen and dished up with almost enthralling graphic detail, right down to the little mustache on the big rattlesnake.
All I could think of while I was watching it was, "I wonder how would it be rated by the Catholic Film Academy." The portrayal of so much cynicism when it comes to matters of the spirit deserves a warning to parents and a challenge to anyone not to go there hoping for more than mindless entertainment. The million dollar question is, of course, why couldn't it just have been mindless fun and great special effects? Did I really need to have human hope and ritual trashed?
As I say this, I remember back to my childhood when, before going to see a movie at the theater, we would check the rating on the chosen film in our Catholic paper. I also remember as an adolescent and perhaps even as a young adult being mystified by the poor rating some films got from the Academy. No doubt, others who have seen "Rango" will wonder about my worries and reservations. I think I'm right and I guess I'm sad that even an animated film has to be so jaded.