The first trailer for the new Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Johnny Depp collaboration Rango hit the web today. The CGI animated film revolves around a pet chameleon named Rango (voiced by Depp) who winds up in the dangerous wild terrain of the Mojave desert.

My initial impression of Rango is strangely positive. It looks weird, but in a good kind of way. I can’t say the trailer itself is too original (How many kids movie trailers show the main character simply running around and crashing into things?) but there’s something there that piques my interest. Maybe it’s the sly Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas reference at the 1 minute 48 second mark.

Gore Verbinski has a strong talent for CGI spectacle, as evidenced by his work on Pirates of the Caribbean, so it’s no surprise to see that the animation is high quality. According to /Film, Verbinski has said that the “cutting-edge” animation from Industrial Light & Magic allowed him to “capture and translate every aspect of Johnny’s performance, using it to drive the computer-generated character in a way that has yet to be seen in an animated feature.” Ok… guess we’re not counting Avatar or A Christmas Carol, but I digress…

Check out the trailer below. For an HD version, head over to Apple.

Apart from the look of the film, I like Johnny Depp’s voice work and am eager to see how the rest of the diverse cast – which includes such notable names as Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Timothy Olyphant, Harry Dean Stanton, and Ray Winstone – sound in their respective roles.

To get a better feel for the movie, you should check out its official website, The site is interactive, which means you can click on various elements and characters to make them do things. For example, if you repeatedly click the guitar, one of the owls from the beginning of the trailer will come out and sing a song. As the movie gets closer to its premiere date, I’m sure the website will change to offer more traditional content, i.e. images, plot synopsis, etc.

In the meantime, here’s a poster showing Rango in all his bug-eyed glory (via FirstShowing).

Rango will hit theaters on March 18th, 2011. The film is written by John Logan (The Aviator) based off an original story by Gore Verbinski.

Source: /Film