Oops, you accidentally bought or rented this movie for your kids because it’s animated and Nickelodeon (a sister network to MTV) was one of the distributors. Don’t lose heart, this can be redeemed. It’s true, this movie probably should have been rated PG-13, and not marketed to young kids, but it actually has a great story and nice acting + visuals. Plus a very good redemptive message; let’s get into that.

“Rango”, whose real name we don’t learn, has been cast away from his cushy life as a pet (a life that he was bored to death with) and thrust into the real world of desert animals. He realizes that if he doesn’t get water soon he’s going to die, so he heads east toward the town of Dirt.

Rango went through a life changing experience, and this is not uncommon among people. In fact, sometimes terrible things happen to us that destroy the way of life we’ve grown accustomed to. But if Rango stayed in the terrarium the rest of his life he never would have really lived. The same is true for us, and perhaps if we were to stay in our bubble we’d never get to do something great! So God allows it to POP.

When he gets to Dirt he creates a new persona, Rango from the West, and he uses his acting skills to play the role well enough to earn the role of Sheriff.  We quickly learn that water is in very short supply in Dirt, and it has been getting worse and worse.

Water is life. Without it we all die. It’s no wonder that in Scripture water is often used as a symbol of the sustenance that comes from God. In particular, Christ gives the Water of Life, drink of it and you will never thirst again. Pay attention to the panic and suffering that the townspeople experience as they imagine that they may never get water again.

The Mayor, however, seems to have more than enough to quench his thirst. It turns out the Mayor has been redirecting the supply of water in an attempt to control the townspeople. He tells Rango that “Whoever controls the water controls the people” and “Water is Hope”.

This is very similar to the way that the Pharisees and Synagogue Leaders around the time of Christ were hording God for themselves. The Pharisees would twist Scripture and use traditions to control the poor and segregate gentiles. This is in sharp contrast to the call given to Israel to be a Light to the Nations; caring for the alien and those in need.

Rango takes a trip “to the other side” of the road. There he encounters the Spirit of the West and learns that he’s supposed to be the hero in his story. That’s when he figures out how the Mayor has been controlling the water, and how to bring it back. He returns to the town and brings the water with him, enough for everyone and more.

It’s true that Water is Hope, and the Mayor can no longer keep hope from the people, because the streets are flowing with it, and everyone is welcome to drink deep of it. Christ gives us hope, and all people have access to God through Him. No more can the Religious Leaders try and decide who is welcome in the Kingdom. This is Good News!

Discussion Questions:

  1. “Every Story needs a hero.” Who is the Hero in the story of your life?
  2. In the town of Dirt there is no water. People are very thirsty and they are dying because they have no water. Jesus offers us the Water of Life that only comes from God. For people who live without Jesus they will always be thirsty for true life, eventually they will die, that’s why it is so important that we share Jesus with them. (Jeremiah 2:13; John 4:14; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17)
  3. The Mayor was trying to control everyone by keeping them from getting water. He also said that water is hope. Why did he want to keep hope away from the town’s people?
  4. When Rango returned from “the Other Side” with lots of water. He brought hope back to the town. When Jesus was resurrected He also brought Hope with Him. The Bible says that when Jesus was resurrected, he gave us all hope, that death is not the end of our story, and One Day we too will be resurrected. Since that is true we should be more joyful and excited than all the people in the town of Dirt were when the water came back. Are you that joyful? (1 Corinthisans 15, Revelation 19:7)