According to Paramount, what I'm linking to today isn't technically a teaser trailer.  It is "an announcement piece."  Now, I'm not familiar with that term, but I guess it's good that they describe this as something other than a trailer, because by any conventional standard, this would fail as a piece of advertising.

Paramount's in an interesting position on this one.  After all, "Rango" is the follow-up collaboration of director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, the first thing they've done together since the release of the final movie in the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" trilogy.  Verbinski intrigues me because despite this enormous financial success of that trilogy, I don't get the feeling he's a mainstream guy at heart.  I've met him and spoken to him a few times, and even when he was battling deadlines and dealing with the international salesmanship that goes with making a blockbuster, there was a piece of him that felt like it was watching all of that with bemused detachment.

This project has the vaguest synopsis possible at this point:  "The story of a chameleon with an identity crisis."  That's all the studio has released.  That and a cast list that includes Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, the newly-omnipresent Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and, most intriguingly, Timothy Olyphant as "The Spirit Of The West," whatever the heck that means.

John Logan, no slouch at all, is the screenwriter on the film, and it doesn't sound like a conventional animated film at all.  Verbinski's spoken a bit about how this is cutting-edge in terms of performance capture, with Depp giving the full performance as Rango, not just contributing the voice.

I guess it'll still be a while until we actually see the character in motion, but for now, here's the "announcement piece":

 

 

See what I mean?  That mechanical fish... he plagues me.  That is one freaky goldfish.

I hope this comes together as something unusual, because if this is just a conventional talking animal comedy after an announcement this oddball, I'll be very disappointed.

If you want to see a large HD version of the trailer, you can find it at Apple.com.

"Rango" will be in theaters March 18, 2011.

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