The "unusual, hilarious and endearingly weird" 'Rango' hit theaters last weekend (check out our own Eric D. Snider's review of the movie), and the animated PG western is causing a stir among anti-smoking advocates who say that the number of characters who light up are unacceptable. "A lot of kids are going to start smoking because of this movie," said Stanton Glantz director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California–San Francisco.
Breathe California's project "Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down!" has been keeping a tally of instances where characters in 'Rango' smoke, and Kori Titus, CEO of the nonprofit, says the numbers are up to 60. According to Titus, the only other animated film to match 'Rango' was '101 Dalmatians,' whose cruel character, Cruella De Vil, was a total chain-smoker (also 60 times over).
Glantz's group and other smoke-free organizations are renewing efforts with the MPAA to slap an R-rating on any film that shows smoking. In late February, Smoke Free Movies (another one of Glantz's projects) ran ads in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter that panned studio execs for approving a PG-rating. "If we had known it's as bad as it is, this ad would have been even tougher," Glantz said.
Oh! My word! 2012 is coming!