Depp`s `Rango` upsets anti-smoking campaigners

Updated: Mar 13, 2011, 09:31 AM IST

London: Anti-smoking campaigners have slammed Johnny Depp`s animated movie `Rango` for glamourising smoking onscreen.

The movie, which features the voices of Depp, Isla Fisher and Bill Nighy, follows a group of chameleons searching for water that has been stolen from a town called Dirt.

Throughout the film "at least 60 instances of characters smoking" have been counted, according to Kori Titus, CEO of non-profit organisation Breathe California, a daily reported.

The activists claim the images of animated lizards and birds puffing on cigarettes pose a risk to children, who are usually the target audience for animated movies.

Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California-San Francisco, says, "A lot of kids are going to start smoking because of this movie."

Campaigners now want movie chiefs to add a Surgeon General`s warning to the project.

A spokesperson for movie studio Paramount, Virginia Lam, insisted they never meant to condone smoking and they ensured the main character isn`t seen puffing away.

"The images of smoking in the film... are portrayed by supporting characters and are not intended to be celebrated or emulated."