Wounded Bird the "Crow" Indian in Rango
"The film plays like a classic Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western crossed with a Nickelodeon kid's comedy with a little Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas thrown in as well. As a Western, the movie has everything from high noon gun battles to bitter fights over water rights to the stereotypical stoic Indian who once again seems incapable of speaking in complete sentences."
That last part refers to the character Wounded Bird.
That being said, he is the source of some comic relief with his one-liners and ends up being a clearly heroic figure in the end. Then again, the bad pun where Rango refers to Wounded Bird's "ingenuity" only to say "no pun intended" put a bad taste in my mouth.
The official film website over at http://www.rangomovie.com includes this description of Wounded Bird:
"A solid creature of the Crow Nation. Wounded Bird draws his inspiration from Native American Indian principles of harmony and quiet observation. His tracking skills are legendary and he's big in Finland for some reason."
I disagree. Wounded Bird draws his inspiration directly from the scores of Indian depictions in countless Hollywood Westerns. Rango is filled with every other Western cliche--saloon brawls, corrupt mayors, spineless townfolk, a mysterious stranger--so why not the quiet mystical stereotypical Indian! It wouldn't be a true homage without one!
Personally, I'm a fan of subverting tired cliches and stereotypes to challenge our expectations and get those cerebral juices flowing. Rango does just that when the Beans character (voiced by Isla Fisher) subverts the traditional female role to become a gun-slinging, posse riding hero in her own right.
So why couldn't they have done the same thing with Wounded Bird?