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Gnomeo & Juliet

A movie directed by Kelly Asbury

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To See or Not To See... Gnomeo & Juliet will have Shakes rolling in his grave

  • Mar 11, 2011
  • by
To 3D or not 3D, that is the question. Okay, not really but you get the joke. Much like that weak pun, Gnomeo & Juliet has its moments to shine, before falling to pieces. The cute kid friendly take on Romeo and Juliet does a decent job introducing the classic play to children, but falls flat with many of its jokes. Unlike Shrek, Gnomeo (which is a Disney film) appears to forget what it's trying to achieve mid-way through the film. One of the reasons why so many love the original Shrek is because it took something from almost every animation we had available to us growning up and included it in the parodies throughout its story. Gnomeo (being "family friendly Disney") tried to pun its way through classic Shakespeare, but forgot the puns. It could have taken advantage of all the Disney tales that have come before and used them to create fun new jokes for kids. If only they could laugh at themselves a little, especially since they are releasing the film as a Touchtone production. Instead we get a parody of an American Beauty scene, which seems a bit out of place, if you know what I mean.

Gnomeo & Juliet tells the story of rival gnomes (the Reds and the Blues) that live in the backyards of Mr Capulet and Miss Montague, which is separated by a wooden fence. Much like Toy Story, the gnomes come to life to continue their war when the humans are not home or looking into the backyards. The play on how ridiculous some of the garden gnomes can be is brought to life when the war between Reds and Blues is nearly discovered and they must "freeze". It is not until Gnomeo meets Juliet before the real trouble starts. The only difference between the real Romeo and Juliet and this animated version is that there is only one tragic, or rather one tragically funny death for poor ol' Tybalt.

The biggest highlight for the adults in the audience will be the star-studded cast that lends their voices to the entertaining lawn ornaments. With stars like Michael Caine (Lord Redbrick), Maggie Smith (Lady Bluebury), Patrick Stewart (Bill Shakespeare), James McAvoy (Gnomeo), Emily Blunt (Juliet), Ozzy (Fawn), Hulk Hogan (Terrafirminator), Jason Statham (Tybalt) and last but not least Dolly Parton (Dolly Gnome) it is no wonder the film does, at the very least, keep us entertained. The only issue I have with the film is it does not hold up to the names attached. Like Disney films that have come before, Gnomeo attempts to include a handful of songs, but fails miserably to add anything to the story or have any significance to that being portrayed on the screen, only adding minutes to those particular scenes where they are included, making it feel like the scenes will drag on forever. I felt that the addition of the songs were nothing more than an after thought, drawn up because the original running time was too short to be considered a feature film and were the best they could come up with to fill the run time. A good example of the use of music is when "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" was played in full, which almost mocks the use in Miramax's Ella Enchanted. If only more effort was put out to make a quality film and the budget was directed towards better writing instead of on a 3D distribution, which added nothing to the film, but at the prices one pays to view a 3D movie, add much to Disney’s bottom line.

Gnomeo & Juliet is a cute story, although a poor attempt on Disney’s part to come up with a Shrek-like film. The use of 3D is pulled off, however there is really no point to it. Unlike Yogi Bear, there are no flying turtles, bears or anything that flies at the screen for that matter. Although this was the first 3D film that did not leave me walking out of the theater with a headache, unlike the recently released Sanctum which I’m still feeling the pain. I wish studios would get over their 3D kick and just give us some quality films. Gnomeo & Juliet will entertain young children, and it’s nice to see that they are getting introduced to some classic literature, though, in Disney’s typical style, rewrites the storyline to a more family friendly tale. It is an ideal film for parents or relatives of children under the age of 10.
I give Gnomeo & Juliet a 3 out of 5.

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More Gnomeo & Juliet reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
one mild spoiler      I do understand the reason some critics may not have liked this, but I absolutely adored it. The first really good movie I saw in 2011 and one of the better animated films I have seen in a while, especially in the fact that it isn't from any of the three major animation companies. Gnomeo and Juliet may be a little too self-referential at times, but most of the time it doesn't go too over-the-top and I actually found it quite funny. It also gave the …
review by . February 19, 2011
'Gnomeo & Juliet' 'Two Jews On Film' Find Their Inner Gnome
Can two young teenagers find love despite their warring families? Well, we all know how Romeo and Juliet ended up. However in the 3D version of 'Gnomeo & Juliet' directed by Kelly Asbury, things don't turn out quite as tragic for our lovers. 'Gnomeo & Juliet' takes place in contemporary Stratford-onAvon, Shakespeare's birthplace. Miss Montague (voice of Julie Walters) and Mr. Capulet (voice of Richard Wilson) are neighbours and they absolutely hate each other. Their …
review by . July 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Exceeded Expectations in Terms of Charm
   There's a pretty strong chance that had Disney not come on board with distribution and promotion for Gnomeo and Juliet, the film wouldn't have made that big of a splash here in the United States. But back in early 2011, it was pretty difficult to avoid the slurry of commercials, trailers and posters (complete with catchy little taglines like "A Little Adventure Goes a Lawn Way"). And let's be honest: The computer generated feature film industry can be very, very …
review by . February 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         I don’t think I’m spoiling anything when I say that the ending of Gnomeo & Juliet is not the same as that of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Come on now, do you honestly believe that children could tolerate the title characters killing themselves? Could they, for that matter, tolerate any aspect of the original play? For them – and, indeed, for many adults – Shakespeare is completely outside their range of comprehension; …
review by . June 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
you see this face...its a happy gnome face!
So i won the coin toss on base and got to pick the movie for friday night, so i made a room full of marines watch Gnomeo and Juliet. After all the grumbling and groaning we sat down and not 15 mins into it there wasnt a person in the room who hadnt laughed at least once. This is the animated reworking of Shakespeares tale of Romeo and Juliet. There is a garden battle raging between the reds and the blues, compleate with lawn mower racing and plots of attack on eachothers plants. Amidst all the crazyness …
review by . April 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Gnomeo and Juliet, as expected, is basically just a remake of the old famous shakespeare play "Romeo and Juliet". Though as seen by the title, this film stars Garden Gnomes, instead of people. Most everyone in the world probably knows this story, but I have to explain it anyway. The Capulets and Montagues are neighbors that hate each other, but live side by side. Their many garden gnomes in the backyard come alive when the humans are not around, and well they hate each other too. …
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Anyone who's ever seen a Pixar or Dreamworks animation film will know right of the bat that Gnomeo & Juliet is not the same caliber as either Toy Story or Shrek... not even close.   The film is essentially a very loosely re-imagined version of Shakespeare's classic tragic romance. However, this film falls a bit short on the Shakespeare (don't expect iambic pentameter), the classical nature of poetry and plays (there are a few cute references to other classic plays but that's …
About the reviewer
Hannah aka Angry Penguin ()
Ranked #110
I am a film fanatic, constantly watching films new and old. When not watching movies I'm reading YA lit or sci-fi/fantasy novels, or working on completing my own book.      If … more
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About this movie


Gnomeo and Juliet is an American-British upcoming CGI animated film based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.
The film is the original idea of Rob Sprackling and John Smith who sold the spec script to Disney through Rocket Pictures. Initially, the film was going to be produced by Disney Feature Animation, but was shut down by its new chief, John Lasseter, after the Pixar acquisition. Miramax Films picked up the project and guided its production until the division closed down. The film will now be released under the Touchstone Pictures banner on February 11, 2011.
The film will be distributed internationally by E1 Entertainment, and the film will be released in 3D. The film's soundtrack will be provided by Elton John[1] and James Newton Howard. John also presented 10 minutes of the film at the Cannes Film Festival. The film's script was written by Rob Sprackling and John R. Smith, with revisions by Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley and Mark Burton. The film will be directed by Kelly Asbury.
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Director: Kelly Asbury
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 11 February 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: G
Screen Writer: Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton
Studio: Dreamworks Animation
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