You have to give Walt Disney Studios a lot of credit for releasing ‘Gnomeo & Juliet.’ They took a tragic Shakespearean story, turned it into a kid’s movie, cast a bunch of classic actors — including Patrick Stewart as the Bard himself – and used Elton John songs for the soundtrack. That takes chutzpah.
The twist here is that the main characters are CG-animated gnomes voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. These two romantic souls fall in love, despite the fact that Gnomeo is a member of the “blue gnomes” and Juliet a member of the “red gnomes,” and their parents are adamantly against any intermingling.
Ironically, the one thing I didn’t like about this movie is that the songs didn’t really “go” with the storyline – which is odd considering that Elton John and David Furnish are producers on the film. Plus, I love Elton John’s music, but every time I started getting into a song, they’d cut it short and go back to the storyline. It’s like the music was tacked on as an after-thought after the filming was done.
Still, ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ is cute and different and interesting. The animation is fun to look at and features garden staples like frogs, flowers and mushrooms. And it’s never too soon to get the tots tuned into Shakespeare with references like “Tempest Teapots” and “Rosencrantz and Guildernstern Movers.”
If you’re worried about the ending, though, rest assured that all ends well. It’s Disney, after all. Read my full review here.