Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Directed by Kelly Asbury
Written by Andy Riley & Kevin Cecil and Mark Burton and Emily Cook & Kathy Greenberg and Steve Hamilton Shaw and Kelly Asbury

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the story of Romeo and Juliet. I say pretty much because you know who doesn’t? Children. Thus the film “Gnomeo & Juliet”, n animated film for kids that tells the story of Romeo and Juliet, but with garden gnomes! Yes, you heard right, classic Shakespeare with gnomes! Gnomeo is the dashing young Blue and Juliet is the gorgeous Red. The story is the same: the meat, fall in love, realize their love is forbidden, yada yada yada.

The cast includes the voice talents of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham and a few other British actors. They all do a nice job and the film is nice, cute and fun. The problem with the film is that it is way too episodic, which may stem from the fact that 7, count ’em 7, people helped write the screenplay. It is based on a screenplay by two gentlemen, so I wonder what needed to be adjusted when the final product is this. Also, Elton John, who is an executive producer, is featured prominently in a musical fashion, which seems a bit peculiar and has nothing to do with the story.

There seemed to be a great deal of fun references for the adults too, including, but not limited to, a recreation of the shot from Saving Private Ryan when the soldiers are storming the beach and the camera dips in and out of the water. It’s all well and good, but it has nothing to do with the film or the story it is telling. With all that being said, taking the perspective of what the target audience for this film is, it’s not half bad. The story is a good introduction for children to the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet. It has all the essential basics and a few neat, fun sequences that will be sure to entertain the kids.

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