Monday, 10 August 2020
Gnomeo and Juliet
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 15:03

Gnomeo and JulietWhat do Elton John and garden gnomes have in common? Well, besides being short, brightly coloured and notoriously tacky... The new animated film Gnomeo and Juliet features both the little plaster garden dwellers and Sir Elton himself as Executive Producer. I’m not quite sure what the lure was for him to sink money into this cartoon, but Elton sure got some bang for his bucks since his songs are prominently on display, blasting into the ears of an entire new generation.

McAvoy and Blunt as cute as buttonsThis isn’t your garden variety Shakespeare, but it takes the key elements of the bard’s classic tale of tragic love and makes it, well, tragic in a different way. There are still the Montague’s and Capulet’s, but the two houses in question are two halves of a side-by-side duplex. One neighbour likes red and the other blue, but little do they know there is a battle waging in their back yards all day while they are gone. At the centre of this feud are Gnomio (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt), two gnomes who meet by chance and fall in love. But will their story end in tragedy? Of course not – it’s a kids’ movie.

So sweet they make my teeth hurt!I had mixed feelings about this revamped romance, but it helped that my expectations were low. The story is cute and creative with lots of wacky little characters that kids will love. There are plenty of funny little jokes worked in for the adults – such as a banana logo on a computer instead of an Apple. And what is with the David Hasselhoff screen saver? There’s even a tear inducing moment involving a lonely pink lawn flamingo.

What doesn’t work are all the awkward and shameless Elton John tributes. Changing a few words of Crocodile Rock just seems lazy given the talent of a legendary musician. This ain’t no Lion King! The 3D is also completely unnecessary.

Gnomeo and Juliet should have small children entertained, but the Shakespearean references will go over their heads.

INFOKERNALS:

Directed by Kelly Asbury, Starring James McAvoy and Emily Blunt.

Other famous voices include those of Patrick Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne and Hulk Hogan.

James McAvoy will be taking over the role of Professor Xavier from Patrick Stewart in the new X-Men prequel.