A forbidden love. A feud between two clans of garden dwarfs: the red ones and the blue ones.
What started this ancient old bickering, no one knows, except it’s ok to hate anything that has the opposing color. In the midst of all blushes a beautiful romance between a red girl and a blue boy. But how could they ever be happy? Their families are sworn enemies …
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Gnomeo & Juliet is a spoof of the classic Shakespeare tale: Romeo & Juliet. (Gnomeo by the way comes from the English word for dwarf, “gnome”).
Truth is: there aren’t many similarities, thank God for that! It would’ve made for a far too serious and dark storytelling.
No, Gnomeo & Juliet is actually quite the opposite. I mean, okay, the basics remain the same. A girl and a boy have feelings for each other which they can’t announce to anyone, due to the nature of the hate-crime that separates the reds from the blues.
But underneath that sadness houses a wonderful story full of colors – and not just red & blue – that will bring a smile to every child’s face, or every face of every person who’s still a child in their heart. It’s not just gnomes that are alive – there’s a lot more that lives in both gardens.
There are mushrooms sniffing the grass like dogs. Little tiny rabbits that, when provoked, aren’t so cute at all. A frog that just won’t shut up and is only half as funny as she thinks. There’s even a crazy-happy pink flamingo who speaks with a thick South-American accent.
Put them all together … and you have a circus of freaks that can match the weirdness but hilarity of the Muppet show.
Why this movie carries so many Elton John-songs is beyond me. Yes, he’s the co-producer of this movie but did he really had to stuff it up with his music? Isn’t he famous enough already?
Still, to watch a whole garden of gnomes shake their asses on the song ‘Crocodile rock‘ is a spectacle one should not miss! It’s truly very entertaining to watch!
With all of the excitement of watching a few dwarfs ride a lawn mower or how every single dwarf freezes to death when a human passes by, you’d forget the simple fact that Gnomeo & Juliet is beautifully animated.
To make the faces of the dwarfs so lifelike and to keep a lookout for the tiny little details – like when these ornaments turn their necks or arms or start running you actually hear the scraping of the stone from which they were built – is something that might not catch your attention immediately.
But in retrospect: it’s very delicately done and deserves our appreciation.
It makes for a better kind of animated movie.
Pity is that in terms of jokes there’s not too many laugh-out-louds.
The story is definitely interesting and some of the strange plot changes are super-entertaining, but there are no specific jokes that will stay with you, once the movie is over.
That’s definitely something the filmmakers are going to have to work on, if and when the day comes to make a sequel.
For voices, the movie depends on some of the greatest British actors.
The lead guy & girl are, amazingly enough, brought to life by two famous actors … but they totally disappear behind their animated counterpart. The voice of the boy is done by none other than James McAvoy and the girl gets the honey-sweet timbre of Emily Blunt.
Gnomeo & Juliet may not be a must-see or must-have masterpiece … but it’s good enough entertainment for young and old!
Did you know?
There are several references to ‘other’ Shakespeare stories. The house numbers, 2B and Not 2B in the very beginning is from Hamlet. When Juliet says ‘Out, out!’ to the big dog and the owner says ‘Damn, Spot!’ is from Macbeth. And the flower that Gnomeo and Juliet fight over is known as a Cupid’s flower, which finds it origins in the romantic tale: A midsummer night’s dream.
Give it to me short:
Gnomeo & Juliet is a wonderful wink towards the great classic tale of William Shakespeare. But instead of death and despair you get colorful dwarfs racing with lawn mowers, and the constant joy of watching an ancient-old feud between both sets of camp.
The entertainment value is very high, though there aren’t too many jokes that really work. It’s more of a relaxing adventure than a truly funny one.
But thanks to the pristine voice work of Britain’s finest, and the enchanting songs of Elton John against a backdrop of super-colorful ornaments such as little rabbits, a talkative pink bird and hundreds of garden dwarfs, not to mention the gardens themselves which are so neat and tidy … well … if you combine all those elements, one can only admire the beauty within Gnomeo & Juliet. It’s the perfect 90-minute escapism for all ages!
Who knew a movie about stone garden dwarfs would become such a fun, action-packed movie? Don’t miss this one … it’s actually quite good!