Dir. Kelly Asbury, USA/UK, 2011, 84 mins
Review by Michelle Moore
The plot of this movie is, as you’ll have guessed from the title, very similar to Romeo and Juliet. Two sides are at war and a forbidden love emerges. In this instance the story takes place in Verona Drive in the homes of the Capulets (in the red caps) and the Montagues (blue) and the story focuses not on the families that live inside the houses but the gnomes who live in the back gardens. The main protagonists are Gnomeo (McAvoy) a blue fuelled by his pride and Juliet (Blunt) the independent daughter of the red garden leader . There are parallels between the Bard’s play and this film, such as obstacles that must be overcome, battling families and the death of a red family favourite. However, Gnomeo’s therapeutic meeting with a statue of William Shakespeare makes sure that his story has a very different ending.
Although the plot is neither original nor spectacular, there is something uniquely intriguing about it, mainly the animated gnomes, who tink and clink as they walk along, which effectively reveals hints at their ceramic fabrication even though they are animated and on the move. The movie is also very funny, with lines like “let’s go kick some grass” and images of gnomes dancing on laptops. Plus there’s a crazy flamingo called Featherstone and of course Ozzy Osbourne voicing the character of Fawn.
As in this week’s other animated offering Yogi Bear, Gnomeo and Juliet too makes use of 3D technology. This however, is one of the movie’s down sides. There is a complete lack of material in the story to justify its use. Nothing pops out of the screen at you, there is no grass appearing at the corner of your eye or shards of china as one gnome gets smashed. The film would have been more than sufficient in 2D and possibly more enjoyable, if you are one of those who find 3D glasses annoying. 3D imagery aside however, this movie may not be original but it still remains enjoyable.