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G&J
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Gnomeo & Juliet

As the name suggests this is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet but with garden gnomes and as you’d expect it isn’t exactly a faithful to the last detail version, but is nonetheless a cute and fun film for the family. Though there are some nice nods towards the play, such as the film starting with a narrator on stage and reading a prologue. Though the red gnomes and the blue gnomes are in a feud they live in the gardens of houses that belong to the Montagues and the Capulets, and they live on Verona Drive.

The story starts with Juliet on a pedestal in the Red garden, forbidden to leave by her father because she is delicate, when she hatches a plan to make her way in to an abandoned garden and fetch a flower back to make their garden the most beautiful, and to prove she’s not as delicate as her father believes. Meanwhile Gnomeo is infiltrating the Red garden in disguise to get revenge for the Blue’s lawn mower being smashed up, and while sneaking around he sees Juliet stealthily trying to get in to the near by garden and follows her.

Once in the abandoned garden they both become playfully competitive trying to get the flower first, and in their competition they slip and fall in to a pond and have their disguises washed away to discover they’re supposed to be feuding with each other and so their forbidden romance begins.

The voice acting is pretty well decent, it is a bit of a Who’s who of British actors voices, from Ozzy Osbourne to Michael Caine and Maggie Smith. I only saw the 2D version so I can’t comment on how it looks in 3D but I thought the animation was well done though not outstanding, I didn’t see anything that had a “wow-factor” to it, but it was nice, and the sound has some nice attention to detail with the clinks of the pot gnomes as they walked about. The story is also told pretty well with some nice nods such as being set in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Gnomeo talking to a statue of Shakespeare and being told his story is very similar to one he himself wrote. When it comes down to it though I’d have trouble placing this with the best family films out there, it’s certainly not as good as the recent Tangled but it still stands up as a pleasant family film that has a few laughs and will make you smile from time to time.

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Reviewed by Kevin on 13 February 2011

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