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Published on February 11th, 2011 | by simeon

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Gnomeo & Juliet

How many ways can they retell this Shakespearian tragedy? That is what I pondered as I walked to my seat to see “Gnomeo & Juliet”. And exactly how will this story execute as a children’s film? And why gnomes? But I had hope, the trailer had sparked my interest. Maybe, just maybe, there some joy to be found in an animated version of Shakespeare’s most well known tragedy. And shockingly enough there was.

Seamlessly voicing the leading roles of the hero, Gnomeo, and heroine, Juliet, are James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. Supporting the leads, the film is filled with recognizable voices such as Dolly Parton, Ozzy Osborne, Hulk Hogan and Patrick Stewart as the writer William Shakespeare. But this high quality talent is only the start of this film’s numerous successes.
“Gnomeo & Juliet” is filled to the brim with cuteness, moral lessons, and child friendly action. The dialogue and sound effects are clever and constantly engaging. The adorable and well-executed characterization seeps far beyond the two leads into the parents, communities, and even Romeo’s pet, a dog-like clay mushroom.

The major challenge to the film is the extremely limited use of the 3D technology. More than once I wondered why the film was in 3D. Moreover, when the effect was used, it did not add much depth to the quality of the film. “Gnomeo & Juliet” would have been just as funny flat against the screen. Additionally, I wonder if younger audiences will enjoy the soundtrack. The score is almost entirely comprised of songs and covers of well-known songs by the film’s executive producer, Elton John.

But if you can endure Elton’s unmistakable voice and the unnecessary requirement of wearing 3D glasses, the tightly woven tale of “Gnomeo & Juliet” will prove to be a whole lot of laugh-out-loud fun.


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