© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany GmbH

Gnomeo und Julia (Gnomeo and Juliet)
U.K./U.S.A. 2011

Opening 24 Mar 2011

Directed by: Kelly Asbury
Writing credits: William Shakespeare, Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton, Kevin Cecil, Emily Cook
Principal actors: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas

This story is a good introduction to a Shakespeare tragic tale directed by Kelly Asbury. It was made with the whole family in mind; however, I wouldn’t recommend it for children younger than five years. It is hilarious, although there are some scary moments for youngsters; it also has tragedy and can be quite sad in some moments. The main lesson is that prejudice can block our lives but love can redeem us all. The adaptation turns tragedy into a happy ending. The voices are great; the English accents are delightful (or is it because I am into Brits and I saw it in English?). Voice actors are James McAvoy (Gnomeo) and Emily Blunt (Juliet). The music is great with both classic and original songs by Elton John. The porcelain characters are very well designed and show good human resemblance. The anime statue realism is very good also.

The story starts with the known rivalry between two families, in this case, in gnomes’ gardens. When two of the youngster gnomes go on an incognito mission, the magic of love is created. That is, of course, because neither of them know who the other one is. This can be a good time to discuss with our children how we as humans prevent ourselves from meeting nice people just because of our prejudices. By bypassing the prejudices there is a chance to overwrite fate. There are a Flamingo and a Frog working as love allies; both of the characters are sweet, wise and fun. There is a moment in which the Flamingo recounts the tale of his lost love which I found very touching. The amount of destruction is really not necessary to make the point; I found the super lawnmower “Terror Terminator” to be between comic and intimidating. After the death of Gnomeo and Juliet, the families re-conciliate, but are our heroes really dead? (Amanda Watts)

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