Review: Gnomeo and Juliet [2011]

Despite being a 25-year-old chap, I have absolutely no reservations in saying right off the bat that I was VERY excited about going to see Gnomeo and Juliet! I’d been looking forward to it for months, I am also a massive Elton John fan, gnomes played a nice role in my childhood – my Nana’s garden was full of them(!), and like most people, I am also a big fan of the original play, Romeo and Juliet.

The trailer alone sells this movie perfectly:

This has to be a contender for the most fun little film that there’s been in a VERY long time – I genuinely have never laughed so much in my life!

The voice talents are especially amazing, and you get the impression that Sir Elt and David just went through their rolodex and called up all their pals to call in a favour – there are SO many big names in this film – every few minutes Karl and I were nudging each other to gasp at another voice we recognised (I especially loved Dolly and Hulk!). I’ve reproduced a list of the main vocal talents below for you:

James McAvoy – Gnomeo (voice)

Emily Blunt – Juliet (voice)

Ashley Jensen – Nanette (voice)

Michael Caine – Lord Redbrick (voice)

Matt Lucas – Benny (voice)

Jim Cummings – Featherstone (voice)

Maggie Smith – Lady Bluebury (voice)

Jason Statham – Tybalt (voice)

Ozzy Osbourne – Fawn (voice)

Stephen Merchant – Paris (voice)

Patrick Stewart – Bill Shakespeare (voice)

Julie Walters – Miss Montague (voice)

Hulk Hogan – Terrafirminator V.O. (voice)

Kelly Asbury – Red Good Gnomes (voice)

Richard Wilson – Mr. Capulet (voice)

Dolly Parton – Dolly Gnome (voice)

I was a little worried that it was going to be a little ‘child like’ – however, it transpired that this was actually a really well written movie, and I would go so far as to say that it’s much more suited for adults than for kids (despite the U certificate). By that, I mean that the dialogue is incredibly witty, and I love how closely that the story of Gnomeo and Juliet stays to the Shakespeare original in places, the very subtle but appreciated placement of characters (e.g. the frog as the nurse and the flamingo as the Friar) and I also love that they can self-reference themselves when they decide that they want to break from the Shakespeare original. I really liked that this was set in the UK too!

The undercurrent of Elton John’s exquisite music throughout the film only helps to enhance the film! For anyone interested in the soundtrack, I really recommend that you check out the soundtrack album on Spotify.

Karl and I went to a central London screening of this film, and there were absolutely no children in the audience, much to our surprise. It was really great to hear so many adults laughing so wildly and constantly at an animated film for once! 🙂

The film has received mixed reviews across the web it would seem, however I really would recommend this film to anyone! It’s sooooo good! To give you a measure of its current box office success, in the UK it topped the weekend box office by earning £2,945,627 on its opening. This is a remarkable achievement, regarding the fact that – for the first time ever at the UK box office – 8 movies had £1-million-plus earnings during the weekend.

Normally I am something of a purist when it comes to untouchable songs, however I am usually game for a bit of rework in these situations, and the Gnomeo treatment for Crocodile Rock was great I thought, and really captivates the fun spirit of the movie!!

About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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