Romeo and Juliet's star-crossed lovers have provided plenty of fodder for filmmakers over the years, from faithful adaptations to re-imaginings like Westside Story and the MTV-styled Romeo + Juliet. But never has the story been reinterpreted for CGI-rendered garden gnomes. Enter Gnomeo and Juliet, an unabashedly goofy animated adventure that nudges and winks its way haphazardly through the Bard's tale, taking more than a few good-natured liberties as needed.
The action takes place, naturally, on Verona Street, where a certain Miss Montague (voiced by Julie Walters) lives in hostility next to an equally acrimonious Mr. Capulet (Richard Wilson). But never mind the humans. Miss Montague's extensive garden is inhabited and maintained by blue gnomes, while a community of red gnomes nurtures the Capulet yard. When no one is looking, the gnomes come to industrious life, busying themselves with extensive (and inventive) lawn maintenance, mower races, various family and romantic relationships, and, of course, despising their rivals.
The Blues hate the Reds, and the Reds hate the Blues, and so (it seems) it shall ever be, until Gnomeo (James McAvoy), son of Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith), meets and falls in love instantly with Juliet (Emily Blunt), daughter of Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine). From there, things get more complicated, and loonier, by the second.
Gnomeo and Juliet has plenty of fun with its Shakespearian roots, indulging in an endless stream of shameless puns (Miss Montague lives in 2B, while Mr. Capulet makes sure to note that his home is NOT 2B) and even allowing Gnomeo to argue plot points with an animated statue of the Bard himself (voiced splendidly by Patrick Stewart). But the filmmakers don't lose site of their target ...1
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Gnomeo and Juliet
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