OMG, Gnomeo and Juliet was soooooooo good. I had no idea what to expect. Okay, I had some idea. I thought it would be a run of the mill CGI feature with little to no substance. Boy was I wrong. I think these gnome characters are probably the funniest and dare I say almost fully fleshed characters I've seen in awhile.
What got my attention immediately about this production is the attention to details. You look at these beings and you immediately know they're made out of stone, plastic and sometimes metal and wire. There is no doubt about it. One could easily be fooled into thinking this was stop motion animation. One could be easily fooled into thinking this was made by Pixar if it weren't for the way the story unfolds.
In adapting the story by using a cast of garden gnomes, the story still has a sense of fantasy and history but it does take place in the modern world so it can also be seen as a commentary on Shakespeare adaptations themselves. There's an awesome cameo with Shakespeare, voiced by Patrick Stewart, who gives his own commentary about the unfolding actions.
I've got to give major props to Juliet. She's usually portrayed as an overprotected pretty princess, but in this quirky adaptation she knows how to fight, knows how to be her own person and is hella' funny. The real scene stealer in this one though is Juliet's Nurse, here portrayed as a man hungry water fountain frog named Nanette. The soundtrack is filled with classic Elton John songs and one new song he sings with Lady Gaga that is NOT available in the soundtrack. This is the only way to hear the legendary team-up for now Gaga fans.
This is a very cute and quirky adaptation of the Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet. I highly recommend it, and not just to hear Elton sing with Lady Gaga.
Check out these links:
Romeo and Juliet: Sealed With a Kiss - Another animated adaptation of the classic Shakespearian story. This one using a cast of Seals, Walruses and Fish. No mermaids though sadly.
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales - An animated anthology in which Shakespeare's best plays are told in 30 minutes vignettes with spectacular animation from Moscow.
Gnomeo & Juliet - Buy the soundtrack. I love me some Elton John.