Rated G, 84 minutes
Say no to the animated Shakespeare ripoff "Gnomeo and Juliet"
The new animated film "Gnomeo and Juliet" is based on the classic William Shakespeare "Romeo and Juliet," is directed by one of the "Shrek" directors and voiced by some of the most renowned actors in the world. With such hefty source material and talent involved you'd think that it'd be better. Though it's certainly an original idea, much like gnomes themselves, "Gnomeo and Juliet" is shapeless, kinda weird and rarely funny.
Kelly Asbury, the guy who directed "Shrek 2," takes Shakespeare's most beloved, tragic play and fashions into a contemporary animated comedy about a couple of young garden gnomes (James McAvoy and Emily Blunt) on the opposite side of the fence who fall in love to the chagrin of their family and friends, voiced by Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen, Jason Statham and even Ozzy Osbourne. But with plastic pink flamingos and lawnmower races in this family feud, can this young couple find lasting happiness?
There are a handful of fun moments in "Gnomeo and Juliet" and while the animation is bright and colorful, the story would make Shakespeare turn over in his grave and is tragic in more ways than one. Gnomes are a bit of a strange sight anyway, and while some may fancy them, cute and cuddly don't always come to mind. Veteran director Asbury, who's had plenty of experience with kind of thing, wants to do the same with Shakespeare's story as he did with "Shrek," but this one falls flat, unfunny and in some ways, just plain bizarre.
Kids who don't know Shakespeare's story still won't after this, given that the story is completely changed and bares little resemblance to the play. Shakespeare purists, or anyone that likes decent animation, should probably stay away. A pale imitation and ripoff of Asbury's own "Shrek" and "Toy Story." Not worth the money, particularly the 3-D.