Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Gnomeo & Juliet</strong> (2011)

(On cable TV, October 2011) I’m not sure what kind of warped creative process ends up proposing a comedy take-off on “Romeo and Juliet” starring garden gnomes and featuring the music of Elton John, but when it leads to amusing trifles such as Gnomeo & Juliet, it’s hard to second-guess the filmmakers.  A second-tier animated feature aimed at kids but amusing to adults, it’s a fast-paced romantic comedy with enough action sequences and musical interludes to satisfy just about every constituency out there.  The pun-filled dialogue may occasionally earn a few groans, but there are a few good Shakespeare-related gags here and there (I’m particularly fond of “Out, out! Damn spot!”) to satisfy the classics-spotter.  The animation is fine, and some of the creature design is lovely.  Gnomeo & Juliet isn’t too demanding if you don’t focus on the in-jokes hidden in freeze-frames, and the entire family is likely to have a bit of fun along the way.  Oh, and don’t worry: The original “Romeo and Juliet” ending has been altered for maximum comedy.

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