Gnomeo shakes up Shakespeare

Gnomeo and Juliet, an animated film based on the tragic story Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, is not tragic at all,  but is filled with smart quips that induce chuckles throughout the movie.

The basic story of the film is similar to Shakespeare’s play, except the setting is completely different. Two neighboring elderly people who despise each other, Mrs. Montague and Mr. Capulet, have color themed gardens (blue and red, respectively) inhabited by gnomes who also loathe each other. The gnomes are inanimate around human presences, but come to life when they are not watched in their gardens. Think Toy Story, except with gnomes.

Gnomeo, the son of the leader of the Blues, encounters Juliet, the daughter of the leader of the Reds, as he attempts to seek revenge for a destroyed lawnmower caused by Tybalt, the antagonistic gnome of the Reds. As expected, it is love at first sight between Gnomeo and Juliet and they find ways to continue seeing each other after realizing they have a forbidden love.

There are notable comical characters such as Paris, a geeky Red gnome whom Juliet’s father introduces her to as an attempt to set them up. Juliet is unimpressed with Paris as he serenades her with Elton John’s “Your Song.” Another hilarious character is Juliet’s enthusiastic best friend, a garden frog named Nanette. Her antics, from choking on water spouting from her mouth (she is part of a fountain when inanimate) to mooning over Paris, draws laughs from all ages. Mentionable corny one-liners that nonetheless earned chortles from the audience were: “Let’s go kick some grass!” and “Who’s your gnomey?”

Gnomeo and Juliet is truly a family movie that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is able to captivate the audiences of both children and adults. As for the question of whether the ending of the animated adaptation is the same as the classic play, the only way to find out is to watch the film!

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