Gnomeo & Juliet Movie Review

Gnomeo & Juliet

When the staff at first heard that Disney was producing Gnomeo and Juliet, we thought it was fantastic that these pointy-hat lawn ornaments were finally getting some much deserved recognition beyond a few print ads and the occasional TV commercial!  This animated take on the old Will Shakespeare tale of forbidden love captures the struggles of two gnomes who happen to be from rival gnome clans. The blue gnomes and the red gnomes are deeply caught up in a long time feud that of course, no one can remember why. They spend all their energy competing and sabotaging one another to prove who has the better garden. Gnomeo and Juliet meet and fall in love, then strive to find a way to make their lives work amidst this constant chaos.

According to folklore, gnomes are peaceful creatures so to see warring gnomes seemed out of character and a bit bothersome. But, hey, gnomes are mythical figures, so filmmakers are free to exercise their poetic license when it comes to making a movie. One thing that the writers did get right was how gnomes do not let themselves be known to humans. While in the presence of humans they perform their garden decoration duties, but when humans aren’t around they tend to their gardens and in this case their ongoing feud. In one scene, Gnomeo and a rival gnome are in mid air armed with weapons and ready to strike when they notice a human shadow at the window. They immediately drop their weapons and strike a statue-like pose with Gnomeo playing the part of a wheelbarrow.

If you’re a gnome fan, you’ll appreciate the artistic achievements of this movie. Much to our delight and to others who are true gnome enthusiasts, there were certain details that were amusing as well as endearing. For an animated movie, you wouldn’t expect certain details to be embraced. For example, garden gnomes are usually made of a resin substance. It was a pleasant surprise to hear the clinking of their clay-like bodies as they walked or bumped into something. Their faces and bodies wore the slight imperfections, marks, and weathered coloring that you would normally find in actual gnome statuary. Then there were the two gnomes that are paired together in the same base who try to split up and then fall over because they are forever a twosome.

There were many supporting characters that helped give this movie some entertaining value.  Our favorite was Nannette the frog who looks after Juliet. Nannette has a water hose for a tongue and as she talks a few droplets fly out of her mouth. She has some great lines and flirts shamelessly with a mushroom and a gnome with Elton John glasses. Watch for the humorous scenes with the gnome with the yellow daisy petals surrounding his face and a spray can strapped to his back, the pink Flamingo, and the gnome wearing a Borat-like red thong swim suit.

We found that a few Gnomes found on our web site bear a resemblance to Juliet’s father.  Their faces, beards, and clothing all have some similarities. Over the years, we’ve watched gnomes make split-second cameo appearances in movies, so it was fun to finally witness their starring roles.  Whether you’re a gnome enthusiast or just fond of these curious humanoids, keep your eyes open, you never know where our little friends are going to pop up on the big screen!


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