Gnomeo & Juliet Blu-Ray Review

The Movie: 7/10
Gnomeo and Juliet is a retelling of the classic Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, set in the backyard of an English neighborhood, of two not-so-friendly neighbors.   The Capulets, who have red hats, have a hatred for the Blue Montagues.  Both factions take pride in their side of the lawn, and the rivalry is very heated, with lawnmower races and genuine mischief.

The sides are at odds over just about everything, with Gnomeo (James McAvoy) basically pit against his rival Tybalt (Jason Statham).  That is, until Juliet (Emily Blunt) goes on a quest for a certain flower that she has seen from afar, and on her journey she runs into Gnomeo.  Both are initally unaware that the other is from the other side of the tracks (or garden in this case) until they have both become smitten with the other, and as a result, the two end up trying to hide their new love affair from their families.

Gnomeo’s mother Lady Blueberry (Maggie Smith) and Juliet’s father Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine) will not stand for the affair should they learn about it, and the two star struck lovers are forced to meet in another yard, as they try to decide how to make the love affair work.  Initially they decide to run away, but when things get heated, they are forced to confront their families and hope for the best, only to see the warring factions almost tear each other apart.

Gnomeo and Juliet does a nice little re-write to the original (which could be seen a some sort of slight to Shakespeare, had this not been a kids movie) and in the end, the happy ending is warranted.  The voice work here is well done, with a huge mix of stars on hand to really add some flavor to the movie. Gnomeo and Juliet is a fun little romp full of color, humor and music.  It is not for everyone, but it is appealing and campy, in a good way.

Features: 5/10

  • 2 Alternate Endings – There are two endings of the dancing endings, that are presented as storyboards.
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes – Director Kelly Asbury presents a whopping 42 minutes of unfinished or deleted scenes, in various aspects of being finished.  This is almost too much in terms of deleted scenes, but it is a nice inclusion if you are in to that sort of extra.  I have never seen so many scenes presented for one of these types of movies.
  • The Fawn Of Darkness – In one of the funniest casting decisions of the movie, Ozzy Osborne gets to play a fawn in the movie, and this extra is all about the King of Darkness, as he does his lines for the movie.
  • Elton Builds A Garden – This 5 minute extra delves in to the process of Elton John as he worked with Bernie Taupin to create the music for the movie.  This was obviously a meaningful movie for Elton, as he was extremely involved in the making of the movie.
  • Frog Talk With Ashley Jensen – Ugly Betty actress Ashley Jensen plays a frog in the movie, and this is a neat little interview with her, and her craziness at the microphone.
  • Crocodile Rock Music Video – This is an animated version of the Elton John rework for the movie, complete with singing gnomes.  It is a bit more upbeat and modern, which is kind of a shame, as the Elton John version is infinitely better, but this is a gnome infested music video.  The song is actually sung by Nelly Furtado and Elton John.
  • DVD Copy Of The Film – We get the DVD, but this one did not come with a digital version, which was a tad odd.

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover for Gnomeo and Juliet features a bunch of the garden gnomes, standing off, looking as mnacing as garden gnomes can look.  It is cute, if nothing else.  The menu for the movie features the gnomes in the garden, and is actually pretty neat, as it rolls from Capulet to Montague sides of the lawn.

Audio & Video: 9/10
The video for Gnomeo and Juliet is just simply amazing.  We are presented with some very very bright colors here in the gardens, and the gnomes are beat up and the detail is justimpressive.  The AVC encode is pristine, and the textures here are simply spectacular.  The audio is also very impressive, with a really good mix of bass and action with the dialogue, which is spot on.  This is a very impressive Blu-ray presentation on both aspects of the release.

Value: 7/10
Gnomeo and Juliet is a fun little movie that really works, and is a very British type of animated movie, which is nice to see.  The movie is aimed squarely at kids, but there is a lot here for adults to love as well.  The voice talent here is great, and overall this is just a really solid animated release.  It is not a movie that I see watching over and over again, sadly, but it is a fun watch for the whole family.  There is a nice mix of musicals here which is nice, as Elton John is no slouch when it comes to music, so that is a nice bonus as well.  Overall Gnomeo and Juliet is fun, and definitely a nice re-write to what is otherwise a sad Shakespeare ending.

Overall Score 8/10