Ultimately it is an adorable, fun little movie (despite the terrible renditions of Elton John’s hits). It spoke directly to me when a little gnome in a ruff opened the film by ascending a stage and reciting tinnily: “This story has been told a LOT. We’re going to tell it again, but different.” before launching into the prologue from Shakespeare’s play (which he is unable to finish).
The movie is pretty well-done in terms of storytelling – the animation is fine, the sound effects are great (reminding you constantly that these gnomes are ceramic), and the little hints of Shakespeare are just as enjoyable as the big ones. There’s a scene with the Bard himself, who listens to the exiled Gnomeo bemoan his fate and warns him that it could turn out very badly.
Being a kids movie, it does not, of course, turn out badly. It ends happily, though I would have liked to have seen the gnomes’ owners (the lawn-warring duplex owners Montague and Capulet) have their own reconciliation since they seemed to be the catalysts for the feud in the first place.
Have you had a chance to see this film? What are your thoughts on it? Would you show it in your classroom when teaching Shakespeare?