Gnomeo and Juliet

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gnomeo and julietThis is a nice little gnomance that kids and adults will enjoy (I’ll just do one  pun, I promise).

It was a great decision to make it under an hour and a half, as it never wears out its

welcome and is enjoyable all the way through.

Now, as much as I love Elton John, having an entire soundtrack of his old songs and a few new ones (one which is horrid)…it made me miss that other piano player we associate with animated films – Randy Newman.

Everyone always wants to know the voices of the animated characters, so here ya go.

James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are the street-crossed lovers. Jason Statham is — what else — the bad-ass gnome. There’s Maggie Smith, Matt Lucas, and the British trifecta of Julie Walters, Michael Caine, and Patrick Stewart as Shakespeare himself.

Miss Montague and Mr. Capulet are feuding neighbors and this means their garden gnomes hate each other, too.

As fun as the lawnmower races are, it’s even more fun knowing the neighbor just assumes the other neighbor did it to ruin their lawn and garden.

A few of the other voices I enjoyed were Stephen Merchant, who I’ve liked since his days with the BBC version of The Office.

Dolly Parton wasn’t done proportionately. Seriously, how hard would it have been do give us 48 DDs in 3-D?

Hulk Hogan also has a small part as the commercial voice over for the ultimate lawnmower — The Ferminator – a weapon of grass destruction.

Ozzy Osbourne is a tad distracting as the naïve fawn. And having once did an interview with him (in the early 90s), and he admitted to me that he couldn’t read well (I had asked him to read a few station liners). I was conscious about that as I heard him do his lines in the movie. All of them were easy enough to memorize, though.

There were a few other interesting characters that weren’t gnomes. One was a plastic flamingo. Another was a frog that squirts water out of his mouth.

The movie is a little derivative of the many animated films that have come before it. There’s a lot of Toy Story in here, from the gnomes only being alive when humans aren’t around, to the danger of cars. The gnomes have to worry about breaking into pieces falling off curbs, though. I loved the sounds of them always clinking, as if they were ready to crack at any moment.

The movie could’ve used a few more jokes, but there were enough that it worked.

It seems with a little more effort, it could’ve been a lot more than a garden-variety 3-D animated film. It’s another film that wastes the 3-D technology. Save your two bucks and see it in 2-D.

Of course the ending isn’t tragic like the source material, but there are a few sad moments in the film.

When this movie breaks the $100 million mark, I wonder which studio will green light a version of Hamlet that’s animated, and becomes a story about a cute pig escaping from the slaughter house.

I’m just hoping if Elton John executive producers, he gives us a break from all his music. Perhaps he can do another album with Leon Russell, or maybe Leon Redbone this time.

This movie gets a B-.