Shakespeare’s most famous romance, Romeo And Juliet, gets a kiddie cartoon make over for this cute family movie in which the protagonists are garden gnomes who come alive when their owners aren’t looking.
In a corner of suburban England, the red hat-wearing gnomes and blue-capped ones that live in neighbouring gardens are actually rival families who regularly battle over the garden fence. When red gnome Juliet (Blunt) falls for blue gnome Gnomeo (McAvoy), things get more complicated as the pair attempt to keep their romance a secret, having secret trysts in an abandoned garden inhabited by a lovelorn ornamental pink plastic flamingo.
The movie owes a debt to Toy Story, of course, but has its own kitsch spirit and cheeky sense of humour. The vocal cast is terrific – Michael Caine as Juliet’s dad, Maggie Smith as Romeo’s mum, Ozzy Osbourne as a Bambi-like deer, Jason Statham as a bully gnome and even Dolly Parton as, yes, a curvy Dolly gnome – and the film also uses a few classic Elton John (he’s an executive producer of the movie) songs to add extra fun to the action.
Is Gnomeo And Juliet suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...