Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Gnomeo and Juliet
I got a chance to catch up with Gnomeo and Juliet last Saturday…Saturday…Saturday, and Saturday night was alright for Gnome fightin’. Chock full of gnome on gnome MMA action, tractor pull races, and talking pink flamingos, Gnomeo and Juliet has just the right amount of action and comedy.
In the past few years I’ve commented a number of times on the state of animated films and where they stand in regard to the family dynamic. Most animated films made today are meant for families as a whole, as opposed to the previous generations of animated films that were intended more for just the kids. Movies like Shrek and Toy Story work hard to strike that balance of visual humor that appeals to the kiddies and witty banter that keeps the parents connected in. Gnomeo and Juliet tries to do the same thing, but in the end it seems the balance isn’t in favor of the wee ones. It really is more for th adults, but kids will enjoy it as well. And quite frankly, I don’t care if kids like it because I sure did.
Filled with fun little Shakespearean easter eggs, (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Moving Company, Tempest Teapots, ect…) for the true lovers of the bard, Gnomeo and Juliet is one of the smartest animated films I’ve seen in quite a while. Yes there are garden gnomes traipsing about, but that is what makes it fun. And why would we want to see another version of Romeo and Juliet with people or barnyard animals? Garden gnomes is creative and takes a great deal of chutzpah to not only pitch, but to make.
The animation is amazing. Some of the best I’ve seen in a while. Gnomes, especially the ones seen here, are very detailed little sculptures, and the animation showed it in depth. It was easy to see the wear and tear on each gnome, the painted detail, and the imperfection seen in any sculpture. The animation is very detail oriented and seems less concerned with displaying the width and breadth of the technology.
In recent years I’ve adopted the policy of “Not Dreamworks? Not Pixar? Not interested,” but that narrow minded view might have kept me from seeing this film. Gnomeo and Juliet is extremely entertaining. It’s also a very smart comedy, which might be off putting to the faction of the public that only heads out to the theater for films with flatulent guinea pigs. If that’s your cup of tea, stay home. Rewatch G-Force for the twelfth time. If you like animated films that give the audience the benefit of the doubt and don’t talk down to you…go see Gnomeo and Juliet.