Gnomeo & Juliet

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Gnomeo & Juliet
Gnomeo & Juliet Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Kelly Asbury
Produced by Baker Bloodworth
David Furnish
Steve Hamilton Shaw
Screenplay by John R. Smith
Rob Sprackling (Original)
Kelly Asbury
Mark Burton
Andy Riley
Kevin Cecil
Emily Cook
Kathy Greenberg
Steve Hamilton Shaw
Story by Kelly Asbury
John R. Smith
Rob Sprackling
Andy Riley
Kevin Cecil
Steve Hamilton Shaw
Based on Romeo and Juliet 
by William Shakespeare
Starring James McAvoy
Emily Blunt
Michael Caine
Maggie Smith
Jason Statham
Patrick Stewart
Ashley Jensen
Stephen Merchant
Matt Lucas
Ozzy Osborne
Music by Elton John
Chris P. Bacon
James Newton Howard
Editing by Catherine Apple
Studio Touchstone Pictures
Miramax Films
Rocket Pictures
Arc Productions
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
(Worldwide)
Entertainment One (UK & Canada)
Release dates
  • February 11, 2011 (2011-02-11)
Running time 84 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Canada
Language English
Budget $36 million[1]
Box office $193,967,670[2]

Gnomeo & Juliet is a British 2011 3D computer-animated family film based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. The film was directed by Kelly Asbury, and the two main characters are voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. The film was released on February 11, 2011. It also marks Jason Statham's first voice role outside of video games. While the film drew mixed reviews, a sequel, titled Gnomeo and Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes, is in production under the direction of John Wayne Stevenson.

Plot[edit]

Mrs. Montague and Mr. Capulet (Julie Walters and Richard Wilson) are two elderly neighbors who despise each other. When they leave the garden, their garden gnomes come alive. The Montague garden is filled with blue-hat gnomes, and the Capulet garden has red-hat gnomes. Like their human gardeners, the gnomes also despise each other.

The gnomes hold a back alley lawnmower race, with Gnomeo (James McAvoy) driving for the blues and Tybalt (Jason Statham) for the reds. Tybalt cheats to win the race, destroying Gnomeo's lawnmower. Gnomeo and his best friend, Benny (Matt Lucas), are disappointed to see Mrs. Montague ordering a new "kitty" lawnmower.

That night, Gnomeo and Benny infiltrate the red garden in black disguise. Benny sprays Tybalt's well and accidentally triggers a security light. During the escape Gnomeo ends up in a nearby garden where he bumps into a disguised Juliet (Emily Blunt), the daughter of the red gnomes leader Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine). Juliet is attempting to retrieve a unique orchid, and the two romantically fight over it. They each discover the other's color before fleeing the garden. When they both go back to their own gardens, Juliet tells her frog-sprinkler friend Nanette (Ashley Jensen) about her newfound love. Nanette states that the relationship is romantically tragic.

Gnomeo and Juliet have secret meetings in the nearby garden, where they meet a pink plastic flamingo named Featherstone (Jim Cummings) who encourages their love.

Gnomeo's mother and the blue gnomes leader Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith), is distraught after the reds infiltrate the garden and destroy the plant nurtured by Gnomeo's deceased father. The blues want Gnomeo to take revenge on the reds, and he realizes that he cannot refuse unless he tells his secret. Just as he is about to spray the prized tulips of the reds, Juliet sees him and he backs out of the attack.

When he and Juliet meet up again, they argue until Featherstone stops them, telling them he lost his wife when the two people living in the house, where the garden is, broke up and never saw each other again. Benny sees them and runs into the alleyway, where Tybalt is waiting with his lawnmower, attempting to run Benny down and chops off his hat. Gnomeo intervenes, and he and Tybalt fight on the red lawnmower until the lawnmower runs into the wall. Gnomeo jumps off last minute, but Tybalt crashes into the wall, destroying himself. The reds attempt to attack Gnomeo, thinking that Tybalt died because of him, but Juliet, to the surprise of her clan, defends Gnomeo, saying that she loves him. Gnomeo ends up on a road, and everyone believes he was run over by a truck. Lord Redbrick glues the heartbroken Juliet to her fountain because he does not want to lose her like he lost her mother.

Gnomeo is still alive, eventually reaching a park where he climbs onto a statue of William Shakespeare (Patrick Stewart) and tells him his story. Shakespeare tells Gnomeo that his story is very similar to Romeo and Juliet and that it is likely Gnomeo's will have a sad ending as well.

Benny gets onto Mrs. Montague's computer and changes her lawnmower order to a powerful Terrafirminator unit, intending to get revenge on the reds. However, the Terrafirminator goes out of control and destroys most of the two gardens while the gnomes wage a full scale war. Gnomeo makes it back to Juliet with the help of Featherstone. However, when he arrives, the Terrafirminator then frees itself, sending it flying. He tries to try to un-glue her, but he is unable to. She tells him to go, but he refuses. The two share a passionate kiss just as the lawnmower crashes into the fountain, self-destructing in the process. When everyone believes that both are dead, Lord Redbrick and Lady Bluebury decide to end the feud. Miraculously, Gnomeo and Juliet emerge from the ruins and the two clans celebrate.

The film ends happily with the red and blue gnomes finally coming together to celebrate their newfound peace. Tybalt is revealed to still be alive having been glued back together, Featherstone is reunited with his wife after Benny finds and orders her online, Gnomeo and Juliet are married on a purple lawnmower, which symbolizes the new union of both gnome clans.

Cast[edit]

There is no counterpart for Mercutio, as stated by James McAvoy in an interview with NBC, ”Gnomeo in this is a little bit of amalgamation between Romeo and Mercutio. We don’t have that Mercutio character in this. We don’t have that leader of the pack, which Romeo isn’t but Gnomeo is a little bit."[3]

Production[edit]

Gnomeo & Juliet is directed by Kelly Asbury. The original screenplay, inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, was written by John R. Smith and Rob Sprackling. Asbury, Mark Burton, Kevin Cecil, Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg, Andy Riley, and Steve Hamilton Shaw worked on the final screenplay. Prior to the casting of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, the roles of Gnomeo and Juliet were to be voiced by Ewan McGregor and Kate Winslet, respectively.[4]

The film was the original idea of Sprackling and Smith, who sold the spec script to Disney through Rocket Pictures. Initially, the film was going to be produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, but was shut down by its new chief, John Lasseter, after the Pixar acquisition. Miramax Films picked up the project and guided its production until the division closed down. Australian director Adam Elliot was approached and asked to direct the film, but he rejected the offer due the film's incompatibility with his style, as well as his lack of experience with CGI.[5] The film later was picked up and produced by Starz Animation in Toronto. It was released under the Touchstone Pictures banner on February 11, 2011, becoming Touchstone's first animated film since 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas and also Touchstone's first and only film to receive a G rating from the MPAA, despite some mild language being used in some bits of the film. The film's worldwide premiere was at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 23, 2011.

The film was distributed in the United Kingdom and Canada by E1 Entertainment, and the film was released in 3D. Elton John and director Asbury presented 10 minutes of the film at the Cannes Film Festival.[6]

Starz Animation Toronto (which also made 9) produced all of the animation for the film, including the stereoscopic version.

In addition, this film reunites veteran British actors Maggie Smith and Michael Caine, from the 1978 Neil Simon comedy California Suite, in the roles of Lady Blueberry and Lord Redbrick, respectively.

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack was released on February 8, 2011, three days before the film's initial release. It features music by Elton John, Nelly Furtado, Kiki Dee, and selections from the score composed by Chris P. Bacon and James Newton Howard. The soundtrack was supposed to feature a much anticipated duet between John and Lady Gaga titled "Hello, Hello"; however, the version of the song featuring Lady Gaga only appears in the film, and on the soundtrack, the song features only John.[7]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

Gnomeo & Juliet received generally mixed reviews; review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 55% of professional critics gave positive reviews based on 117 reviews with an average rating of 5.6/10.[8] Its consensus states "While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo & Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good".[8] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave the film a 53% rating based on 28 reviews on its review scale.[9]

Box-office[edit]

Gnomeo and Juliet earned $99,967,670 in the North America and an $94,000,000 in other countries for a worldwide total of $193,967,670.[2] Gnomeo & Juliet was ultimately a sleeper hit for Disney, outperforming the much higher-budgeted (and eventual box office bomb)[10] Mars Needs Moms the studio released a month following Gnomeo & Juliet. On its first weekend, the film had a worldwide opening of $30,680,933, finishing in second place behind Just Go with It ($35.8 million).[11][12] However, on its second weekend —Presidents' Day weekend— it topped the worldwide box office (although not being in first place either in North America[13] or overseas[14]) with $29,832,466, ahead of Unknown which ranked second ($26.4 million).

It opened in 2,994 theaters in North America on Friday, February 11, 2011, grossing $6.2 million on its first day and ranking third behind Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Just Go with It. It then finished the weekend with $25.4 million in third place.[15] However, it scored the largest opening weekend ever for an animated feature released during the winter period (both January and February). It also made the largest debut on record for a minor animated movie (i.e., one with little status, expectations and/or built-in audience), according to Box Office Mojo.[16] With a $99.97 million total it stands as the highest-grossing animated feature among those released in winter.[17]

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Malta, it topped the weekend box office by earning £2,945,627 ($4,716,248) on its opening. In total it has grossed $25,283,924, making the UK the only market, except North America, where it grossed more than $10 million.[18]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Winner/Nominee Result
Annie Awards Directing in a Feature Production Kelly Asbury Nominated
Storyboarding in a Feature Production Nelson Yokota Nominated
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Jim Cummings Nominated
Writing in a Feature Production Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Mark Burton, Kathy Greenburg, Emily Cook, Rob Sprackling, John R. Smith, Kelly Asbury, Steve Hamilton Shaw Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Song Hello Hello, performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga/written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Original Song "Hello Hello" Nominated
Satellite Awards Original Song "Hello Hello" Nominated

Home media[edit]

Gnomeo & Juliet was released on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD on May 24, 2011.[19][20] The film was produced as three different packages: a 1-disc DVD, a 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and a 3-disc Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD combo pack. The 3-disc package also includes access to a digital download of the film.[21] Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the release include the music video for Elton John and Nelly Furtado's version of John's "Crocodile Rock", as well as the extras "Elton Builds a Garden" and "Frog Talk" with Ashley Jenson.[22] In addition, the Blu-ray version also has several deleted and alternate scenes, as well as a feature with Ozzy Osbourne called "The Fawn of Darkness".[23]

Sequel[edit]

In March 2012, it was reported that a sequel titled Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes is in development at Rocket Pictures. Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, two of the seven writers on the first film, are writing the script for the sequel. Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish are producing the film, and Elton John, an exec producer, is again composing new songs for the film. The film will feature Sherlock Gnomes, "the greatest ornamental detective", who will try to solve the mystery of disappearing gnomes.[24] In September 2012, it was reported that John Stevenson, the director of Kung Fu Panda, has been set to direct the sequel.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Screened Forums - Gnomeo and Juliet
  2. ^ a b "Gnomeo and Juliet". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  3. ^ Huver, Scott. "Emily Blunt and James MacAvoy on the Terror of Gnomes". NBC. 
  4. ^ Reynolds, Simon. "Gnomeo & Juliet". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Adam Elliot, writer/director/designer of Mary and Max". Crickey.com.au. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  6. ^ "Elton John in Cannes to promote Gnomeo And Juliet". Citizenside.com. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  7. ^ "Lady Gaga, Elton John Duet Won't Appear On 'Gnomeo and Juliet' Soundtrack". Billboard. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Gnomeo and Juliet Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Gnomeo and Juliet Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  10. ^ Ben Riley-Smith (2011-03-21). "‘Mars Needs Moms’: does flop mean 3D is history?". thefirstpost.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  11. ^ "Overseas Total Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  12. ^ "February 11–13, 2011 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  13. ^ "February 18–20, 2011". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  14. ^ "Overseas Total Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  15. ^ "February 11–13, 2011". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  16. ^ Gray, Brandon (2011-02-13). "'Just,' 'Justin,' 'Juliet' Jumpin'". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  17. ^ "Animation". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  18. ^ "GNOMEO AND JULIET". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  19. ^ McCutcheon, David (1 April 2011). "Gnomeo & Juliet Get Together". IGN. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Grabert, Jessica (3 April 2011). "Gnomeo & Juliet Rushing Out Of Theaters And On To DVD". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  21. ^ Propst, Andy (1 April 2011). "Gnomeo and Juliet, Featuring Elton John Songs, Set for May 24 DVD Release". Theater Mania. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  22. ^ "Gnomeo & Juliet Announced and Detailed for Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D". High-Def Digest. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  23. ^ Ribera, J.C. (2 April 2011). "Disney Brings Gnomeo & Juliet to Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  24. ^ Fleming, Mike (March 8, 2012). "Rocket Pictures Plots ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ Sequel, With New Tunes By Elton John". Deadline. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  25. ^ Fleming, Mike (September 5, 2012). "John Stevenson Tapped To Direct ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ Sequel ‘Sherlock Gnomes’". Deadline. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]