As has been the case for the last 70 years, Disney continues to impress audiences with its animated features and Gnomeo & Juliet is certainly no exception to the rule. We’ve all seen several adaptations and films of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but I highly doubt you’ve seen it like this. We are introduced to two houses, Montague and Capulet of course. The Montague household consists of an older man while the Capulet household consists of an older woman, the kicker is, they hate each other with a passion. Each has their own garden in their backyard containing various yard decorations and other assorted garden nicknacks.
Much like the Toy Story films, the Gnomes and other decorations come alive when there are no humans around. We soon discover that the blue and red gnomes despise each other and always seem to be at war with one another. Everything seems normal until Gnomeo, second in line of the Montague family, accidentally bumps into Juliet who is second in line for the Capulet family. Through a series of mishaps and accidents the two begin to grow closer and of course fall in love with each other.
At the same time other members of each family are continuing to do battle with each other, such as Tybalt of the Capulets and Benny of the Montagues. The biggest question on the viewer’s mind is will the two lovers sacrifice themselves for each other or will the story turn out differently? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out won’t you?
What’s not to like about Gnomeo & Juliet? If you are an animation fan and enjoy a lighthearted story then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. The movie introduces rather likable characters in a short time frame and that’s definitely a good thing when the movie is less than 90 minutes long. This is definitely a movie where you become emotionally involved and when a movie can do that, then it has accomplished what any well done movie is supposed to do.
There’s really not a whole lot that I disliked about Gnomeo & Juliet. Despite being based on an old play, the film manages to assault the viewer with fresh ideas and themes while still managing to work in elements of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Even though this film is based on a tragedy, it still manages to infuse quite a bit of comedy, despite some of the jokes feeling a bit forced at times.
Additionally, some of the characters receive little development so we are left wondering about a few of them. It wasn’t a completely original story, which is probably the film’s greatest flaw, but as I noted above it still manages to bring about a fresh tale using a worn out tragedy. Overall, it’s quite an enjoyable film which is both charming and fun for all ages.
Gnomeo & Juliet arrives on Blu-Ray with an impeccable transfer that is right up there with other Disney animated titles such as Bolt and Tinker Bell. Color saturation is splendid, which you’ll notice right away with the blue, reds, and greens that are presented to the viewer. Grain is nonexistent since this is a digital animation so you don’t have to worry about that. Fine detail is superb from start to finish. It doesn’t matter if it’s a closeup or a wider shot, the detail is always crisp and clear. Everything from scuffs and scratches on the gnomes to individual blades of grass are clearly visible. This is certainly another perfect transfer from Disney.
Gnomeo & Juliet blasts onto Blu-ray with a nearly flawless 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Dialogue is always clear and concise without any noticeable problems. Surrounds are used constantly for the film’s musical score and for the action sequences involving various lawn equipment, but they are tapped for more discrete sounds and that was a slight letdown.
However, the pans between the fronts and surrounds are extremely accurate and manage to envelop the viewer into an three dimensional sound field and that’s what surround sound is all about in the first place. LFE usage may be sporadic, but it is always well done. Pay attention to the lawnmower race scene if you want to feel your sub do some work. This may not be a perfect lossless mix, but it will definitely leave you more than satisfied.
Gnomeo & Juliet comes to Blu-ray with a decent supplemental package, but nothing really sticks out as wonderful. First up is a five minute look at how Elton John was involved in the making of the film. Next is a set of four alternate endings with introductions. Next is a collection of deleted and alternate scenes that run about 42 minutes. Rounding out the extras are three brief features that focus on Ashley Jensen’s and Ozzy Osbourne’s involvement as well as Elton John’s Crocodile Rock music video. All of the above features are presented in 1080p. There is also a DVD of the film located on a second disc.
Gnomeo & Juliet at least deserves a rental, but you probably won’t kick yourself if you happen to blindly purchase this one. You simply can’t go wrong with this family friendly adventure. The picture and audio are fantastic and despite the poor special features, this is a nice addition to any collection. Fun for the whole family and a very enjoyable film.
Gnomeo & Juliet is an enjoyable and often funny movie. It's backed by a great Blu-Ray transfer and is good fun for the whole family.