Gnomeo & Juliet Blu-ray review

            Just as I was about to moan and complain that this story has been done to death, adapted so many times that it is tiresome, a little gnome walked (an issue I immediately had with the film) onto a stage and cleverly pointed out the exact same sentiment. This is because much of Gnomeo & Juliet seems to be made with the mindset that there are going to be adults with the young children in the film. There are quite a few moments like this in Gnomeo & Juliet, a nonsensical children’s film stealing from better films and stories preceding it, but not enough to make any adult want to sit through this twice.

            The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet places the battle between garden gnomes from neighboring houses. Or is it one house in which a couple has separated? I’m not quite sure, but there is an overwhelming use of divorce in the narrative, which seems to be modeled off of the Toy Story films and the bold miscarriage sequence in Pixar’s Up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite as smoothly in this picture.

            The red gnomes live in one yard, and on the other side of the fence are the blue gnomes. By chance the son and daughter of the ruling gnomes on each side meet and fall in love. Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy) falls for Juliet (Emily Blunt), even though they are on opposing sides. I don’t feel the need to embellish any further on the plot. Anyone who is older than 15, should already know how the rest of the story goes.

            The voice talent is actually quite impressive for this film, and accurately done. Michael Caine is spectacular, as is Maggie Smith and Patrick Stewart. Even better is the perfect casting of Jason Statham as the winner of a lawnmower race. Put Statham in charge of a vehicle in a film and he had better win the race. The visuals are also convincing, though I am not convinced that porcelain gnomes could move. The idea of Toy Story is a bit more plausible, because they move more according to the joints of the toy. These guys turn into something else when humans aren’t around.

            The 2-Disc Combo Pack includes a DVD and Blu-ray disc. The DVD includes a featurette on the music of Elton John, which is featured as the film’s only soundtrack choice. There is also a featurette with Ashley Jensen, who voices a frog sprinkler, and a music video with Elton John. The Blu-ray disc includes these features, as well as two alternate ending sequences, deleted and alternate scenes in animated storyboard sequences, and a featurette with Ozzy Osbourne, who voices a deer lawn ornament.  

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