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Category:    Home > Reviews > Computer Animation > Comedy > Music > Fantasy > 3D > Gnomeo & Juliet 3D (2011/Touchstone/Disney Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray 2D + DVD + Digital Copy)

Gnomeo & Juliet 3D (2011/Touchstone/Disney/Rocket Pictures Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray 2D + DVD + Digital Copy)

 

Picture: B/B/B-     Sound: B/B/B-     Extras: C     Film: C

 

 

A film that uses the music of Elton John you would expect to be quite amazing.  Other films have done it in different ways; The Lion King, Moulin Rogue and so on, but none like Gnomeo & Juliet had the opportunity to do.  Sadly, however, the film was doomed from the very beginning.  The film spent years in production, then received a very poor advertising campaign that made little mention of Elton John’s music, then had the Disney name barely supporting it, and finally received lukewarm reviews.

 

The basis for the storyline is a very loose interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with Elton John’s music mixed in.  There are two families of Garden Gnomes, one set red and the other blue; separated by some hedges and a fence.  Apparently the families have battling/ lawn mower racing (confusing I know) for years, with no resolution in sight.  One day while traipsing around the yards Gnomeo (a blue gnome) and Juliet (a red gnome) cross each others paths and fall pointy hat over heels in love.  Sadly for them, however, there love can not be due to their families’ situation; all leading to romantic rendezvous and secret plans.  When the families get wind of the couples doings, an all out battle ensues; with some fallen comrades along the way.

 

Of course this is all done in a “Disney” watered down/simplified fashion, but the general premise is there.  The Elton John songs are adequate or a complete miss, no song crocodile rocked my socks off.

 

The visuals are very well done, but somehow the quality of the presentation is missing that something that Pixar and even DreamWorks consistently contains.  It is more than apparent that a lot of passion and effort went into the making of this film, but never the less I found myself bored and expecting more.  The concept of a garden gnome animated film I find brilliant, but the Romeo & Juliet angle I find forced and rather overdone.  Where as if Disney through the efforts behind the Gnomeo & Juliet team like they have done for Pixar, this film could have been much more.

 

The technical features of this 3-D release feel like the film itself; as in forced and not all there.  The 1.85 X 1 picture is a nice 1080p AVC encoded MPEG-4 presentation that is not the most perfect 3-D feature to date, but well done.  The colors are bright, the blacks are deep, and textures bring the characters to life.  The problem mainly lies in the 3-D as the background blurs and the 3-D seems like an after thought that never works perfectly.  As mentioned before something is just missing.  The sound is a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that is well rounded, but fails to make Sir Elton’s music pop like it should.  The track is by no means powerful, and whereas the dialogue comes through clean and clear it remains a weak point.

 

The Blu-ray (non 3-D) is almost better as it does not try to push the envelope and fail.  It still has all the brilliant colors and textures without the 3-D nonsense.

 

The extras are lackluster and as follows:

 

Elton Builds a Garden

Frog Talk with Ashley Jensen

Crocodile Rock Music Video

Alternate Ending with Film Maker Introduction (story boards only)

The Fawn of Darkness

Deleted and Alternate Scenes

 

 

Whereas Pixar titles are standout films that go beyond just the animation genre, Gnomeo & Juliet on the other hand does little to standout and instead slides by as an adequate children’s film that adults will begrudgingly sit through, not even able to enjoy Elton John’s music.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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