n one of the more perverse re-imaginings of a classic ever, Disney's Gnomeo & Juliet adapts Shakespeare's romantic tragedy to the world of garden gnomes, not previously known for their reckless passions. Does this unique spin on the Bard work? (Watch the Gnomeo & Juliet trailer)
Uh, no. It's one of Disney's worst: Gnomeo & Juliet is "possibly the worst animated feature ever to be distributed under the Disney banner," says Andy Klein at Brand X. It's "raison d'etre" seems to be to generate visuals for classic Elton John tunes and some "frankly lousy instrumentals." The small children at my screening "seemed unenthused" by gnome intrigues.
"Film review: Gnomeo & Juliet"
The Bard would not be pleased: This film is just another example of "Shakesploitation" — using the Bard's brand to "peddle schlock" — says Forrest Wickman at Slate. With it's "punny title" and "high concept" scenario, this film joins a long list of "bizarre bastardizations" of Romeo and Juliet, from Jet Li's Romeo Must Die (2000) to an animated version with seals known as (ouch) Sealed with a Kiss.
"Gnomeo must die"
Gnomeo's not a completely tragic failure: Gnomeo & Juliet doesn't reach the "stellar" heights of the Toy Story movies, but it's not without its charms, says Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. It's a "lively little film" that's "really entertaining," thanks to a "smart, spirited script" and visuals that evoke the "endearing tackiness" of Wallace & Gromit.
"Gnomeo: A Bard's garden of delights"
Indeed, it's classic Disney: This smart, funny feature is "exactly the kind of movie you wish for when you're the parent of small children," says Marshall Fine in The Huffington Post. While the kids enjoy the fast action, parents can divert themselves with adult jokes and '70s Elton John hits. Plus "the animation is spectacular, with or without 3D."
"HuffPost Review: Gnomeo and Juliet"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
Subscribe to the Week