An edgy Shakespeare adaptation like no other, this animated musical transports the classic tale of forbidden romance between two star-crossed lovers from warring families to the unlikely yet hysterical world of garden gnomes. Featuring songs from legendary recording artist Elton John, this movie features the vocal talents of Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Jason Statham, Patrick Stewart and Michael Caine.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Awwwe. Gnomeo & Juliet is so cute. These angry little garden gnomes live in neighboring English gardens and come to life whenever their owners disappear.
Just like in the original Romeo & Juliet, the two families are feuding but we don’t really know why. Gnomeo is a blue and Juliet is a red but when they first see each other they miss the color of the others hat and fall in love.
Things get complicated when they find out who the other is, but anyone who knows Shakespeare’s story knows what’s coming. Of course this is a cartoon about Gnomes so there isn’t as much sex or death, but the general components of the classic tragedy are there.
The story isn’t the only thing that’s cute. The animation is also unique and creative. The gnomes are all a little scratched and dented, which make them look lifelike.
I should admit, I boycotted the 3D version for the old-fashioned 2D, so I can’t comment there. But I don’t know that any movie needs 3D, let alone Gnomeo & Juliet.
Puss in Boots
Voiced by Antonio Banderas, the dauntless feline of legend goes on an animated adventure to purloin a priceless golden-egg-laying goose. To help him on his mission, Puss brings along his friends Humpty Dumpty and the super-stealthy Kitty Softpaws.
Rating: 9 out of 10
This is by far smarter, funnier, more clever, witty, and fun than any of the Shrek films. Each of its unneeded sequels got dumber and dumber, which is why I ignored this spin-off completely. That was a huge mistake.
There were moments where I genuinely laughed out out loud. I delighted in the equisite detail of the animation and the backgrounds that drip with color in a Spanish-inspired fairy tale world. And I adored the theft of classic cowboy and Spanish films that no doubt inspired director Chris Miller (Shrek the Third). There is so much love poured into this film, and it’s obvious in all the detail that layers this movie over and over again.
And the performances are great, from the self-afacing Antonio Benderas, who is lampooning himself in the title role, to Salma Hayek, Zach Galifanakis and Billy Bob Thornton. It’s an awesome cast with a compelling storyline wrapped in a wonderfully crafted film. It’s one of the best animated films I’ve seen in years.
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