Gnome Alone

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Gnome Alone Movie Poster Image
Unoriginal animated fantasy has some scary moments.
  • PG
  • 2018
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

It's easy to pick the wrong friends, but real friends are easy to see once you actually look.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Chloe's mom moves from place to place without regard for how it negatively affects her now-teenaged daughter. She's absent through most of the movie, not bothering to be present to ease her child's anxiety about being in a new environment. Chloe is so eager to make friends that she is falls in with girls who are obviously self-obsessed and mean, even though Chloe doesn't seem to be that kind of person. Liam is a loyal and decent friend. Chloe shows bravery.

Violence & Scariness

Trogs bare their huge, sharp teeth and threaten to eat everything and everyone around them. They can't be killed but they can be stopped by a specialized form of green slime. Trogs wrap their teeth frighteningly around the legs of humans but for some reason never bite through. A cell phone battery is used to cause explosions. Two kids get tied up by gnomes, then released. Gnomes hit Chloe in the leg.
 

Sexy Stuff
Language

"Poop." Fart joke.

Consumerism

Teenagers are constantly glued to their cell phones, a habit the gnomes complain about. In the end, disassembling the phones and using their lithium batteries to oust the Trogs is a good thing.
 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gnome Alone is an animated story featuring ravenous, sharp-toothed monsters shaped like bowling balls who eat anything in their way, probably making it a little too scary for young kids. The Trogs bare their huge, sharp teeth and threaten to eat everything and everyone around them. They can't be killed, but they can be stopped by a specialized form of green slime. They wrap their teeth frighteningly around the legs of humans but for some reason never bite through. Two kids get tied up by gnomes, then released. Gnomes hit Chloe in the leg. Cell phone overuse is featured. There's a fart joke, and "poop" is mentioned -- but language is otherwise tame.  

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byUCLA MOM May 26, 2019

Sweet entertaining movie for emerging tweens

Sweet, entertaining with endearing characters. Better than a lot of the newer movies out now.
Adult Written byJojo96 November 9, 2018

Attention grabber

My 2 year old nephew loves this movie. When we just want a lazy day (not very often) he will ask to watch this movie.
Teen, 13 years old Written bySnnsnsj August 24, 2019

Absolutely horrible

This movie is absolutely horrible let’s start with why I absolutely HATE this dumb movie. I have a 2 year olds sister who has been watching this movie for... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byPeridot Beryl July 18, 2020

no diversity

While Gnome Alone does have nice animation and characters, the lack of diversity was quite apparent in this movie. The main characters, all the gnomes, and even... Continue reading

What's the story?

In GNOME ALONE, Chloe (Becky G) and her mom move into a creaky old house, which turns out to be a supernatural portal to a world inhabited by ravenous, man-eating bowling balls called Trogs. For what seems like thousands of years, garden gnomes have been guardians of the earth -- who knew? --  growing vegetation and keeping the earth safe from Trogs. Chloe finds a glowing green gem in the house. Unaware that it's the gnomes' keystone, a kind of kryptonite that keeps the Trogs from over-running the earth, she takes it to wear as a necklace, then immediately lends it to Brittany (Olivia Holt), one of the popular mean girls she meets at school. This unleashes thousands of Trogs, which the gnomes back at the house struggle to contain. For some reason, the gnomes, otherwise silent little statues, reveal their true selves to Chloe and enlist her in the battle to send the Trogs back through their portal. She must recover the keystone and return it to the house, but when that plan is foiled, she ventures through the frightening portal, from which no one has ever returned, to rescue her friend Liam (Josh Peck), who was sucked through it when the Trogs attacked him. She discovers a larger green rock from which the keystone broke off and, using her cell phone battery, blows the place up. Instead of solving the problem, this creates a mega-Trog that looks a lot like the big monster in Ghostbusters, which is also destroyed using a cell phone battery.

Is it any good?

The confusing, simplistic, and nonsensical plot seems to target 4-year-olds but the villains are far too scary for that audience. The Trogs are ravenous, sharp-toothed bowling balls who threaten to eat up the entire earth and everyone on it if they aren't stopped. The animation is fairly standard-issue and although talking garden gnomes are main characters (George Lopez voices one of them), their resemblance to Smurfs is unmistakable, robbing the enterprise of any hope of originality. Gnome Alone openly steals from Inside Out and, naturally, Home Alonas well.

The important question is: Will kids like it? That, too, is confusing. The lead character is a high school student, suggesting at least a tween audience, but it’s a good guess that the only self-respecting older kids voluntarily watching this will probably be babysitters overseeing the neighbors' frightened little kids.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how difficult it is to make friends for kids who have to move to new towns and schools. Chloe keeps telling her mother she's "fine." Do you think she's fine? Do you think she's angry at her mom for moving so often? How can you tell?

  • Gnome Alone tries to explain why the house is infested with man-eating bowling balls that threaten the future of the planet. Does the explanation make sense? Why or why not? Can you still enjoy the movie even if it doesn't necessarily make sense?

  • Who is the intended audience for this movie? How can you tell?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animation

Themes & Topics

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