A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will get an early lesson in Shakespearean drama.
When the gnomes really start to think about it, they realize that there's no reason for them to hate each other simply because they're a different color and live in the next garden. Gnomeo and Juliet prove that love is "color blind." The ending celebrates peace and unity.
Positive Role Models
Juliet in particular isn't willing to allow her family's overprotectiveness and closed-mindedness to keep her from exploring her surroundings or from acting courageously. Gnomeo pursues Juliet, even after he realizes she's a "red."
Violence & Scariness
The red and blue garden gnomes have an ongoing rivalry, as do the neighboring houseowners, who constantly bicker and insult each other. In one scene, a gnome purposely breaks off another gnome's hat. In retaliation, the wronged gnome's friends drive the offending gnome against a wall, and he shatters to pieces. A gnome looks like he's been crushed by a truck. A dog chases and tries to bury a gnome. The gnomes fight each other in a climactic battle involving lawn mowers and other garden-wielded weapons.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Gnomeo and Juliet flirt, hold hands, and kiss briefly.
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Some mild insults and British slang like "shut up," "blasted," "daft," "codger," "old cabbage," and "loser." One use of "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gnomeo & Juliet is a Shakespeare-inspired animated comedy that features some of the same overall themes as Romeo and Juliet, minus most of the bloodshed and the tragic ending. Although there's still serious enmity between the Montague and the Capulet gnomes, the violence isn't as prominent. A couple of gnomes do get smashed (or maimed), but most of the destruction is to the gardens themselves. Language is limited to insults and slang like "shut up," "codger," and "daft." Mature tweens who enjoy the story may be ready for the real play or more serious Shakespeare adaptations. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Young kids will love all the loopy gnome humor -- even if they don't get all of the jokes -- and it's a great way to introduce them to Shakespeare. The premise of the story may sound a bit off-putting at first -- Shakespeare's much-beloved tragedy via CGI gnomes? But, of course, that's what purists must've thought when they first heard about West Side Story, and that's one of the greatest musicals ever. So enter Gnomeo and Juliet with an open mind, and you'll find this adaptation quite original and amusing -- and equally (if not more) a tribute to producer Elton John as it is to Shakespeare. John's best songs -- including "Bennie and the Jets," "I'm Still Standing," "Crocodile Rock," and "Your Song" -- are all incorporated in the score, and the larger-than-life singer even recorded two songs especially for the soundtrack. The result is a familiar accompaniment to an even more familiar tale -- much like a Baz Luhrmann production for kids and parents.
Grown-ups familiar with Shakespeare's works will have fun noting all of the movie's Bard references (like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Movers, Tempest Teapots, and a line from Macbeth, to name just a few ) and watching the tragic tale transform into a comedy performed by some of Britain's finest actors and comedians. McAvoy and Blunt, it's obvious, are charming whether in the flesh or voicing animated lawn decorations.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.