9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Fall in love with this!,
This review is from: Gnomeo & Juliet [DVD] (DVD)
This film boasts a fantastic cast and is even better because it is virtually all British! Some of our biggest names lend their voices to the film, and pretty much all of them are instantly recognisable when you hear their dulcet tones come across your telly. Playing the lead roles of Gnomeo and Juliet are James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. Now, I actually didn't recognise their voices not having seen them in anything else before, but I think they did a fantastic job with their roles. Both perform with gusto, delivering performances which perfectly suit their characters. McAvoy's Gnomeo is tough, butch and determined to find for the Blue Hats, yet we quickly see his softer side around Juliet, who is wonderfully voiced by Blunt. Her voice is clear, crisp and plays well against McAvoy's rougher Gnomeo.
Ashley Jensen plays Nanette the frog, who is Juliet's companion (the equivalent of Juliet's nanny in the play) throughout the film. Jensen is perfect for the role, her joyful voice capturing the frog's vivid personality and has a really playful element to it that works so well in a children's movie. Her and Blunt make a great team, and I enjoyed their scenes very much. Michael Caine is instantly recognisable as Lord Redbrick, Juliet's dad, you'll recognise that voice straight away! I love Stephen Merchant's take on Paris, Juliet's set up boyfriend by her dad. His voice is just funny without trying, and his scene where he starts to sing 'Your Song' to Juliet but is morphed into an Elton John character in Nanette's mind is simply brilliant, and very funny! Finally, I have to say Jason Statham is perfect as Tybalt, the butch Red Hat gnome always fighting to beat Gnomeo at whatever cost.
As you can see, it has a fantastic cast and they all do an excellent job. The soundtrack is something pretty good too. The film is partly made by Elton John's film company Rocket Man films, and the soundtrack is made up of his classic songs such as "Your Song", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" as well as some new songs penned by Elton for this film. The songs are all really well done, not just placed for the sake of it, and I felt "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" was especially well used. I loved the original songs "Love Can Build A Garden" and "Hello Hello" which featured Lady Gaga, they both fitted fantastically into the films and are wonderful songs. I also have to speak about the animation which I think was really well done. It's no Disney Pixar, but I think it was great, the characters facial expressions are emotive, the action scenes well thought out and executed, especially the final scenes featuring the "Terraferminator"! It's set in a surbaban English street, in perfect English gardens and I think it just adds to the charm!
I think this is a wonderful children's film, and one I am very pleased to have seen. Yes, it's yet another retelling of a tale that has been done countless times but I really enjoyed this foray into it, seeing it through a children's eyes and without all of the sadness too! It's an emotional film, especially a scene with Featherstone the pink flamingo and a flashback to his previous life at his old house which had me welling up(!!), and of forbidden love but the comedy elements are there throughout to pick it up, and I could hear children in the cinema frequently laughing throughout the movie. Harry's a little bit taken with Juliet, and he can easily recall the plot and things which happen so I think the pace and plot is just right for children aged around 4 and over, although it will easily appeal to much older children too who will perhaps get other bits of humour younger ones tend to miss. I was really impressed by everything about this film, the animation, the voice cast, the soundtrack and the story - it all comes together to produce a fabulous movie which thoroughly entertained both Harry and I... I fully expect the DVD to make its way into our home soon enough!