Gnomeo & Juliet

Gnomeo & Juliet is a 2011 British-American 3D computer-animated fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Kelly Asbury. It is loosely based on the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and an original screenplay by Rob Sprackling and John Smith. The film stars the voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Dolly Parton, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Julie Walters, Richard Wilson, Patrick Stewart, and Ozzy Osbourne. The animation was provided by Starz Animation.[7]

Gnomeo & Juliet
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKelly Asbury
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Rob Sprackling
  • John Smith
  • Andy Riley
  • Kevin Cecil
  • Kelly Asbury
  • Steve Hamilton Shaw
Based on
Music by
Edited byCatherine Apple
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 23, 2011 (2011-01-23) (El Capitan Theatre)
  • February 11, 2011 (2011-02-11) (United Kingdom and United States)
Running time
84 minutes[2]
  • United Kingdom[1]
  • United States[1]
Budget$36 million[4][5]
Box office$193.9 million[6]

The story follows garden gnomes Juliet (from the Red-hatted Capulets) and Gnomeo from the Montagues, who wear Blue. When the two meet one night and fall in love, they must keep their blossoming romance a secret from their feuding families.

The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 23, 2011. It was theatrically released in the United Kingdom and the United States on February 11, 2011 by Entertainment One Films[2] and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (under its Touchstone Pictures banner) respectively. The film grossed $193 million on a $36 million budget. The film received nominations for the Annie Award for Directing in a Feature Production, Storyboarding in a Feature Production, Voice Acting in a Feature Production, and Writing in a Feature Production. The song "Hello Hello" by Elton John and Lady Gaga was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the Satellite Award for Best Original Song, and the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Song.

A sequel and spin-off, titled Sherlock Gnomes, was released on March 23, 2018, with Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer distributing and producing the film, respectively.


In Stratford-upon-Avon, elderly neighbors Miss Montague (Julie Walters) and Mr. Capulet (Richard Wilson) despise each other. When they leave their respective gardens, their garden gnomes and other lawn ornaments come alive. The Montague garden is filled with Blue-hatted gnomes led by Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith), and the Capulet garden with Red-hatted gnomes led by Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine), who share their owners’ feud. In a back alley lawnmower race, Lady Bluebury's son Gnomeo (James McAvoy) competes against his Red rival Tybalt (Jason Statham), who cheats to win by destroying Gnomeo's lawn mower. That night, Gnomeo and his best friend Benny (Matt Lucas) infiltrate the red garden in disguise to take revenge by spray-painting Tybalt's mower, but Benny accidentally triggers a security light. During their escape, Gnomeo ends up in a nearby garden, apparently abandoned, and bumps into a disguised Juliet (Emily Blunt), daughter of Lord Redbrick, attempting to retrieve a unique Cupid's Arrow orchid from the roof of the neglected greenhouse. The two are entranced by each other and a flirty fight for the flower ensures, culminating in the pair falling into a pond and discovering each other’s color. Shocked, Juliet flees home and tells her frog-sprinkler best friend Nanette (Ashley Jensen) about her newfound love, which Nanette declares romantically tragic but agrees to keep their secret.

Gnomeo and Juliet continue to meet secretly in the nearby garden, where they encounter a pink plastic flamingo named Featherstone (Jim Cummings) who encourages their love. Lord Redbrick pairs Juliet with a Red Gnome named Paris (Stephen Merchant); uninterested, Juliet distracts him with Nanette, who has feelings for him. Lady Bluebury is distraught after the Reds infiltrate the garden and destroy the plant nurtured by Gnomeo's late father. The Blues urge Gnomeo to take revenge on the Reds, and is about to spray their prized tulips with insecticide when Juliet sees him, and he backs out of the attack. At their next meeting, Gnomeo and Juliet argue until Featherstone stops them, telling them he lost his wife when the couple living in the garden's house broke up and they each took a flamingo.[8] Benny sees them and runs into the alleyway, unbeknownst that Tybalt is waiting with his lawnmower; he attempts to run Benny down, and chops off his hat. Gnomeo intervenes, and he and Tybalt fight until the lawnmower runs into the wall, shattering Tybalt. The Reds attack Gnomeo, believing him responsible for Tybalt's death, and Gnomeo ends up in the road. A blue teapot falls from a truck passing Gnomeo, leading everyone to believe Gnomeo was run over. Juliet expresses her love for Gnomeo and attempts to walk out onto the roadway, but Lord Redbrick, who lost his wife, stops her and has Juliet's feet glued to her tower. Gnomeo's mushroom friend, Shroom, discovers that Gnomeo is still alive, carried off by a dog to a nearby park. He and Featherstone reach the park where Gnomeo climbs onto a statue of William Shakespeare (Patrick Stewart) and tells him his story. Shakespeare declares Gnomeo's tale similar to his own story of Romeo and Juliet, and that it is likely Gnomeo's will have a tragic ending as well.

Benny uses Miss Montague's computer to order a powerful Terrafirminator lawnmower, seeking revenge on the Reds. The Terrafirminator arrives and initially works well, but goes out of control, destroying both gardens, and gets itself stuck while the gnomes wage a full-scale war. Gnomeo returns to Juliet with Featherstone's help, but the Terrafirminator frees itself. Gnomeo is unable to un-glue Juliet, stuck in the mower's path, and they share a passionate kiss as the lawnmower crashes into the tower and self-destructs. Realizing the consequences of their vendetta, Lady Blueberry and Lord Redbrick end the feud. Gnomeo and Juliet emerge, unscathed, from the ruins as the two clans celebrate. Miss Montague and Mr. Capulet come home to find their backyards a mess and scream at the damage. The Blue and Red gnomes create a new garden and celebrate their newfound peace. Everyone happily sees Juliet and Gnomeo off as they get married and drive away on a purple lawnmower, symbolizing the start of a Red-Blue family.


  • James McAvoy as Gnomeo, Lady Bluebury's son, Juliet's love interest (later husband), and a blue gnome counterpart to Romeo Montague.
  • Emily Blunt as Juliet, Lord Redbrick's daughter, Gnomeo's love interest (later wife), and a red gnome counterpart to Juliet Capulet.
  • Michael Caine as Lord Redbrick, the leader of the red gnomes, Juliet's overprotective widower father, and counterpart to Lord Capulet.
  • Jason Statham as Tybalt, Gnomeo, and Benny's nemesis, a red gnome counterpart to Tybalt. Statham voices Paris in the original version.
  • Maggie Smith as Lady Bluebury, the leader of the blue gnomes and Gnomeo's widowed mother, and counterpart to Lord Montague.
  • Ashley Jensen as Nanette, a Scottish-accented plastic garden frog, Juliet's best friend, and Paris' love interest; counterpart to Nurse.
  • Stephen Merchant as Paris, a nerdy red gnome who was arranged to marry Juliet, and Nanette's love interest; counterpart to Count Paris.
  • Matt Lucas as Benny, Gnomeo's impulsive and tall-hatted best friend, and Call Me Doll's love interest; counterpart to Mercutio and Benvolio.
  • Jim Cummings as Featherstone, a lonely plastic flamingo with a thick Spanish accent; counterpart to Friar Laurence.
  • Julie Walters as Ms. Montague, the elderly owner of the Blue garden whose face is not seen.
  • Richard Wilson as Mr. Capulet, the elderly owner of the Red garden whose face is not seen.
  • Patrick Stewart as William Shakespeare, who wrote Romeo and Juliet.
  • Ozzy Osbourne as Fawn, a garden deer, Tybalt's best friend, counterpart to Peter.
  • Hulk Hogan as Terrafirminator Announcer, an unseen person who promotes the Terrafirminator lawnmower on TV.
  • Kelly Asbury as Red Goon Gnomes; counterparts to Gregory, Sampson, Anthony, and Potpan.
  • Dolly Parton as Dolly Gnome, the lawnmower race announcer, and Mankini Gnome's love interest.
  • Julia Braams as Stone Fish, a stone fish attached to the fishing line of the Fishing Gnome. In the end, it is seen being dragged by Gnomeo and Juliet's purple lawnmower.
  • James Daniel Wilson as Fishing Gnome, a red gnome.
  • Tim Bentinck as Conjoined Gnome Left, a red gnome.
  • Julio Bonet as Mankini Gnome, Dolly Gnome's love interest.
  • Neil McCaul as Conjoined Gnome Right, a red gnome.
  • Maurissa Horwitz as an unnamed Porcelain doll, Benny's love interest (who was later absent in the sequel).
  • John Todd as Dancer.

Silent characters include:


The film was the original idea of Sprackling and Smith, who sold the spec script to Disney through Rocket Pictures. Disney studio chairman Dick Cook greenlit the film, under the Disney-owned Miramax Films. Miramax was later sold by Disney in 2010, but the latter studio retained the rights to the film. Starz Animation produced and animated the film. After first sitting on the film as it was an animated film not by a Disney animation unit, Disney Studios then opted to release the film through its Touchstone Pictures banner.[9] Australian director Adam Elliot was approached and asked to direct the film, but he rejected the offer due to the film's incompatibility with his style, as well as his lack of experience with CGI.[10]

Asbury got on board in 2006, and was attracted the movie in order to work with Elton John.[11] Asbury and Hamilton Shaw then rewrote the film "sort of from scratch," [11] A particular challenge, according to Asbury was how to differentiate the ending between the original play and the movie in order to "keep daggers and poison and suicide out".[11] Asbury had free range of the casting and conducted the process only through listening to voices, not knowing which actor was auditioning until he felt they were right for the character.[11] Prior to the casting of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, the roles of Gnomeo and Juliet were originally to be voiced by Ewan McGregor and Kate Winslet, respectively.[12]


Gnomeo & Juliet (Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedFebruary 8, 2011 (2011-02-08)
GenreOrchestral, pop, rock
LabelBuena Vista
ProducerElton John and David Furnish
Elton John chronology
The Union
Gnomeo & Juliet (Original Soundtrack)
Good Morning to the Night

Gnomeo & Juliet: Original Soundtrack is the soundtrack album and was released by Buena Vista Records on February 8, 2011.[13] It features music by Elton John (who was also the film's executive producer), Nelly Furtado, Kiki Dee, and selections from the score composed by Chris P. Bacon and James Newton Howard (who played keyboards for Elton John and arranged strings on many previous projects).

The duet of John and Lady Gaga for "Hello, Hello" was featured in the film, released on February 11, 2011, but the soundtrack version only features John.[14] Additionally, on May 4, 2011 the duet was leaked online and available for download on most sharing websites.

1."Hello Hello" (album version)John, Bernie TaupinElton John3:45
2."Crocodile Rock"John, TaupinElton John & Nelly Furtado3:27
3."Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"John, TaupinElton John4:53
4."Don't Go Breaking My Heart"John, TaupinElton John & Kiki Dee4:31
5."Love Builds a Garden"John, TaupinElton John3:35
6."Your Song"John, TaupinElton John4:02
7."Rocket Man"John, TaupinElton John4:42
8."Tiny Dancer"John, TaupinElton John6:16
9."Bennie and the Jets"John, TaupinElton John5:23
10."Gnomeo & Juliet" (score)Howard, JohnChris P. Bacon & James Newton Howard4:22
11."Dandelions" (score)Howard, Bacon, JohnChris P. Bacon & James Newton Howard4:25
12."Bennie and the Bunnies" (score)Howard, Stuart Michael Thomas, JohnChris P. Bacon & James Newton Howard2:52
13."Terrafirminator" (score)Howard, Bacon, JohnChris P. Bacon & James Newton Howard5:34
14."The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room"Sherman BrothersWally Boag, Thurl Ravenscroft, Fulton Burley & The Mellomen2:38


Elton John & band:

  • Elton John: Piano, vocals
  • Davey Johnstone: Guitars, backing vocals
  • Bob Birch: Bass, backing vocals
  • Nigel Olsson: Drums, backing vocals
  • John Mahon: Percussion, backing vocals
  • James Newton Howard: Keyboards


Gnomeo & Juliet's worldwide premiere was at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 23, 2011. The film was released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures under the Touchstone Pictures banner on February 11, 2011.[1] The film was Touchstone's first animated film since 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas and also Touchstone's first and only film to receive a G rating from the MPAA. The film was distributed by Disney worldwide except for a few countries like the United Kingdom and Canada, where Entertainment One Films released the movie.[3] Elton John and director Asbury presented 10 minutes of the film at the Cannes Film Festival.[15]

Home media

Gnomeo & Juliet was released by Touchstone Home Entertainment on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD on May 24, 2011.[16][17] The film was produced as three different packages: a 1-disc DVD, a 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and a 3-disc Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD combo pack. The 3-disc package also includes access to a digital download of the film.[18] Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the release include the music video for Elton John and Nelly Furtado's version of John's "Crocodile Rock", as well as the extras "Elton Builds a Garden" and "Frog Talk" with Ashley Jensen.[19] In addition, the Blu-ray version also has several deleted and alternate scenes, as well as a feature with Ozzy Osbourne called "The Fawn of Darkness".[20]


Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 56% based on reviews from 125 critics, with an average rating of 5.61/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo & Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good."[21] On Metacritic, it has a score of 53 out of 100, based on 28 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[22] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on scale of A+ to F.[23]

Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal gave it a positive review, "This lively little film, a comic take on Shakespeare's tragedy, is really entertaining."[24] Ty Burr of the Boston Globe says "It has its own bizarre charms and a breezy confidence that renders it the very definition of a simple pleasure."[25] Justin Chang of Variety writes "A welcome dose of honest silliness at a time when most family-oriented toons settle for smart-alecky."[26]

In a mixed review Tasha Robinson from The A.V. Club criticizes the film "Far too much of the film is devoted to eye-rolling pop-culture gags and long montages set to recycled Elton John songs."[27]

Box office

Gnomeo and Juliet earned about $100 million in North America and $94 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $193.9 million.[6] Gnomeo & Juliet was ultimately a hit for Disney, outperforming the much higher-budgeted (and eventual box office bomb)[28] Mars Needs Moms the studio released a month following Gnomeo & Juliet. On the first weekend of its US release, the film had a worldwide opening of $30,700,000, finishing in second place behind Just Go with It ($35,800,000).[29][30] On its second weekend —Presidents' Day weekend— it topped the worldwide box office (without being in first place either in North America[31] or internationally[32]) with $29,800,000, ahead of Unknown which ranked second ($26,400,000).

It opened in 2,994 theaters in North America on Friday, February 11, 2011, grossing $6,200,000 on its first day and ranking third behind Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Just Go with It. It then finished the weekend with $25,400,000 in 3rd place.[33] However, it scored the largest opening weekend ever for an animated feature released during the winter period (both January and February). It also made the largest debut on record for a minor animated movie (i.e., one with little status, expectations or built-in audience), according to Box Office Mojo.[34] With a $99,970,000 total it became the highest-grossing animated feature among those released in winter, until it was surpassed by The Lego Movie in 2014.[35]

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Malta, it topped the weekend box office by earning £2,900,000 ($4,700,000) on its opening. In total it has grossed $25,300,000, making the UK the only market, except North America, where it grossed more than $10,000,000.[36]


Award Category Recipients Result
Annie Awards[37]Directing in a Feature ProductionKelly AsburyNominated
Storyboarding in a Feature ProductionNelson Yokota
Voice Acting in a Feature ProductionJim Cummings
Writing in a Feature ProductionAndy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Mark Burton, Kathy Greenburg, Emily Cook, Rob Sprackling, John Smith, Kelly Asbury, Steve Hamilton Shaw
Critics' Choice Movie Awards[38]Best Song"Hello Hello", performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga/written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Golden Globe Awards[39]Best Original Song"Hello Hello"
Satellite Awards[40]Best Original Song


In March 2012, it was reported that a sequel titled Sherlock Gnomes was in development at Rocket Pictures. Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, two of the nine writers on the first film, were writing the script for the sequel. Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish produced the film, and Elton John, was an executive producer, and again composed songs for the film. The film featured Sherlock Gnomes, "the greatest ornamental detective" hired by the characters from the first film, to solve the mystery of disappearing gnomes.[41] John Stevenson, director of Kung Fu Panda, directed the sequel, and Johnny Depp voiced Sherlock Gnomes.[42] The film was released March 23, 2018.[43]


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