Gnomeo & Juliet

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Two garden ornaments find love amongst their conflicting families.


Whoever came up with this crackpot idea — a computer-animated take on Shakespeare’s tragedy, played out between garden gnomes involved in the middle of a turf war, with the songs of Elton John — deserves some sort of Nick Park Award for English Eccentricity. Incredibly, it works — and not just for the very young children it’s aimed at. This is largely thanks to an extraordinary cast of recognisable voices — it’s rare to find Maggie Smith and Ozzy Osbourne on the same credit block — and a near-constant sense of madcap invention from the nine credited writers (not counting a certain Mr. Shakespeare), and a director (Shrek 2’s Kelly Asbury) who can turn a fairy tale on its head.

Totally crackers but it gets powered by pure invention and eccentricity alone.