Gnomeo & Juliet

Gnomeo & Juliet is a 2011 British-American 3D computer-animated fantasy romantic comedy film loosely based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet and an original screenplay by John R. Smith and Rob Sprackling. Financed by Disney[7] and released through its Touchstone Pictures banner,[8] the film was independently produced by Rocket Pictures and animated by Starz Animation.[7] It was co-written and directed by Kelly Asbury and starring the voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Gnomeo & Juliet
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKelly Asbury
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Kelly Asbury
  • John R. Smith
  • Rob Sprackling
  • Andy Riley
  • Kevin Cecil
  • Steve Hamilton Shaw
Based onRomeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare
Music by
Edited byCatherine Apple
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 23, 2011 (2011-01-23) (Hollywood)
  • February 11, 2011 (2011-02-11) (US and UK)
Running time
84 minutes[2]
  • United Kingdom[1]
  • United States[1]
Budget$36 million[4][5]
Box office$194 million[6]

The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 23, 2011. It was theatrically released in the United Kingdom and United States on February 11, 2011.[2][9] Despite mixed reviews, the film earned $194 million on a $36 million budget. The film received nominations for the Satellite Award for Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the Critics' Choice Award for Best Song and 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.

A sequel titled Sherlock Gnomes was released in 2018, with Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer distributing and producing the film, and was a critical and commercial disappointment in contrast to the original film.


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 and bumps into a disguised Juliet (Emily Blunt), daughter of Lord Redbrick, attempting to retrieve a unique Cupid's Arrow orchid. Romantically fighting over the flower, they discover each other's color before fleeing. Juliet tells her frog-sprinkler 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 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.[10] 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 her mother, 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, Lord Redbrick and Lady Bluebury end the feud. Gnomeo and Juliet emerge from the ruins as the two clans celebrate. Miss Montague and Mr. Capulet come home to find their backyards a mess.

The Red and Blue gnomes create a new garden and celebrate their newfound peace. Paris and Nanette are in love, Lord Redbrick and Lady Blueberry become best friends, Tybalt is glued back together, Featherstone is reunited with his wife after Benny finds and orders her online, and Gnomeo and Juliet are married on a purple lawnmower, symbolizing the new union of both gnome clans.


  • 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.
  • Maggie Smith as Lady Bluebury, the leader of the blue gnomes and Gnomeo's widowed mother, and counterpart to Lady Montague.
  • Patrick Stewart as William Shakespeare who wrote Romeo and Juliet.
  • 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.
  • Ozzy Osbourne as Fawn, a garden deer, Tybalt's best friend, counterpart to Peter.
  • Matt Lucas as Benny, Gnomeo's impulsive and tall-hatted best friend, and Call Me Doll's love interest; counterpart to Benvolio.
  • Jim Cummings as Featherstone, a lonely plastic flamingo with a thick Spanish accent; counterpart to Friar Laurence.
  • Hulk Hogan as Terrafirminator Announcer, an unseen person who promotes the Terrafirminator lawnmower on TV.
  • 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.
  • 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 and a red gnome.
  • Neil McCaul as Conjoined Gnome Right, a red gnome.
  • Maurissa Horwitz as Call Me Doll, Benny's love interest.
  • John Todd as Dancer.

Silent characters include:

There is no counterpart for Mercutio, as stated by James McAvoy in an interview with NBC, ”Gnomeo in this is a little bit of amalgamation between Romeo and Mercutio. We don’t have that Mercutio character in this. We don’t have that leader of the pack, which Romeo isn’t but Gnomeo is a little bit."[11] Prince Escalus also doesn't have a counterpart.


The film was the original idea of Sprackling and Smith, who sold the spec script to Disney through Rocket Pictures. Disney studio chairman Dick Cock 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 animate 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.[12] Disney Australian director Adam Elliot was approached and asked to direct the film, but he rejected the offer due the film's incompatibility with his style, as well as his lack of experience with CGI.[13]

Asbury got on board in 2006, and was attracted the movie in order to work with Elton John.[14] Asbury and Hamilton Shaw then rewrote the film " sort of from scratch," [14] 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".[14] 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.[14] Prior to the casting of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, the roles of Gnomeo and Juliet were to be voiced by Ewan McGregor and Kate Winslet, respectively.[15]


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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] 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, so far, only film to receive a G rating from the MPAA, despite some mild language. The film was distributed in the United Kingdom and Canada by Entertainment One Films.[3] Elton John and director Asbury presented 10 minutes of the film at the Cannes Film Festival.[19]

Home media

Gnomeo & Juliet was released by Touchstone Home Entertainment on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD on May 24, 2011.[20][21] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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".[24]


Critical response

Gnomeo & Juliet received mixed reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 55% of professional critics gave positive reviews, based on 123 reviews with an average rating of 5.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo & Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good."[25] Metacritic, gave the film a 53 rating based on 28 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[26]

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."[27] Ty BurrFeb 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."[28] Justin Chang of Variety writes "A welcome dose of honest silliness at a time when most family-oriented toons settle for smart-alecky."[29]

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."[30]

Box office

Gnomeo and Juliet earned about $100,000,000 in North America and $94,000,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $194,000,000.[6] Gnomeo & Juliet was ultimately a sleeper hit for Disney, outperforming the much higher-budgeted (and eventual box office bomb)[31] Mars Needs Moms the studio released a month following Gnomeo & Juliet. On its first weekend, the film had a worldwide opening of $30,700,000, finishing in second place behind Just Go with It ($35,800,000).[32][33] However, on its second weekend —Presidents' Day weekend— it topped the worldwide box office (although not being in first place either in North America[34] or overseas[35]) 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.[36] 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 and/or built-in audience), according to Box Office Mojo.[37] 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.[38]

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.[39]


Annie Awards[40]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 R. Smith, Kelly Asbury, Steve Hamilton Shaw
Critics' Choice Awards[41]Best Song"Hello Hello", performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga/written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Golden Globe Awards[42]Best Original Song"Hello Hello"
Satellite Awards[43]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, are writing the script for the sequel. Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish are producing the film, and Elton John, an exec producer, is again composing new songs for the film. The film will feature Sherlock Gnomes, "the greatest ornamental detective" hired by the characters from the first film, who will try to solve the mystery of disappearing gnomes.[44] In September 2012, it was reported that John Stevenson, the director of Kung Fu Panda, has been set to direct the sequel.[45] In November 2015, it was announced that Johnny Depp would voice Sherlock Gnomes and that the film is scheduled for release on January 12, 2018.[46] Due to the box office failure of Strange Magic, Touchstone would not be producing it. Instead, Paramount Animation and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced the film, with McAvoy and Blunt reprising their roles.[47] On May 26, 2017, Paramount delayed the film's release date to March 23, 2018.[48]


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