Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Gnomeo & Juliet

Go To

"You know, other people's hate destroyed my love, and I couldn't do nothing about it. But you two, you can."

A young man falls in love with a woman named Juliet, but why must he suffer the pressure of his peers, while struggling to be with his true love born of a rival family? Through the impossible, he faces obstacles without fail, with the help of his midget sidekick... and... plastic... flamingo... ornament? Oh. Right. This man's name is Gnomeo. And the characters are living ceramic garden gnomes in a back yard. Get it?

Gnomeo & Juliet takes the most famous love story of all time, places it in the back yards of neighboring English households and scores the whole thing to classic hits by Elton John. Elton and his husband David Furnish executive produced the film through their company Rocket Pictures, critical reaction was tepid but the film was a popular hit, making $194 million off a $36 million budget. In development at Disney for at least a decade, the animation was later farmed out to Starz Animation and ultimately released under the Touchstone Pictures banner in 2011, on Valentine's Day weekend.

A sequel entitled Sherlock Gnomes was released on March 23, 2018 by Paramount and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with Johnny Depp as the title character.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Lord Redbrick goes from an irritating overprotective father to this when Juliet's romance with a Blue - and the son of Lady Bluebury, his archenemy - is revealed. He has the Red Goons gluing her feet on her pedestal, insisting that ''she'' forced him to do this. Subverted when the Terrafirminator marches to Juliet's pedestal and he realizes she's going to die because of his selfishness; fortunately, Gnomeo rescues her in the nick of time and Lord Redbrick no longer makes any objections.
  • Action Girl: Juliet the ninja garden gnome,
  • Adaptation Species Change: Oh you don't even know the end of it.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: In Romeo and Juliet, a lot of characters die. In this comedic adaptation with lawn ornaments, nobody dies - not even Tybalt, who gets reassembled for the Dance Party Ending! This is even Lampshaded during Gnomeo's conversation with a bronze Shakespeare statue, where he calls the original a "horrible ending." The Shakespeare statue thinks it's great (if still tragic), and even expects it of the gnomes.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Not even an animal. A lawn ornament mushroom.
  • Almost Kiss: Repeated several times.
  • An Aesop: The saying about an eye for an eye leaving everyone blind gets played with throughout the film.
  • And This Is for...: Benny shouts, "This one's for Gnomeo!" just before he orders the Terrifirminator.
  • As You Know: During the lawnmower race, Dolly Gnome does this: "Now, I know you don't need me to tell you the rules, but I'm gonna, because I wanna!"
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: The ad for the Terrafirminator claimed that looking at it would cause people's heads to explode.
  • Bad Omen Anecdote: Gnomeo has a chat with a statue of William Shakespeare, who tells him that he knows this story. When Gnomeo asks what happens to the lovers in that story, Shakespeare tells him that they both die.
    Gnomeo: They both die? What kind of an ending is that?
    Shakespeare: My dear boy, this is a tragedy.
    Gnomeo: Yeah, you're telling me, mate! It's rubbish! There's gotta be a better ending than that!
  • Balcony Wooing Scene: Technically speaking, Juliet is on the top of her tower during the retelling of the balcony scene with Gnomeo, but it still counts.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Gnomeo and Juliet, just after they survived the Terrafirminator, until they're interrupted by Mr Capulet and Mrs Montague coming back home.
  • Bowdlerise: The cover of "Crocodile Rock" at the end was tweaked slightly to make it more kid-friendly and more appropriate to the film's plot. For example, "Me and Suzie had so much fun" was changed to "Gnomeo and Juliet had so much fun" and "Lawdy mama, those Friday nights when Suzie wore her dresses tight" was changed to "Everybody is feeling right, 'cause we gonna dance all night".
  • Brick Joke: While lost out in the city, Gnomeo comes across a statue who notes that the story of his tragic romance sounds familiar, with him saying that he expects the couple to die at the end because of it. He reappears only during an explosion the two are seemingly incinerated by.
    Shakespeare: "Told you so."
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lights and music display comes in handy at the climax.
  • Clothesline Stealing: Nanette steal the black sock used by Juliet as a camouflage costume, and lose Mr Capulet's shorts in the process. The next morning, Mr Capulet blame Mrs Montague for it.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The two neighboring houses are painted in red and blue colors. The two sides of the war are red gnomes and blue gnomes, both with the respective colors on their outfits, and most of the ornaments are one or the other, depending on their garden. The characters even refer to themselves as Reds and Blues. In case it wasn't clear enough.
    • And some things that are shared, like the Cupid's flower and the lawnmower at the end, are purple—red and blue combined.
  • Composite Character:
    • Benny is named after Benvolio from the original play, but his personality and role in the story is a lot closer to that of Mercutio.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The Blue and Red always been at odds, but during the two days (or so) the story take place, Tybalt cheat during a lawnmower race. Gnomeo and Benny avenge this by graffiting the red garden well, and Tybalt gets revenge by vandalizing the Blue wisteria and breaking Benny's hat. It culminate with Tybalt being broken and Benny destroying the two gardens, before Lady Blueberry and Lord Red Brick wisely decide to make peace.
  • Dance Party Ending: The show ends with the garden ornaments from both gardens rocking out to Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock”.
  • Dark Reprise: Listen for a slow, orchestral version of the guitar riff from "Saturday Night's (Alright for Fighting)" in the scene just after Tybalt dies.
  • Death Is Cheap: After all the fuss and drama made over Tybalt and Gnomeo's (supposed) deaths, in the Dance Party Ending Tybalt is glued back together and aside from the odd limb dropping off is PERFECTLY FINE!
  • Decomposite Character: Both Mrs Montague and Lady Blueberry who are Lord Montague from the original play (in addition of being gender bended versions). Same with Lord Capulet, represented by both Mr Capulet and Lord Red Brick.
  • Deus ex Machina: In the Dance Party Ending, Benny just happens to find Featherstone's lost love on the internet and orders her.
  • Disney Death: Occurs not once, but twice during the movie:
    • The first is when Gnomeo is apparently hit and smashed by a passing truck; the wreckage is actually from a blue ceramic dish that fell out of the vehicle.
    • Second time occurs during the finale when Gnomeo is trying to save Juliet from the Terrafirminator: Dust clears, everyone gapes in shock, the rubble begins to shake ... and then someone else crawls out, subverting this. More shock, then it begins to shake as the display tower activates, to reveal Gnomeo and Juliet safe and sound, making a double subvert.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A gnome's hat-height. Made even more blatant when an envious Tybalt (with a small hat) smashes Benny's large... hat.
  • *Drool* Hello: Gnomeo realises that a vicious bulldog is behind him this way.
  • Everybody Lives: While it at first seems that Tybalt died, he appears glued back together in the ending.
  • The Faceless: Both Mrs Montague and Mr Capulet.
  • Feuding Families: The Reds and the Blues, obviously.
  • Fun with Subtitles: The film takes a crack at martial arts movies.
    • Even more hilarious, when Nanette switches back to English, the subtitles switch to Japanese.
  • Girl in the Tower: At first downplayed, as Lord Redbrick wants Juliet to stay, for her safety, at the top of her tower. She cannot get into anyway (it's a miniature version, being a lawn ornament). But Juliet run away every time she can. Near the end anyway, it's played straight as Lord Redbrick, traumatized by the fact that Tybalt just been broken and the reveal that Juliet has fallen in love with a Blue gnome, make the goons glue her feet on the tower's pedestal. Thus the equivalent of locking her in. It's nearly fatal to Juliet when the Terrafirminator is thrown at her, and Gnomeo vainly tries to free her.
  • Happy Ending: Unlike in the original play, here the star-crossed lovers are revealed to be alive after the feuding families reconcile.
  • Held Gaze: A very very obvious one when Gnomeo and Juliet first encounter each other after they both grab hold of the flower. It causes them to look into each other's eyes and they hold each other's gazes for a looong moment.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gnomeo and Benny on the blue side. Tybalt and Fawn on the red side.
    • Nanette and Juliet on the red side as well.
  • Hope Spot: Played straight, then subverted, in the climax. After the Terrafirminator destroys Juliet's castle, with her and Gnomeo inside, both families are aghast at their apparent loss. A hand suddenly pops out of the rubble, giving them hope, only for it to turn out to be someone else. However, after accidentally activating the Tiki display, the group discover that Gnomeo and Juliet are indeed okay.
  • iPhony: Mrs. Capulet's laptop has a banana on it... instead of an apple.
  • Jukebox Musical: The whole movie is set to the music of Elton John, even to the point of one character serenading another with the (incorrect) lyrics of Your Song. This is a given considering his production company Rocket Pictures co-produced the project.
  • Karma Houdini: Benny. Despite destroying both the Reds and the Blues' gardens and very nearly killing both of the main characters, he never seems to get any sort of punishment and ends up getting a happy ending along with everyone else.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Lord Redbrick. His over-protectiveness almost kills Juliet when she can't run away from the Terrafirmanator lawn mower. Of course, it'd be somewhat unreasonable to expect him to have predicted that one.
  • Large Ham:
  • Last Kiss: Invoked when Gnomeo stays with Juliet on her pedestal, as it appears they're going to be killed by The Terrafirminator. Subverted however, as they turn out to be fine.
  • Living Toys: In this case, this movie involves around garden gnomes rather than toys.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Gnomeo gets one (with duct tape, garden stakes, mud, and a spray nozzle) before his first raid into the Red yard.
  • Love at First Sight: Gnomeo and Juliet, while their camouflage clothes conceal their actual colors.
  • Makeover Montage: Both Gnomeo and Juliet, just before their first date. Cucumber Facial is even used on Gnomeo, no less, and with a single slice given his height.
  • Malaproper: Lord Redbrick uses 'incinerating' in the place of 'insinuating' and then mistakes 'illiterate' for 'illegitimate.' He also says 'constipation' in place of 'consternation.'
  • Ms. Fanservice: Dolly Gnome, the race announcer parodying Dolly Parton.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The Terrafirminator is a high tech lawnmower advertised by Hulk Hogan.
  • Never Say "Die": Notably averted, especially with a scene devoted to comparing the plot to the source material. Even if Tybalt does get better later.
  • Not His Sled: Gnomeo and Juliet live and get a Happily Ever After.
  • Pair the Spares: Paris/Nanette. Hey, Darren Lamb and Maggie got together.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Benny's ridiculous daisy costume completely fools Tybalt's miniature minions when he hides out in an arrangement of daisies.
  • Parental Bonus: There's a fair bit of innuendo and adult references made throughout the film. First and foremost among them, the gnomes. In the UK, the presence of garden gnomes can indicate that the garden's owners are swingers, which would put the rivalry between Miss Montague and Mr Capulet in a different perspective...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Played straight with the Red and Blue gnome clans. The reds in general are more aggressive, with Tybalt's anger countering Gnomeo's collected style, and Lord Redbrick being more confrontational than Lady Bluebury. However this gets flipped after Gnomeo "dies" and Lord Redbrick and the reds becomes more somber and Lady Bluebury and the blues becomes more emotional.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Gnomeo and Juliet, on the purple lawnmower, just before the end credits.
  • Sigh of Love: Both Gnomeo and Juliet give an enamoured sigh while returning to their respective gardens after their secret date.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Side Effects Include...: The ad for the Terrafirminator ends with a list of side effects, including dry mouth, voices telling you to burn things, tightened hamstrings, and persistent feelings of awesomeness. In rare instances some people may explode when viewing the Terrafirminator.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Everyone who died in the original story makes it out okay in the ending here. (Double-subverted by Tybalt.)
  • Starcrossed Lovers: Par for the course with a Romeo and Juliet parody.
  • Talking to the Dead: Gnomeo asks Shakespeare for advice.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: While the Terrafirminator is flying through the air at them (in slow motion), our main characters have a brief chat, at normal speed.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The ad for the Terrafirminator plays it up like the ultimate man's mower. Having Hulk Hogan narrate it only reinforces this. Brother.
  • Tomboy: Juliet tries to be this, rather than The Ojou her father expects her to be.
  • Twice-Told Tale: Stated as such in the opening.
    Red Good Gnome: The story you are about to see has been told before. A lot. We're going to tell it again. But different.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Tybalt during the Dance Party Ending.
  • Visual Pun:
    • What's spray-painted behind the bulldog's head when he spits Gnomeo out? 3x3. As in 9. As in K9.
    • Also a reference to Macbeth.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The film is basically a garden gnome version of "Romeo and Juliet" and while Tybalt is here, he is nothing compared to the destructive Terrafirminator lawnmower once it goes out of control and starts destroying everything.
  • With Catlike Tread:
    • Benny's idea of a costume for an 'ultimate stealth' mission involves dressing as a daisy and strapping a blue spray can (that rattles as he moves) to his back.
      • The spray can was part of the mission, he used it to vandalize the well in the Red garden.
      • And the daisy costume comes in handy when they have to hide in a bed of daisies.