Gnomeo & Juliet 5*

Lady Gaga sings with Elton John in my favorite scene the night flower meeting Preview Animated garden gnomes are in a split duplex: Capulet red magnificently courageously vital Juliet, and Montague blue, her equal, Romeo. (James McAvoy). (Means more in British accents - The Manchester United "Reds" and Chelsea "Blues" have near a century of competition in English Premier League soccer football.)

The motherless maiden, and fatherless garden rulers' only children are lucky daredevils. Elton John (he modified himself) songs both pump up emotion for important events, such as race between houses, and midnight raids, our couple disguised in black, and hint truth in the background, "How wonderful life is when you're in the world". I'm not a fan of musicals where people burst into song and dance unreasonably; this hits the spot. Spotted tracker doggy "Shroom" and Cuban plastic flamingo Featherstone (Jim Cummings - TV Tigger, Pooh) add more humor. Spoonerisms at the start, sweetness throughout.

The casting is impeccable. Delightful to recognize red cantakerous curmudgeon Richard Wilson from One Foot in the Grave's similar Victor Meldrew, again over the fence (also Doctor Who's Dr Constantine, Merlin's mentor Gaius). Lead roles are voiced by James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, parents Lady Bluebury Maggie Smith and Lord Redbrick, oh well, Michael Caine. Juliet's frog nurse Nanette Ashley Jensen I didn't remember from Phlegma the Fierce (added to the wonderful animated film, not in Book 1, How to Train Your Dragon). Who could do a better Terrafirminator than a real wrestler, like Hulk Hogan? Jason Statham, known for fierce fictional race-car driving, fills the same role in red Tybalt. Patrick Stewart is Shakespeare statue. Parton is the one and only Dolly in the world.

Spoiler: At the chorus finale, I couldn't help mourn the death. Thankfully, in the Disney world, clay bodies can be glued.


Features show setting is Stratford-on-Avon. Opening, endings, deleted scenes were unused for good reasons. Worst part is repeated "see what you think" by director. GSI investigators, ruse wedding, quarrelling weathervanes just hohum in storyboard versions. I expected to see London in the credits, but Toronto? Nelly Furtado?

Did you know Don Featherstone invented the pink plastic flamingo in 1957, produced in pairs, signed on the backsides, and much other garden kitsch sculpture? Hunh.

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