You may find this difficult to believe, but William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has been made and remade and reimagined and reinvented and recreated and repurposed an incredible number of times. One of the latest of these new versions of the classic tale of love comes to us from Touchstone and Rocket Pictures with Gnomeo & Juliet.
The computer animated film directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) is all about a war between blue and red garden gnomes, and two gnomes from opposite sides who fall in love. James McAvoy voices Gnomeo, a member of the blue gnome camp and Emily Blunt gets to play Juliet, who is on the red gnome side of things. The rest of the cast is also full of big names including Ozzy Osbourne, Patrick Stewart, Hulk Hogan, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Jason Statham, Jim Cummings, Stephen Merchant, Julie Walters, Michael Caine, and Maggie Smith. Virtually all of the voice performances are excellent, with Hogan's over-the-top voiceover in a commercial truly being a standout (and one honed from year's of experience as a wrestler).
As for the specifics of the plot, well, it's Romeo and Juliet again, isn't it? Or, more accurately, it is and it isn't. Romeo and Juliet contains one of the most famous endings in the history of plays, and it's an ending that doesn't work particularly well for a kids film. Consequently, Gnomeo doesn't follow that ending. It certainly hints that it may try, particularly when a statue of Shakespeare (voiced by Stewart) comes alive and sort of explains how things are supposed to go down.
While it is pretty clear that you can't make a G-rated film in which your adorable little stars die at the end and everything is left sadness and tears, the movie does lose its way with its third act. The appearance of Shakespeare really sets the movie off on a course that it need not have traveled down, it is a wink too much towards what is "supposed" to take place, particularly as no one who knows the story would ever believe that an animated feature meant for kids would end as the play ends. Consequently, bringing it up just muddies the waters.