Australian Council on Children and the Media

Gnomeo and Juliet

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5, PG to 8 ( Violence and some scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Gnomeo and Juliet
  • a review of Gnomeo and Juliet completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 February 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and some scary scenes
Children 5-7 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and some scary scenes.
Children 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Gnomeo and Juliet
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The star crossed lovers in this animated version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet are garden gnomes who belong to two different tribes, one blue and one red, and who live in neighbouring gardens belonging to the Montague and Capulet families. Fortunately this story is not as tragic as the original, but there is much competition and warring between the two tribes.

Gnomeo (voice of James McEvoy) is the son of Lady Blueberry (Maggie Smith), the leader of the blue tribe, while Juliet (Emily Blunt) is the daughter of Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine), leader of the red tribe. They meet by accident, unaware that they are from opposing tribes, and instantly fall in love. It becomes difficult when they realise that their love is doomed, but Juliet is a headstrong girl, and is determined to break away from her overprotective father. Gnomeo and Juliet feel that their love is stronger than family rivalry and continue their romance with almost disastrous consequences.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Tribal feuds

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Gnomeo and Tybalt (voice of Jason Statham) have a fierce lawnmower race in which Tybalt forces Gnomeo off the track and he crash lands on the road.
  • A donkey kicks some small gnomes
  • Red and blue gnomes fight with garden spades
  • A red gnome, Benny, is almost run down by Tybalt who attacks him with a spade and chops his hat off.
  • Benny and Tybalt fight - Tybalt runs into a wall and is smashed to pieces.
  • Gnomeo gets kicked onto the road and for a while it appears that he has been run over by a truck and smashed to pieces.
  • The Terrafirminator crashes into the Red’s garden and destroys everything – it then gets out of control and does the same to the Blue’s garden – in the process it crashes into Juliet’s pedestal and knocks her into the water.
  • Red and Blue gnomes fight with bows and arrows and catapults.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, especially in the 3D version, including the following:

  • A large bulldog with big teeth growls and snarls at Juliet.
  • The Terrafirminator is a huge fierce lawnmower (described as a weapon of mass destruction) and looks quite scary.
  • Featherstone – a garden flamingo - is discarded and thrown into a shed.
  • Seeing Gnomeo apparently smashed to pieces.
  • As the blue gnomes prepare for battle they paint black war paint on their faces.
  • Gnomeo and Juliet fall out of a tree and into a pond where they sink
  • Gnomeo gets his head stuck in the fence.
  • A dog picks up Gnomeo in his mouth.
  • Gnomeo is picked up by a backhoe and thrown into a park.
  • Juliet is glued to her pedestal by her father.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Some children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

None of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Gnomeo and Juliet kiss

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in this movie that children may imitate, including:

  • Name calling such as “loser”
  • “Blasted”
  • “Let’s go and kicks some grass”

In a nutshell

Gnomeo and Juliet is an animated comedy with some typical British humour and references to Shakespeare. It is aimed at children but with some adult concepts that children might find hard to understand. It is voiced by a stellar cast, with 3D animation and Elton John music.

The main message from this movie is that love can overcome all difficulties, including cultural difference.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • acceptance of difference
  • courage
  • respect for parents

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • the absurdity of hating a group of people because they are different in some way
  • the futility of fighting over inconsequential matters.

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