“Gnomeo and Juliet,” Touchstone Pictures lighthearted, whimsical treatment of the classic Shakespeare play by a very similar name, will finally hit theatres next month. But it is the animated feature that almost wasn’t.
The concept for the film, complete with story set to Elton John classics, was first introduced to Disney Animation Studios in 2001. But then it was abandoned by the company in 2006, only to be resurrected by the Miramax Films (while they were still under the Disney umbrella) in 2008. Finally, ten years later, the project is coming to fruition under the Touchstone banner.
With Kelly Asbury, who co-directed Shrek 2, helming the project, Touchstone is banking on a deft touch that combines gentle parody of the Bard’s work with a sincerity that’s all heart. And it doesn’t hurt that Disney is coming off of a huge box office return to the classical animation arena with “Tangled.”
Gnomeo and Juliet opens February 11, and stars the James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, and Maggie Smith, with lots of other interesting cameo appearances. Here’s a trailer in case you haven’t had the chance to see it.