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February 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Tangled and Yogi Bear, which are still raking in millions after months in release, are finally getting some new competition for the family audience — the relatively low-budget Gnomeo and Juliet. The reviews aren’t half bad. That is, most are in fact quite good. Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal praises the “smart, spirited script” and says “the look is original, and appealing in its emphasis on the characters’ fragility.” Like others he warns that the extra expense of seeing the movie in 3D “isn’t worth it. … The deepest impression this 3D makes is on the bridge of your nose.” The Los Angeles Times‘s Kenneth Turan is equally charmed by the movie, remarking at the beginning of his review that “this gently amusing, genuinely sweet animated film makes you smile from start to finish” and concluding by calling it “playful, inventive and endearing.” Boston Globe critic Ty Burr finds it “as enjoyable as non-Pixar kiddie flicks get.” And Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle suggests that, despite its G-rating, it’s not just for kids. “Fans of stoner movies should feel right at home. Consider the trippy mushroom sidekick that hops and barks like a dog.” The movie includes a number of classic pop songs by Elton John (who is also the executive producer) and Bernie Taupin, two of the numbers are new. But Stephen Holden in the New York Times says that they seem to be “shoe-horned in.” However, he adds, “If the songs are extraneous to the story … they define the movie’s cheeky-campy tone.” And Sean O’Connell in the Washington Post suggests that the tone is also enhanced by the “spot-on” vocal casting” He especially praises the “inspired” selection of Ozzy Osbourne in one of the roles, concluding, “Any film that dares to cast the bat-chewing heavy-metal legend as a gentle, ceramic reindeer named Fawn is okay in my Bard book.”