Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

What's in a Gnome?

If you’ve been to the movies at all this winter, you’ll have started to see posters and previews for this new animated feature:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_L_5vrHoWQ&fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00]

At first glance, it’s cringe-worthy. Nothing seems to be related to Shakespeare’s play at all except the concept: warring families and a young couple in love, yet some ads call it “an animated version of Shakespeare’s play.” It is hardly the first modernized Romeo and Juliet, and is even the second animated version. What about this take makes it special – if it is?

From the trailers, I’ve noticed that they’re at least referencing the play a bit: “Get thee to a theatre,” “parting is such sweet sorrow,” a singing bronze Bard… Could it be enough to use in the classroom? It’s certainly got the animated appeal, and (apparently) comic element for an engaged audience. It’s even got Maggie Smith and Michael Caine as the heads-of-house: Lady Blueberry and Lord Redbrick!

We’ve talked about Kid-friendly Shakespeare adaptations before, but what do you – as educators – think about this upcoming film? Do you plan to see it, or have any interest at all?

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