‘Gnomeo & Juliet,’ Oscar Shorts Kick Off 2011 Animated Releases

GNOMEO AND JULIET

Animation is back at the box office with the opening this week of the first major animated feature film of the year.

Gnomeo & Juliet, the new 3D animated feature produced by Starz Animation and released by Disney, opens at just under 3,000 cinemas this weekend. The project is directed by Kelly Asbury, whose credits include the Shrek franchise and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and features classic songs from project backer Elton John. The all-star voice cast includes James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Patrick Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Caine, Jason Statham and Maggie Smith.

Details on the making of Gnomeo & Juliet can be found in Animation Magazine No. 209 — subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss an issue!

Gnomeo goes up against the period action film The Eagle, set for 2,150 theaters; romantic comedy Just Go With It, at more than 3,500 cinemas; and the musical documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, hitting 3,000 moviegoing locations.

Also arriving in about 100 theaters this weekend is Shorts International’s annual presentation of the Oscar-nominated short films. The program is available in both the animated and live-action versions. Find a participating theater near you at http://www.shortshd.com/theoscarshorts/.