This is a kids’ movie that will serve as a primer to introducing your child to the wonder of Shakespeare. If you go in not expecting Disney’s The Lion King, Pixar’s Finding Nemo, or even Dreamwork’s Shrek, you will not be disappointed. The animation is of your lesser quality Saturday morning cartoon level, but the movie does its job and gives you the basics of the story of Romeo and Juliet. You’ll find it all – the Montagues, Capulets, Mercutio, Benvolio, Friar Laurence, and some random Shakespeare quotes sprinkled throughout the film. Other than the random quote, the characters do not get into iambic pentameter at all so your child will understand everything that’s going on. There are some songs which are serviceable, but not memorable. At one point, there’s even a homage to Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. Because there was genuine emotion at the end of the movie and I was unsure which way it would go, I have to spoil the ending for you to say that it does not end like the play. If your child does not like to see characters in peril, you may want to skip it. But if you can watch The Lion King with them, you can watch this film. As in most fairy tales, they live happily ever after!
LAST WORD: It gets my seal of approval. 6 of 10