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A European premiere of Elton John and partner David Furnish’s film "Gnomeo and Juliet"

posted 30 Jan 2011, 11:37 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 30 Jan 2011, 11:39 ]

11 years in the making, animated comedy Gnomeo and Juliet" gets the garden party treatment in London's Leicester Square.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 30, 2011) REUTERS - Singer Elton John and his partner David Furnish were in London's Leicester Square for the premiere of their new film 'Gnomeo and Juliet' on Sunday (January 30).

Joining the pair at the premiere were the films cast members, Emily Blunt, Stephen Merchant and Matt Lucas.

The film puts the Disney spin on William Shakespeare's literary classic 'Romeo and Juliet' with gnomes and happy ending.

"This film was off and on so many times and fortunately it was out in an environment where we were able to help it reach its full potential, we are so proud of it," said David Furnish. "It is such a British film, it is lots of fun, the tongue is very firmly planted in the cheek and it is great to be here," he added.

Elton John, who was first introduced to animated films writing music for the 1993 Disney film "The Lion King," became interested in adapting the classic play for children using garden gnomes as characters, having had the idea 11 years ago.

Turning 'Romeo and Juliet' into a kid-friendly picture required a major revamp to the original plot.

"We changed the ending," the singer told journalists. "We made it into the greatest love story ever told because the original one ends in tragedy and we had poetic licence with this one. I don't think Bill (William) Shakespeare would have been upset with a gnome changing the ending."

The experience of working on 'Gnomeo and Juliet' has left David Furnish in no doubt that the duo will continue to produce films.

"We'd love to make more kids' films. This has been really wonderful. We're very excited that in four or five years' time (our son) Zachary will be able to see this film."

'Gnomeo and Juliet' opens in cinemas across the United Kingdom on February 11.