Based on William Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, Gnomeo & Juliet features two garden gnomes in forbidden love.
The film was the original idea of Rob Sprackling and John Smith who sold the spec script to Disney through Rocket Pictures. Initially, the film was going to be produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, but was shut down by its new chief, John Lasseter, after the Pixar acquisition. Miramax Films picked up the project and guided its production until the division closed down. Australian director Adam Elliot was approached and asked to direct the film, but he rejected the offer due the film's incompatibility with his style, as well as his lack of experience with CGI. The film will now be produced by Starz Animation in Toronto, released under the Touchstone Pictures banner on February 11, 2011 and will be Touchstone's first animated film since 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film's worldwide premiere was at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 23, 2011.