Romeo and Juliet has been remade into many adaptations from West Side Story to Romeo + Juliet directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film I decided to analyze is the kid's version from 2011 renamed Gnomeo & Juliet.
The original tragedy has a lot of violence, shows different relationships and types of love and ends with fate of the "star cross'd lovers" killing themselves to be together. Romeo and Juliet loved too quickly and crashed in flames. But the love they felt for Mercutio or Nurse was just as strong but were based on different relationships, The play is a tragedy because many important characters get killed and it pushes the demise of Romeo and Juliet along.
The main themes that are kept for the kids are that love trumps hate and can reconcile family feuds. The director uses a well-known couple and takes them out of context. I wouldn't expect violence and death to be kept in a children's film. The duels were replaced with competitions such as lawnmower racing, and Gnomeo almost dies but there is a happy ending for the young lovers and their families. This film follows the usual trend found in pop culture that Romeo and Juliet is seems as a great love story and is referenced as a ideal relationship. Society of today sees their relationship as huge and romantic because it was love at first sight, they got married then died to be together. But if real people did this, everyone would be worried and think it is a dumb and reckless thing to do.
I personally really like Romeo and Juliet but I don't think we have to undermine it's themes to protect children. I read the play when I was 11 years old; duels, death, love story and sexual innuendos are all exciting and interesting for a mature child. If people want to share Shakespeare as culture with younger generations, its just as interesting in its purer forms as a cartoon adaptation with flamingos and garden gnomes.