CATEGORIES Columns, The Rundown


While watching the impossibly cute characters in this week's 'Gnomeo and Juliet,' I couldn't help but think of the impossibly cute Travelocity gnome. You know, the helpful little guy who takes baths, lounges on the beach and promises that "you'll never roam alone"?

Of course, the adorable 3D movie gnomes don't traipse around the world doling out travel advice, but they do put their own unique stamp on the Shakespearean classic. And parents of young children should have no fear –- there's no traumatizing ending that will make the little ones weep. Emily Blunt and James McAvoy voice the two star-crossed garden gnomes, and Ashley Jensen ('Extras', 'Ugly Betty') is a delight as Juliet's goofy sidekick Nanette the Frog. Keep your ears tuned for 'Star Trek''s Patrick Stewart, who voices ol' Billly Shakespeare.



Gnomeo and Juliet reside in rival gardens: Gnomeo is a member of the "Blue" family, while Juliet is a "Red." The two families are in constant competition to have the best garden, and don't shy away from sabotaging each other. The two young gnomes meet in an abandoned garden nearby one day, and fall in love before realizing they're from enemy families. Naturally, their love story is fraught with many complications -– true to Shakespeare's classic tale.

I kept waiting for the Travelocity gnome to make a cameo, but alas, he did not. (He was probably busy working on his tan or brushing up on how to get upgraded to first class.) This isn't the first time a super-cute movie character has reminded me of an equally cute commercial counterpart. Here are my top five favorite movie characters that bear striking resemblances to charming corporate "spokescreatures."

Chloe the Beverly Hills Chihuahua / Gidget the Taco Bell Chihuahua
Chloe, the well-heeled Beverly Hills pooch, is probably too snooty to appreciate a good meal at Taco Bell. But that doesn't mean the two famous dogs don't have any similarities. Both pint-size pets have sass to spare and share a soft spot for accessories: Chloe is often seen wearing flashy jewelry, while Gidget favors snappy hats like berets.



Rango / Geico Gecko
These two crafty lizards make reptiles seem more cuddly than intimidating. Rango is clearly a touch less classy than his nameless British counterpart, since the Geico gecko wouldn't be caught dead in Rango's tacky Hawaiian shirt. (He seems to prefer going au natural.) However, both lizards are incredibly personable and really quite similar-looking once you get past Rango's questionable fashion sense.



'Ghostbusters' Stay Puft Marshmallow Man / Poppin' Fresh (Pillsbury Doughboy)
It's hard not to think of the giggly doughboy when looking at Stay Puft. Both jolly white blobs share a fondness for jaunty hats and snappy neckwear (Poppin' Fresh sports a sharp little bowtie, while Stay Puft wears a neckerchief). Of course, Poppin' Fresh is more interested in making delicious treats than becoming possessed by Gozer and attempting to destroy mankind. Tee-hee!


Roger Rabbit / Trix Rabbit
That mischievous cereal lover shares a lot in common with the big screen's fun-loving toon, although Trix would almost certainly be trés jealous of Roger's foxy squeeze, Jessica. Both rabbits are gangly and spindly, and both have a knack for getting into trouble, not to mention boundless energy (unlike their slightly lazy bunny contemporary, Bugs).



The Pink Panther / Chester Cheetah
Can you think of two cooler cats? It's no surprise that the two long, lean felines share so many physical characteristics: 'Pink Panther' co-creator Hawley Pratt also developed Chester! Both cats boast their own unique brand of cool: Pink is a calm panther of few words, while Chester is "dangerously cheesy."