In Gnome Alone (Netflix), teenage Chloe and her mother move to a new house. They have a history of moving to new towns and Chloe is disillusioned with always having to make new friends. As she explores her new home, she discovers a brilliant, luminescent emerald that she subsequently gives away to the “cool” girl at her new school. However, Chloe’s new home sits atop a portal to another world and that emerald was the only thing keeping the tiny, but fearsomely ravenous Troggs trapped in their dimension. With the gem removed from her house, the Troggs begin invading our world, and if they aren’t stopped, they’ll devour everything and everyone.
Gnome Alone has some strengths, but it wastes a lot of its potential. It’s 85 minute runtime is appropriate for its intended younger audience and its pacing is great. It has enough going on to hold the focus of those with even the shortest of attention spans. However, given the large stakes inherent in the plot, the movie feel small-scale. It’s cute instead of epic, which is a departure from some of Netflix’s recent animated offerings for younger audiences such as The Hollow, The Dragon Prince, and Next Gen. Further, despite the standard redemption arc, the protagonist, Chloe, can be particularly vile and vapid, making it hard to empathize with her. For most of the film, she certainly isn’t a character that should be seen as a role-model for kids.
Despite being relatively engaging and having good animation, Gnome Alone doesn’t feel special. And my personal dislike of the main character makes this an easy film for me to not recommend. Animated offerings have become a strength of Netflix, but Gnome Alone is far from one of the company’s best efforts. It’s not terrible, but there are many animated features that are more deserving of your time.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.