Separated by a garden fence and a feud, are blue gnomes on one side and red gnomes on the other. This doesn't stop blue Gnomeo and red Juliet from falling in love with each other. Do they have a future together?
Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.
After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure.
Sherlock Gnomes and his assistant, Gnome Watson, storm into London's natural history museum, where their nemesis, a pie mascot named Moriarty, is holding gnomes hostage, planning to smash them. After a brief battle, Moriarty is defeated by getting seemingly crushed by a dinosaur skeleton. Meanwhile, Gnomeo and Juliet, as well as the other gnomes, are moving to London. While there, Gnomeo and Juliet are declared the new leaders of the garden. Noticing that Juliet has cast him aside to improve the garden, Gnomeo leaves to find a flower as a centerpiece, but nearly gets caught in a shop, forcing Juliet to rescue him. Gnomeo and Juliet return to the garden, but then find out that all the other gnomes have gone missing. Sherlock and Watson show up at the scene to investigate, and after Gnomeo and Juliet help them escape from a sewer flood, Sherlock agrees for them to team up.
Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes, Hanna Barbera and Tom and Jerry. Still love it to this day, whether it's film, television or cartoons.
Found myself surprisingly liking 'Gnomeo and Juliet' from seven years ago. It was not great or perfect but it had charm, fun and heart and knew what it wanted to be without trying to do more than needed. 'Sherlock Gnomes' actually had the potential to be better for somebody who is also a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and is always intrigued by how well he lends to animation. He and his stories have been used in animation quite a few times before, a prime example being Disney's 'The Great Mouse Detective' which was proof that he lends well to animation. The Tom and Jerry crossover film from 2010 showed that a crossover could work too. Part of me was apprehensive, because the trailer really didn't look that appealing.
'Sherlock Gnomes' for me is inferior to 'Gnomeo and Juliet', lacking its charm, heart and focus and its target audience is less clear. It is better than the trailer suggested and is not as bad as some critics have made out, but with an all-star voice cast and such iconic literary characters being involved there was a much better film somewhere that never fully materialised.
There are good things. The animation and voice acting are the best things. The animation is bright and colourful with charming designs and beautifully detailed backgrounds. The voice cast do a great job, although for my tastes Jamie Demetriou was a little too light-weight for Moriaty. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are charming and Michael Caine and Maggie Smith can do no wrong, even Ozzy Osbourne is fun. Johnny Depp is especially good though, the eccentricity, intelligence, arrogance and spirit all there.
Although they needed to be more consistent, there are charming moments like the romantic chemistry, clever Holmesian references and amusing parts. Some of the pace is lively and the mystery intrigues in enough parts to keep one not bailing.
On the other hand, too much of the material feels tired and lacks freshness. The story is thin structurally and tends to hold few surprises and even less twists. Tension and suspense aren't there that much and it would have benefitted from cramming in less and having less characters (have to agree that there are far too many).
Unlike 'Gnomeo and Juliet', target audience is a bit of an issue in 'Sherlock Gnomes'. It tries to appeal to both children and adults, so every member of the family, and doesn't know how to go about it that tonally it feels muddled. The film tends to be too childish for adults, nothing is distasteful but too much of the humour makes one groan, and is likely to be too confused for younger audiences that (as well as those unfamiliar with Sherlock Holmes and acquainting themselves with him through this film) might find the Holmesian references going over their heads. Characters are never annoying but are a bit bland and too much of the soundtrack does not fit, too much of out of place and randomly inserted.
In summary, mediocre for me but not a waste of time and was oddly a little better than expected. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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