Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942) IMDb

Extent

Seen in 2018.

Commentary

An awkward adaptation of Holmes to a contemporary mid-WW2 scenario with a bomb sight MacGuffin.

fiction moving picture

Same source material:

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975) IMDb

Extent

Seen in 2016.

Commentary

It gets by on the charm of the actors. The set pieces are disappointing even for a children’s parody of Sherlock Holmes.

fiction moving picture

Same source material:

Sherlock Hound (1984) IMDb

Creators

Miyazaki Hayao (director), Mikuriya Kyōsuke (director), Ōtsuka Yasuo (key animator).

Categorization

Children’s mystery TV series with lots of very non-fatal action. Not actually anything like Conan Doyle’s detective books. Six episodes (out of 26), spread evenly through the first half, are directed personally by Miyazaki. He and Mikuriya supposedly shared series direction.

Subject

Young Sherlock Holmes is an anthropomorphic dog, just like everyone else in Victorian England. He and the trusty Dr. Watson eat the very lovely young Mrs. Hudson’s cooking and always outwit dastardly Professor Moriarty, a purple wolf inventor with two clownish henchmen invented for the series.

Commentary

The first episode is unfortunately the worst, featuring sails that do not react to wind and huge boilers that can be repaired in half an hour after literally exploding. Miyazaki’s six are noticeably a cut above all the rest: I tested this on myself by not looking it up first.

The biggest systemic problem with this series is the total consistency of Moriarty as the villain past the very beginning, limiting the province of mystery to imagining steampunk methods of forgery and theft, as opposed to ever wondering who did it. Secondary perpetrators compete with Moriarty and do not last beyond the episode. It’s no wonder that Lestrade is always there with a dozen officers to hunt for him. There is nothing else happening in England. Partly as a result, the last handful of episodes feel like an ordinary Western children’s show. Great choices of music, creating a soft nostalgic frame. The antropomorphism is well done. I assume the choice of it was influenced by RAI’s Italian co-producers.

References here: Ghibli movie titles.

Japanese production animation fiction moving picture series

Same source material:

Sherlock Holmes (2009) IMDb

Extent

Seen in 2013.

fiction moving picture