Sherlock Gnomes Reviewed By Jon E Clist

The Premise
The beloved garden gnomes from GNOMEO AND JULIET are back for a whole new adventure in London. When Gnomeo and Juliet first arrive in the city with their friends and family, their biggest concern is getting their new garden ready for spring. However, they soon discover that someone is kidnapping garden gnomes all over London. When Gnomeo and Juliet return home to find that everyone in their garden is missing – there’s only one gnome to call… SHERLOCK GNOMES.

The Review
Gnomeo and Juliet was a surprise hit for me. I really kind of expected that it would be another of those okay animated films that help you pass eighty something minutes on rainy Sunday afternoon. And yet this was a film that I fully loved. It had a stellar voice cast and the music as supplied by Sir Elton John was so perfectly matched with the fun. Then you get a sequel, and the dread sets in as you wonder is this a concept that can be replicated while still maintaining a freshness and yet a high entertainment factor?

While most of the core characters are back, this is a tale of England’s greatest ceramic detective, Sherlock Gnomes. I love it when the voice talent in an animated film aren’t necessarily easy to recognise. While a couple of the characters are easy pick, for the most part I had to really focus in to pick the voices. Even though I knew in advance that Johnny Depp voiced someone in the film, I didn’t click that it was the title character. He certainly puts enough affectation on his voice to fit the role and not distract by turning the focus on his persona. This shouldn’t be a surprise as this is Johnny Depp's third animated movie. Both of his previous films were voiced in the same way. Not obviously Johnny Depp. (Corpse Bride and Rango)

That could also be said of the rest of the cast. Their characters shine bright while their own real-life personas fade into the background. The prefect balance. However I want to point out that Mankini is by far my favourite character and is the one that brings the most laughs across all ages.

Being that Elton John hasn’t had the same chart success in more recent years that he drew in the 70s and 80s, it would be easy to kind of forget just how much of an amazing songwriting powerhouse he and Bernie Taupin are. It is great to hear so many of these great songs being brought out and launched into the spotlight again. For us slightly older audience members it is great to be able to sing along even if quietly in our heads. Perhaps this could be one of those movies that gets a singalong version.

The Verdict
Very funny, with a fresh storyline that is actually quite different from the previous one. Plus it is a good idea to bring a new character in from a whole different literary era in the form of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 12th April 2018
Rating: PG – Contains Very mild themes, animated violence and coarse language
Duration: 86 minutes 
Genre:  Animation
Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Stephen Merchant, Mary J. Blige and Johnny Depp
Director: John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda)

The Extras
This marks the first time since Igor (2008) where Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is producing an animated film.

Mankini will have a much larger presence on-screen than he did in Gnomeo & Juliet (2011).

This is Johnny Depp's third animated movie. The other two had been Corpse Bride (2005) and Rango (2011), that latter of which being another film that was distributed by Paramount Pictures.

This is the first Gnomeo & Juliet film to be rated PG by the MPAA, unlike the first film which was rated G, despite that film also having been labelled for "Some Rude and Suggested Humour", and releasing after the MPAA got stricter in 2010.

Gnome Watson was rumoured to be voiced by Wesley Chopperhorse.

Second animated film of 2018 to star Matt Lucas after Peter Rabbit (2018) released a month prior.