Sherlock Hound: A Small Client (1984)

Genres - Children's/Family, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Anime, Detective Film  |   Run Time - 25 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Freely adapted from the original Arthur Conan Doyle source, Sherlock Hound: A Small Client is one of the more successful of the entries in this entertaining children's series. Part of the reason is the involvement of the title character; a small child fits much more naturally into the Sherlock Hound world than into that of Sherlock Holmes. More importantly, the brief interactions between Hound and the child provide some valuable characterization for Hound, something which is too often neglected in this particular series. The basic story is also quite good, with both the mystery and its unraveling keeping the attention of adults without being too complicated for the much younger set. Not all is perfect; Moriarty is still played too much for laughs (though less so than in some episodes), and there are times when financial constraints result in movement that is less convincing than could be desired. But Hayao Miyazaki's considerable visual storytelling skills, use of color, and intriguing designs more than compensate for those flaws, making Client quite an enjoyable little experience.