Sherlock Hound: Mrs. Hudson Is Taken Hostage (1984)

Genres - Children's/Family, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Anime, Detective Film  |   Run Time - 25 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Sherlock Hound: Mrs. Hudson Is Taken Hostage is a lightweight but charming little entry in this lightweight but charming little series. Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts will carp, and with good reason. To start, in this version, Mrs. Hudson is an attractive young thing who seems to have caught Sherlock Hound's fancy. In addition, the quintessentially evil Moriarty is presented as bumbling comic relief (although neither quite as bumbling nor as comic as his henchmen), which makes his status as the detective's arch-nemesis questionable. And Hound himself is quite bland, a gangly figure with no real force of personality. However, the basic story itself is satisfactory, and Watson and Inspector Lestrade, who translate nicely into canine characters, are quite enjoyable. More importantly, this episode is one of the handful that benefit from the presence of director Hayao Miyazaki. While the animation is less fluid than in Miyazaki's feature films, the character design is excellent, the backgrounds are gorgeous, the palette is often stunning, and the storyboarding is exceptional. The director's touch overcomes Hostage's defects, making for an enjoyable little half-hour.