Sherlock Hound: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (1984)

Genres - Children's/Family, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Anime, Detective Film  |   Run Time - 25 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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There's so little to connect Sherlock Hound: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle to its original Sherlock Holmes source that one almost wonders why the creators even bothered with keeping the title. No matter, for "Carbuncle" ends up one of the most delightful episodes of the series. One of the things that is most surprising about the Hound series is how sweet the title character is -- not a trait associated with his human inspiration. Yet, Hound's sweetness never becomes cloying -- it's a part of him, and it's underplayed to great effect, especially here in his lovely relationship with Polly. (Indeed, it's surprising how Hound's fairly blank face and expressions somehow convey multitudes -- testament, perhaps to the skillful hand of director Hayao Miyazaki and his ace team of animators.) "Carbuncle" has tremendous movement, starting in high gear with the appearance of a bizarre pterodactyl and never stopping until after a rather thrilling chase sequence ending on London Bridge. The episode also serves to introduce the villainous Moriarity, and this is perhaps its only flaw, for Hound's take on the world's most dastardly evil mastermind is that he's really rather silly -- something which does weaken the series somewhat.