Adventure Animation

Blu-ray Review: ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ is a Pun-Filled Twist on the Legendary Literary Sleuth

June 18, 2018Ben MK

With no shortage of gnome-related puns, the garden ornaments of Gnomeo and Juliet are back for an all-new adventure. This time, they've moved from Stratford-upon-Avon to big city London, where they get caught up in a battle of wits between legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes and his arch nemesis, Moriarty.

With James McAvoy and Emily Blunt reprising their roles as the newly-married Gnomeo and Juliet, Sherlock Gnomes finds the pair not only adjusting to life as husband and wife, but also their new responsibilities as leaders of the garden, roles previously held by their respective parents, Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith) and Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine). But when Nanette, Benny and the rest of their friends become the latest victims of a spate of gnome-nappings, Gnomeo and Juliet must team up with the skilled but selfish sleuth Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and his underappreciated sidekick, Dr. Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), to find them within 24 hours, before the evil Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) smashes them.

Directed by Kung Fu Panda's John Stevenson, Sherlock Gnomes is sure to keep those younger movie-lovers in your household entertained. With its colorful visuals and kid-friendly sense of humor, this is a sequel that will have instant appeal for anyone who enjoyed the first film. However, viewers looking for an animated adventure as timeless and as universally appealing as the Toy Story movies may be left wanting.

From London's Chinatown district to the city's less than glamorous alleyways and sewers, Sherlock Gnomes' direct-to-digital, 1080p picture quality is unsurprisingly razor-sharp, bolstered by a wide variety of vivid hues, from the blue and red of Gnomeo and Juliet's outfits, to Sherlock's green deerstalker and coat, to the bright yellow color scheme of Moriarty himself. As for the audio, the disc's stellar DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix doesn't disappoint either, whether it's the hustle and bustle of street traffic, the wind gusting beneath the wings of a pair of large, stone gargoyles, or the energetic music score comprised of some of Elton John's greatest hits.

Paramount's two-disc Blu-ray release includes a DVD copy of the film, an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Gnome Is Where the Heart Is (7:00) - A look at the various characters and the actors who portray them.
  • All Roads Lead to Gnome: London Locations in Sherlock Gnomes (3:10) - A look at some of the London landmarks that appear throughout the movie, from Tower Bridge and the Natural History Museum to Green Park and Chinatown.
  • Gnome Wasn't Built in a Day: The Design and Art of Sherlock Gnomes (5:59) - Character Designer Gary Dunn, Animation Designer Eric Leighton and 2D Animator Neil Boyle discuss the design of the film's new characters, the most challenging scene to realize, and the black-and-white, hand-drawn animated sequences.
  • Miss Gnomer: Mary J. Blige and the Music of Sherlock Gnomes (4:09) - Mary J. Blige, Elton John and Music Producer Harvey Mason Jr. discuss the music of the movie.
  • Stronger Than I Ever Was (4:05) - A montage of film clips set to Mary J. Blige's song from the movie.
  • How to Draw (18:40) - Head Character Designer Gary Dunn shows viewers how to draw four of the film's characters ("Sherlock Gnomes," "Watson," "Moriarty" and "Goons").
  • Animating Sherlock Gnomes (1:36) - A look at the five stages of animating a typical scene for the movie: Storyboarding, Blocking, Animation, Pre-Lighting and Final Lighting.

Sherlock Gnomes is available from Paramount Home Entertainment as of June 12th, 2018. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 26 min.

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