Story

Sherlock Gnomes is a sequel to the 2011 movie Gnomeo and Juliet, in which famous literary characters are reimagined in a parallel world where garden ornaments come to life. In this new movie, Gnomeo (voice of James McAvoy), Juliet (voice of Emily Blunt) and their friends have been relocated to a new London garden, which looks unloved and needs a gnome makeover.

At the same time, all over London, gnomes are disappearing from their gardens. Thankfully, Sherlock Gnomes (voice of Jonny Depp), the ‘sworn protector of London’s garden gnomes’, is already on the case. When Gnomeo and Juliet return home one day to find all their fellow ornaments have been taken, Sherlock Gnomes is already at the scene and ready to help them solve the mystery. Sherlock and his trusty sidekick Watson (voice of Chiwetel Ejiofor) team up with Juliet and Gnomeo to search for the clues that will save the gnomes.

Themes

Solving crimes; villains and heroes; friendships and partnerships; adventure

Violence

Sherlock Gnomes has some animated violence. For example:

  • Sherlock Gnomes and Moriarty fight each other and use objects as weapons.
  • Sherlock Gnomes practises his combat moves on Watson, repeatedly kicking and hitting him. Watson is wearing a protective suit.
  • Watson tells Sherlock Gnomes that he is not his punch bag. Sherlock Gnomes replies, ‘Yes you are!’, and punches him.
  • Moriarty creates a violent plan to have the gnomes crushed alive. He glues the gnomes down so they can’t escape.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Sherlock Gnomes has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • Juliet and Gnomeo are distressed when they come back to their garden and find that all their friends and their parents have been stolen.
  • Juliet, Gnomeo, Sherlock and Watson are on a raft in a sewer. First there’s a stampede of large, scary-looking rats, and then there’s a huge flood that carries them violently along through the pipes. It’s tense and there’s a sense of peril.
  • In the back of a Chinese shop, an army of black ‘waving’ cats chases the team.
  • Two dragon gargoyles come to life and fly around, trying to attack and capture Gnomeo.
  • When Sherlock and Juliet visit a doll museum in London, there are lots of scary-looking antique toys and teddy bears, which are alive.
  • The villain, Moriarty, looks like a toy baby but he’s threatening and evil. Some children might find this confusing.
  • The gnomes are glued down and must wait for a giant mechanism to crush them alive.

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Sherlock Gnomes has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Watson falls from the top of a building, and a ‘smashing’ sound is heard. Juliet is devastated because it seems that Watson has died.
  • Juliet and Gnomeo have a quarrel, and Gnomeo leaves in anger. Juliet feels deeply sad that she has let down her true love.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Sherlock Gnomes has some very mild sexual and romantic references. For example:

  • A doll called Irene does an impromptu dance wearing a tight, sexy outfit and stiletto heels. She accuses Sherlock of turning up with a ‘cheap porcelain princess’, referring to Juliet.
  • When Irene implies that Juliet is having a relationship with Sherlock, Juliet tells her that she wouldn’t date Sherlock if he was the last gnome on earth.
  • A gnome kisses another ornament that he has a crush on. She swoons and says, ‘Where did you learn to kiss like that?’ He replies, ‘On the internet’.
  • Juliet and Gnomeo kiss, hold hands and say romantic things to each other.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Sherlock Gnomes has some mild nudity. For example:

  • A gnome is forever sitting on the toilet with his pants around his ankles.
  • The toilet gnome stands up and everyone gasps in horror.
  • There is a ‘foreign’ gnome that dances around in a ‘mankini’.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Sherlock Gnomes has some coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Sherlock Gnomes is a fast-paced, funny and fairly predictable adventure story aimed at primary school-age children. Children will enjoy the delightfully animated gnomes and other garden ornaments, and this movie might be a good way to introduce them to iconic literary characters like Romeo, Juliet and Sherlock Holmes.

The main messages from this movie are about:

  • not taking people for granted
  • appreciating things that people do for you
  • understanding that being in a partnership makes you stronger than being alone.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • being a good friend and not taking partners or friends for granted
  • treating people with respect
  • taking notice of how you make other people feel.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like why people would want to hurt others, and what cultural stereotyping is.