Prequels and origin stories! We're flooded with them now, but in 1985 the idea of Sherlock Holmes' first case was pretty intriguing. And since it was the 80s, when Spielberg's Amblin films ruled the land, of course Holmes and Watson were schoolboys in Young Sherlock Holmes. In a lot of ways this film prefigures the prequel/origin craze, especially in the way it seeks to give a moment to every single one of Holmes' famous accessories - you've never wondered why he wears a deerstalker cap, but Chris Columbus' script tries to give the hat a proper origin story.
Barry Levinson was pretty successful in bringing Holmes into the world of kid-friendly 80s blockbusters; the "We're going on a roller coaster ride" feeling of lesser Amblin films is balanced nicely with a respect for the character, and the addition of hallucinations and a Temple of Doom-esque cult allows things to get weird.
The film's fairly minor, really earning a place in history for containing the first digital character, a stained glass knight that Holmes battles (created by John Lasseter). But as a piffle it's loads of fun, and in the spotty canon of Holmes adaptations it's certainly head and shoulders above Game of Shadows.