Posted by: ckckred | December 24, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin a Swashbuckling Ride

After Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in France in 1981, Steven Spielberg looked over the reviews.  Though he couldn’t read French, he noticed one name that seemed to appear in all the reviews: “Tintin”.  After discovering that Tintin was a French comic written by Georges Remi (who is known as Hergé), Spielberg made plans for making a Tintin film.  Hergé gave Spielberg permission in 1983, but shortly afterward he died, and Hergé’s family refused to give the rights.  It’s been over 20 years, but Spielberg finally released, with the help of Peter Jackson, The Adventures of Tintin.

I’m a big Tintin fan.  I have read all of Hergé’s Tintin comics, even the super hard to find ones, like Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in Congo.  I was going to write a post discussing all of Hergé’s novels before the movie, but I ran out of time.  Anyway, I feel the film will satisfy any fan of Tintin, as it contains many references to the stories

The movie is a combination of three Tintin comics: The Secret of the Unicorn, Red Rackham’s Treasure, and The Crab WIth The Golden Claws.  In the film, Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his trusty dog Snowy buys a model ship of the Unicorn, supposedly one of the greatest ships ever built.  Two others, including a man named Sakharine (Daniel Craig), but Tintin refuses to sell.  At the same time, the bumbling Interpol policemen Thompson and Thomson (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) search for a pickpocket, and are good friends with Tintin.

Tintin soon discovers that inside the mast of the model is a scroll which tells of the treasure of Sir Francis Haddock, the captain of the Unicorn.  Their are two other scrolls which Tintin tries to find, but it turns out Sakharine is also searching for the scrolls.  He locks Tintin up in a ship with a sea captain named Captain Haddock (who’s brilliant played, or animated as you will, by Andy Serkis), a descendant of Sir Francis Haddock.  Tintin and Captain Haddock soon escape the ship, and search for the scrolls.

The movie is in motion-capture, which takes regular actors and gives them and animated appearance.  Robert Zemeckis has tried using this in his films The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol, but has met middling success.  Critics complained that Zemeckis focused too much on the visual effects rather than the characters’ emotions or the overrall story.  Spielberg, however, improves upon this.  He gives Tintin a cartoonish look, but makes him feel real or relatable enough to the audience.  The 3-D in the film is similar to what Martin Scorsese used in Hugo with skill and enhancement, not as a gimmick.

The film calls back many of the themes of Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films.  After seeing this film, I feel Spielberg and Jackson could make a Tintin franchise.



  1. Keep up the great work! Your reviews are getting better and better!

    I look forward to Tintin very much, glad to hear the positive thoughts!

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