The Adventures of Tintin: A Delightful Outing

For fans of Tintin comics like yours truly, watching ace director Steven Spielberg’s animation debut The Adventures of Tintin turned out to be a rewarding experience.

There was a time in a distant era and a far off continent when we devoured Tintin comics like there was no tomorrow.

Blistering barnacles, we probably read the whole bunch over the span of a few weeks. And relished ’em all.

So watching Tintin and his sidekicks Capt.Haddock and the smart white dog Snowy come to life on the big screen was an enjoyable moment for us this evening.

Not to forget the presence of the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson.

Just in case you’re the curious sort, Tintin was the creation of Belgian comic writer Georges Prosper Remi, fondly known as HergΓ©.

A Performance Captured 3D Tintin

Like Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Adventures of Tintin too relies on performance capture techniques of film-making.

For the uninitiated, this means real actors like Daniel Craig (Sakharine), Andy Serkis (Capt.Haddock) and Jamie Bell (Tintin) enact the scenes and their movements and actions are captured by cameras and digitally transformed into animation.

Visually-speaking, Tintin is closer to a live action film than a regular animation picture.

In some scenes, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re watching a live action film.

But The Adventures of Tintin is not in the same visual league as Avatar.

Perhaps, because lush green forests, gray suspended mountains shrouded in fog, gigantic colorful birds and bluish human-like creatures translate into better spectacles on the big screen compared to the antics of a funny-looking youngster (Tintin) and the crew aboard a ship rolling on high seas.

Still, there were some moments in Tintin that told a powerful visual story.

Like for instance, when in the middle of a sandy desert Capt.Haddock evokes the fierce 17th century fight between his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock and the villain Sakharine’s pirate forbear Red Rackham on the rolling sea we were spellbound by the rich imagery unfolding on the screen.

But the increasing use of 3D in movies is getting tiresome because it seems like no more than a ploy by movie-makers to dip their fingers deeper into your pocket. The extra ticket cost is rarely justified by the use of 3D effects.

A Treasure Chase – On Sea & Land

Tintin is a reporter who joins up with the drunken sailor Capt.Haddock and the intelligent dog snowy to divine the secret of a 17th century ship The Unicorn.

It all begins, however, when Tintin buys a small model of the Unicorn at a street corner. No sooner does Tintin acquire the small model, a mysterious buyer arrives on the scene asking him to name his price for parting with the model.

Of course, the model is a key to unlocking the secret of the original Unicorn ship that sank to the bottom of the sea following a fierce battle with pirates three centuries earlier.

Tintin’s steadfast refusal to relinquish the model unleashes a series of events including his kidnapping, attempted murder and frenetic, perilous chases across land, sea, air, deserts and mountains.

As the movie progresses, the action and the chases intensify.

Ultimately culminating in a fight high up in the air between Sakharine and Haddock in a reprise of the battle between the ancestors of the two men three-centuries earlier.

Before the movie ended, the audience is provided a loud hint of a sequel in the works.

By the way, the only familiar figure from the comics missing in the movie was the eccentric scientist Professor Calculus. Rating

Overall, we were impressed with The Adventures of Tintin.

The ceaseless action, the tight story, the compelling ‘performances’ and the presence of familiar characters from those Tintin comics we eagerly pored over three decades back make for yet another entertainer from the Hollywood master Steven Spielberg in a new genre.

Your favorite blog recommends The Adventures of Tintin this weekend. But be prepared to shell out mucho dollars because there are few shows of the non-3D version.

8 Responses to "The Adventures of Tintin: A Delightful Outing"

  1. munish   December 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    British accent gets on my nerves..
    Are you planning to go for Don 2? Responds:

    Don 2?

    Most likely not.

  2. Naveen   December 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    SI – Would you recommend watching Tintin in IMAX 3D or just in a regular screen? Responds:

    Maybe neither.

    Friends & family unfamiliar with Tintin were not impressed.

    We watched it in 3D (non-IMAX) but the regular version would have been fine too.

  3. niramay   December 24, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I too took great pleasure in watching the visual effects…BTW, 3D tickets are dirt cheap in Mumbai, provided it’s a matinee show.

    I got 1 ticket for Rs.75,believe or not!

    How much did they cost you? Responds:

    We paid $8.75 for the matinee show.

    For the evening shows, 3D movie tickets range from $14.50-$18 depending on the theatre, time and city ($18 at Regal E-Walk Times Square in NYC).

    Do theatres take back the 3D glasses in India? You can keep them here.

    • niramay   December 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      Yeah, they take them back after the movie. Responds:

      We thought as much.

  4. Naveen   December 26, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Watched Tintin today.

    Fantastic movie!

    Loved it!!

    Thank you Spielberg. πŸ™‚ Responds:

    We watched two Korean films on NFLX Instant:

    A Better Tomorrow (Deewarish kind)


    Fly High (tearjerker crap).

    • Naveen   December 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      Have you seen The Descendants? Responds:

      Not yet.

      Planned it twice but something else came up.

  5. gandhiji   December 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Watched it yesterday and I think it fell just a little short of my expectations.. but still good.

    Felt good relive the scenes that had enthralled me when I was young.

    I felt Captain Haddock and Snowy (Not Snoopy!! – blasphemy!) looked more like the characters in my mind.

    Tintin looked a little different than what I was used to in the comics. While I loved Haddock the most, I had a tough time following the Scottish accent. Responds:

    We thought Tintin looked the same or maybe it’s our blurred eyes and fading memories.

    Did Tintin have black hair in the comics?

You must be logged in to post a comment Login