Tintinology (formally Tintin Movie .org) is an independent news and analysis service on the Tintin movie and the works of Herge. (c) Chris Tregenza, Tintinology.poosk.com
Tintin, Tintin & Snowy, Captain Haddock, Thomson & Thompson, Professor Calculus and Herge are all trademarks of Moulinsart S.A. The text and images of the 24 Tintin albums (c) Herge / Moulinsart S.A.
The Crab with the Golden Claws
Anti-alcohol forces led Hergé to change the panel in the original on page 19 for the redrawn version so that Haddock is not actually seen drinking from the bottle…
For those of you who may have found this through google or some other way and are not a regular follower of this site, I can assure you that while you will find many, many reviews of ”The Adventures of Tintin” on the internet, you will find very few written by somebody who has been an avid Tintin fan for years to the extent that he has been following every last piece of information available about the progress of this movie since it was first announced almost five years ago that Spielberg was going to pick up his old project and finally make a Tintin movie. Here you will find two such reviews. One is Chris’ review, the guy who started this blog and wrote everything until his schedule got busy and allowed me to write posts. Shortly after the movie premiered over in Europe he wrote a great review for both the Tintin fan and the man who’s never heard of him until now alike. I recommend you check it out here
The other such review of course is mine. I’m probably the biggest American Tintin fan you’ll ever meet. For those of you clueless people out there, Tintin is a very well known comic the Belgian George Remi (pen name Herge) drew from the late 1920s to the 70s. Tintin is a reporter that always finds himself on incredible adventures with his faithful white fox terrier, Snowy. He’s never been popular in the USA, but just about every other country in the world has heard of him. If you think that’s an exaggeration, check out how well Tintin did in the box offices over seas. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie much more than I’ve ever looked forward to see any other movie in my life. Did it live up to my expectations? In a world where movie tickets are expensive, is it worth your cash? What if you’re not a Tintin fan? Will you enjoy it?
I hate spoilers as much as you do so need not worry about reading any here. First of all, if you are new to Tintin you will not be lost. The movie does a terrific job of introducing the movie’s main characters. If you are a fan, you will recognise all of them as the characters you know, not as some horribly distorted version of them Hollywood threw together. Everybody making this movie went to great lengths to make sure that the original stories and artwork were respected as much as possible. The movie actually combines two Tintin albums, ”The crab with the golden claws” and ”The Secret of the Unicorn (there’s also a little bit of ”Red Rackhams treasure” in there, but not much), but you’d never know they weren’t one fluent storyline if you’ve never read the books because they are so magnificently blended together. As a matter of fact, while there are certain things that surely only a Tintin fan will appreciate when they watch the film, there are some things only somebody who is not at all familiar with the storyline will experience fully. I had very few problems while I was watching the movie, but one of them was really my own fault: I know the story of ”The Secret of the Unicorn” like the back of my hand. As a result I already knew almost everything that Tintin discovers little by little throughout the film. At some points I thought that the mystery side of the movie had been a bit overdramatized and that Tintin was taking just a little too long to put all the pieces together (quite literally), but again, the answer to the mystery is obvious once you already know the secret. But even when I knew what was coming, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film. There are lots of hilarious lines in the film, many straight from the books but most just clever new lines the excellent writers came up with. Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that actors only did the voices in this film: every movement from their bodies and faces has captured by computer, and the animators then did an excellent job of putting ”digital makeup” on. Jamie Bell did a very good job as Tintin. Some people have complained in other reviews that the movie is so action packed there is little time for Tintin’s character to be really developed. But the truth is that we know very little about Tintin, and Jamie Bell did a great job at not answering those questions for us. We don’t know who his boss is or who his parents are. We don’t really care. What we do know is that once he sets his mind to do something, he heroicly keeps going against all odds no matter where in the world danger takes him. And the movie does a wonderful job at taking us on the adventure with him.Pretty much every frame of the movie is a piece of art…You could get a sense of what I’m talking about by checking out some of the movie stills or watching the trailers, but you really won’t understand just how great it looks until you see it in the movies. Especially the city of Brussels and the port in Morocco are bright,colorful and incredibly detailed. As far as the people go, they look wonderful to me. They still look like the cartoon characters from the comics, but when you see each individual hair on their heads and the sand and the sweat on their faces as they trod through the desert, you have to remind yourself it isn’t real and congrutalute Weta for their great job. The movie is in a number of formats, but I recommend you go see it in IMAX 3D like I did (if you can find one that doesn’t have all of it’s showtimes filled up with ”Mission Impossible 4”). Chris didn’t particularly like the 3D, but I’ve always been a big fan of IMAX 3D and really enjoyed certain sections when it looked like the dust Tintin’s flashlight was hitting or the woodchips that were exploding or even Captain Haddock’s nose were really in front of my face. Aside from a few moments when the camera pans so quickly a few things seem out of focus, this is a movie that the 3D really works well in, especially on the enormous screen. However I’d say that if you see it in 2D you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing too much because the 3D is more of a fun added bonus to the movie experience.
This is a movie you can take your kids to (they’ll LOVE Snowy), but it’s not just a movie for kids. I fear that many people will go to action packed Mission Impossible 4 and miss one of the best movies that came out this year. What really made the movie for me was Andy Serkis’ brilliant performance as Captain Haddock. Haddock is absolutely hilarious. When you’re not laughing at what he’s doing, you’re laughing at his lines, and when you’re not laughing at his lines you’re probably laughing at his face. He has a Scottish accent in the film (most of us didn’t see him that way in the books) but I fell in love with this version of Haddock immediately as Serkis brought it to life before my eyes. There were times when shots Haddock and a flashback of Sir Francis alternate with a fluency that could only really be acchieved using motion capture.The Thompsons also have a great part in the film, and the only thing I regret about their parts is that I wish they had appeared more in the movie! ”Tintin 2”, which has been officially confirmed, is said to give them a larger role. Daniel Craig did an awesome job as the villain Sakharine, and it’s funny to recognise James Bond playing a villain’s part. He is not the most evil of villains, but he certainly beats (in my mind anyway) the ”Bird Brothers” that were the somewhat pathetic villains in the original stories. I disliked to some degree how Allan, who was a main villain in ”The crab with the golden claws” became more of a wimpy sidekick to Sakharine, but it did work well in the story.
For Tintin Fans (the only spoilers here will be spoilers to non-Tintin fans)
If you are a Tintin fan worried that they’ve taken the stories and thrown in too many pointless action scenes, don’t worry about it. There were really very few sections that I didn’t instantly recognise from one of the books,even when the trailers sometimes make it seem like there are more, and they were anything but annoying. Actually I was very pleased that finally Tintin was doing something new because much of the fun for me in watching the movie was seeing what fun new things the writers could come up with for Tintin to do without insulting the fans. As I said before, the storyline was very familiar to me, and it was good to see some changes to it to make the movie more exciting. The scene in Bagghar with a brilliant cameo appearance of Castafiore and the chaos that follows is actually one of my favorite parts. If Herge could see it today, I think he’d laugh. And the other new scene at the end,a final clash between Haddock and the villain,is a great way to finish their side of the story. Never once do the new scenes seem to make the characters do something against their personality, and if they slow down the story at all it’s only so you can take a moment to enjoy yourself and laugh at what’s going on.
Tintin DOES use a gun (just like he does in the books) but as far as I could tell he never once killed anybody and hardly if ever wounds somebody. He shoots at motors or ropes to get what he wants or protect himself.
Any Tintin fan would be a fool not to go see this in theaters while they still can! Herge’s artwork is apparent from the first 3 seconds of the movie, and both the style and music of the intro feels like you’re watching the beginning of ”Catch me if you can” with about 14 million tributes to the different Tintin albums thrown in. It’s fun to watch moments throughout the movie that have elements thrown in from different books. There are more easter eggs in this movie that any I’ve ever seen, and if you have a good Tintin fan that can go with you to watch the movie you’ll enjoy yourself that much more, because you’ll both be the only people in the theater that know why you’re laughing at what’s on the screen. I won’t say what it is, but there’s a magnificent tribute to ”Explorers on the moon” that I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to own this movie on blu-ray and watch it with all the pizza and popcorn I couldn’t afford when I watched it in IMAX, this time with the remote control to pause the image and read newspaper clippings, compare character’s faces with the albums or look for more references.
You really have to see this movie. Europe loved it for good reasons. If you don’t know who Tintin is, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you DO know who Tintin is, you would make a grave error to not watch this because you are worried about ”what they’ve done to Tintin”. Don’t worry about it, trust me. No matter who you are, this is a must see. It’s the biggest installment in Tintin’s history since Alpha-Art was published.
If I could make a suggestion for the next film it would only be that the next story not revolve as much around a mystery and more around whether or not Tintin will be able to complete his clearly defined objective at all (i.e save Calculus from the Bordurians…hint hint…) I love that heroic side of Tintin that will do anything to save a friend, and I hope to see that developed more in the next film.
Go out America, and enjoy the film. Spielberg, Jackson, Weta, and the whole massive team in the credits, I applaud your hard work. The wait was worth it.
By popular demand, the highly praised Travels of a Boy Reporter has returned. This map tracks the journey of Tintin in his 23 adventures across the world.
Download & Print
The map is available as a download for just £10. Once you’ve downloaded it you are free to use it how you wish (non-commercially only). Print it out, have t-shirts made, use it as your computer’s desktop. You are free to use it however you want.
It comes in a variety of sizes ranging from the small 480×320 pixels, suitable for an iPhone, to the huge 6679×4722 pixels, suitable for an A1 poster.
Find out more about the map or skip to chase and buy it now.
High resolution graphics with license to print and use the map for any non-commercial purpose.
In our last post we covered the new trailer for ”The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn”, but a lot of details have been revealed that I didn’t get to. We’ll cover more on what we know about the gameplay itself in a future post, but for now we’ll stick to what systems the game will be released on. The ancient rumor that Tintin will only be coming to a few systems is nothing more than a lie. Tintin will get the multi-platform release it deserves.
This picture is from ”www.tintimportintim.com”, a wonderful Brazilian tintin fan site. I recommend you check it out. You don’t mind if I use this photo,do you Britto?
According to Ubisoft.com:
”…the video game will be released in the US for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Windows PC, Nintendo 3DS™ and Wii™ this Holiday 2011.”
Apparently the Nintendo DS is already beginning to share the fate of the Gameboy Advance and Tintin is never to come to it. It’s actually kind of ironic. In one post I thought that Tintin might only be a platform game on the DS release. Now we know it’s a platform game on nearly every system EXCEPT the DS…which won’t even get a version of the game. While the DS is inferior to the 3DS in many ways, the main reason they may have chosen not to release the game for the DS or, apparently, the PSP is that the game will indeed be in 3D. There’s a very neat article on Gamespot by the guys who had the privilege of seeing a presentation with game play from the game in advance, and in their own words:
”…the presentation included four distinct action sequences, all of which were shown in 3D.”
I don’t know if the rest of the versions of the game for consoles will be 3D only if you have a 3D TV or if they will come with little cardboard pairs of glasses. But somehow it’s in 3D. I have actually never played a 3D game before, but I see how a platform game would benefit from the format having the different depths in the background. Now I can’t wait to see this game in action, but I still don’t have a 3DS or a 3D TV (as much as I want both) and don’t have the money for them either.
There is a bit of hope for those of you who were hoping for a portable Tintin game that doesn’t only go for a system that currently costs about 250 dollars. I’m not sure how we haven’t heard about this somewhere before, but a Tintin game is coming to cellphones, created by Gameloft:
“Tintin is one of the most popular comics of the 20th century,” commented Gonzague de Vallois, Senior Vice-President of Publishing at Gameloft “We’re particularly pleased to be bringing such a beloved and iconic character as Tintin to fans on their mobile phone, smartphone or tablet.”
It wouldn’t surprise me if this has little or nothing to do with the Ubisoft game. I would expect this one to not be as good. But for those who like cellphone style games, it looks like there is finally going to be something like a ”Tintin app”.
Finally, Ubisoft went all out and decided to make the Xbox and PS3 games compatible with the new technology:
It also includes exotic gameplay elements such as sword fighting, aerial combat and driving. This next-generation of Tintin includes support for the Kinect™ for Xbox 360, and PlayStation®Move for the PlayStation®3 system.
This probably means the Wii version will use the ”Wiimote” a good deal as well. Man, this game sounds like fun!
Sources: http://www.mobiletor.com/2011/06/07/gameloft-the-adventures-of-tintin-game-announced/ http://www.gametactics.com/2011/06/e3-2011-ubisoft-details-tintin-the-game/ http://www.ubi.com/AU/Games/Info.aspx?pId=9874
I’m alive!!! I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it sooner! How is it the one day I know the trailer is coming out I HAD to be away from my computer for diverse reasons nearly all day? It was torture guys, torture! I see from the comments that you have all seen it already. I love the one comment that wonders if I died of shock. I laughed so hard!
Actually nearly every Tintin Movie fan on the planet must have seen this by now, but for those of you who haven’t, here are the biggest news since they announced the making of the Tintin movie all those years back: the Tintin Teaser Trailer is out!!!
Two slightly different versions were created. I prefer the one below because of a few extra seconds of footage included and the way the dramatic music starts. Believe me, I tried everything to get the YouTube link to show the video on this blog (except, apparently, whatever I need to do to get it to work). I’ve been trying for an hour! Anyway, if you hit the link below it will take you to the HD video, which is worth a full-screen watch anyhow.
Since I hope you’ll want to watch it again, check out Empire’s version here:
Time to over analyze
Sorry guys, but I just had to. I know we’ve been dying to see it all in motion, but just for analysis sake let’s go back over the whole trailer’s most notable frames:
At the end of the video we get our clearest ever shot of Tintin’s face. It took me a bit by surprise at first, but the more I watch the trailer the more it grows on me. It looks wonderful. While in physical appearance he looks more human than Hergé’s Tintin (but come on, if they had tried to pull off his nose for this movie he would have looked totally ridiculous…) he has the same feel. He’s somewhere between being a man and a boy, but nobody knows just how old he looks. He looks heroic but at the same time not quite an adult yet. But unlike so many children’s stories that just make the villains look like complete idiots so that children can be the stars of the show, all of the formidable villains in the series respect and in a sense almost fear Tintin. Whether because of his reporter status or because of his fame in stopping crime, the villains talking at the end know who Tintin is.
The model unicorn looks so good it almost looks like a real image. Weta Digital never ceases to amaze me. Don’t miss snowy and Tintin in the reflection. Apparently Tintin isn’t finding the model ship quite the same way he does in the book. But I don’t think this is the same Unicorn you see later in the dark scene with the flashlight. My money is on this being the one Tintin gets, and the other is somebody else’s Unicorn
Tintin’s street! It looks just like his street in the books. The car really reminds me of something Hergé would (or did) draw.
If I had to pick, this just might be my favorite part of the whole trailer. I couldn’t stop laughing! I love this idea. This says something for how funny the Thompson ”Twins” will be in the film.
Silk looks just as great as ever. This should make for a great chase scene.
Here we find two characters that were never even in the same album originally: Sakharine (the guy who wanted to buy the Unicorn from Tintin) and Allan. But it seems Allan will be substituting the weaker Bird Brothers as the main villain in this story, and Sakharine made it on the Karaboudjan somehow with him as well. Another prisoner?
I am certain they put Haddock in this so little just because I said I was looking forward to seeing him in this yesterday. This is the only time he appears, and you can barely see him. But what we can see of him looks EXACTLY like he should, so I’m happy.
The seaplane flies off to take down Tintin and Haddock! Insert dramatic John Williams music here! (Of course, we all know the trailer music was not John William’s music, but I can’t wait to hear what he does with this scene).
The Karaboudjan in all it’s glory. (By the way the spell check loves that word. Anybody have any idea why it thinks it’s similar in any way to the word Paraboloidal? Ha ha ha…).
The unlucky guard appears to later be asked by Allan ”How could you let them escape?”. Not sure how he’ll answer to Allan, but we in the audience know it happened after Snowy bit the poor thug’s arm and then Tintin punched him half way across the ship. Go Tintin!
A friend watching the trailer with me for the first time said ”Wow! That’s not how I remember that in the book, but…I like this more!” I completely agree with him. Although we’re really stressing credibility when it comes to Tintin SURVIVING that crash, the crash itself is totally awesome. Hey, the plane did crash in the desert. Let’s let Hollywood have fun with that!
The Unicorn sailing into…the desert…?
Actually, the sea itself is COVERING the desert,and the Unicorn is sailing on that. I still think that it’s just a dramatic transition between the two settings, not really a shot of the Unicorn crashing into the desert. Maybe Haddock tells the story of his ancestor while the two are walking in the desert, hence the transition. Or maybe it’s a hallucination?
Look familiar anybody? This is the exact same scene that we got one of our early images from of Barnaby standing in the door. Sorry to spoil it for you guys, but it looks like Barnaby comes to leave a warning, and then gets shot from behind. He falls down right there in the doorway and Tintin races after the culprits in their awesome blue gangster car…I guess the lesson here is that Tintin should have invited Barnaby inside to have a seat instead of pointing a gun at him to let him get shot in the back…but hey, he didn’t know.
This could explain the warning sentence from the beginning. It could be Barnaby, or it could be Haddock. I think the voice could fit for both characters, but especially Haddock. I really like Tintin’s voice. I was a little worried that it would have a strong accent I didn’t like or wouldn’t match the character, but the voice matches perfectly.
The characters look great throughout the entire video. I don’t care what anybody on YouTube says, they do not look creepy or ugly like some people who love to hate anything they see. For starters the effect isn’t as bad as haters say it is in the movies that do have the Uncanny Valley effect, but the real thing here is that the images simply don’t have that. I would much rather look at these characters than, say, Andy from Toy Story 3.
It’s interesting that both in the posters as in the trailer, the subtitle was not included, but it was in Cannes.
Finally, the trailer is almost everything we could have dreamed and hoped for, and the little bit left out is simply what makes it a teaser trailer. Anything that used to look unnatural looks fine in motion, just as we expected. I said I would give it a chance, and having seen the trailer I will definitely be going to see this in full Imax 3D when it comes out. For being 1:o3 minutes long, it had plenty of stuff for us Tintin fans to watch and enjoy while we wait for the next piece of big news.
I think the trailer was well worth the wait.
Finally we have the first images of Tintin Movie merchandise. For months now we’ve wondered about possible toys and figures. This is our first glance.
Although you won’t find this on their site anymore, Toys News put up a post on their website with the following picture. The following is cut and pasted from the post. Take a GOOD look at this photo.
Its been a week since the Empire Tintin Issue came out and I’ve had time to digest the images in it.
Below are my thoughts on those images. Note, the images, not the film itself. There is a big difference between a handful of stills and a full length film. Not to mention there is still a year to go and a lot can change. When the film is released I will judge it on its own merits and not pre-judge it.
However, several stills have been released by Spielberg and Co. so they are fair game. It has always been my intention with this blog to write what I think about the film. When I like something, I say so. When I dislike something, I will also say so. You are free to disagree with me and voice your own opinions in the comments in a polite manner fitting of Tintin fans.
Scanned from Empire Magazine
This shot is the cream of the crop.
The texture of Silk’s beard, the look of the Twins, the detailed background, the composition of the shot, the lighting – they are all perfect.
The Not As Good But Still Good
Scanned from Empire Magazine
Dark and moody, full of portent and potential action. The low camera angle and heavy shadows gives the shot a nice feeling of tension.
From Empire’s online gallery
I wrote earlier that I didn’t like “the harsh light behind Haddock”. Interestingly, the print version of this image is much, much darker. This is down to the technological and production differences between VDU displays that emit light and printed matter that reflect light. In the print version, the back lighting looks less out of place and I much prefer the image even though it is harder to make out the details.
From Empire’s online gallery
These two images are the only ones from the film that show the full body lengths of our main characters plus Snowy. In both of them, something looks off-key. Haddock in particular look unnatural in his pose in both. Maybe this is just Andy Serkis’s acting of a drunk and it will look OK in context.
Snowy also doesn’t look right. This may be because he is the only true character animation in the film whilst everyone else is motion-capture.
Given the quality of everything else, I willing to bet that in the film everything will look right but it does leave me with a Polar Express type worry.
I really don’t like this cover. The detail is exquisite but both Tintin and Snowy look really unnatural but without any of Herge’s charm. It would of been much better if they had only used actual images from the film. I suspect that this image is influencing my opinions and unduly increasing my worries about the two previous images.
Am I Excited? You Bet!
Despite all the quibbles and doubts I have about the images, all the signs are that will Spielberg & Jackson capture the look and the spirit of the books. Roll on October 2011!
A very quick update as I’m away for a long weekend in couple minutes.
The Empire magazine December issue has Tintin on the front, the two stills we have already seen plus an image of Tintin, Haddock & co in the desert (from Crab with the Golden Claws), an image of the Thompsons with Silk (the thief from Unicorn) and Tintin greeting Barnaby (who I cannot place off the top of my head). Additionally there are several behind the scenes photos and six pages of articles.
First impressions of the new images pretty much my reaction to the first two – parts of them look great (the Thompsons in particular) but the figures of Tintin, Haddock and Snowy in the desert look off somehow. Their shape or stances is just a little too cartoony for my taste.
Once I’ve had some time to read and digest the images over the weekend I’ll post more detailed thoughts. In the meantime, if you spot these images on the web, post the links in the comments below so that fans around the world can also see them.
Back soon, have a great weekend.
The world has had a chance to digest the first Tintin images for a whole day now. So what is the world thinking?
Based on the comments on this web site, most Tintin fans are excited about it. With only one or two dissenting voices raising concerns about the nature of the animation. In the wider world, reaction is more mixed and seems pretty polorized with very negative and very positive comments in equal measure.
Wading Through the Bullshit
One of the problems with the internet is that people love to hate. The Trolls who live on forum and write blogs vent bile because it gives them a sense of purpose, not because they have anything interesting to say. Filtering out the nay-sayers from those with a genuine ability to analysis and criticise is hard.
Of those commentators and writers who can put together an articulate sentence, most appear positive.
What Do I Think?
Having run this web site dedicated to the Tintin movie since the films were first announced over 2 years ago, what do I think?
My personal feelings about the images is mixed but part of the problem is that the film’s producers / Empire magazine made a mistake.
By having the cover as a specially created image and basing it on an iconic Tintin image, they were only ever going to highlight the differences between Herge’s artwork and the film’s style.
The cover image itself is not that good either. The detail is amazing but most people don’t see the detail, they see something this size ….
And it does the film no favours. Tintin looks a bit unnatural but Snowy look stuffed. An albino Scooby-Do was how one person described him and I’m with them on that.
It is in the stills from the actual film that we learn a lot more. Here, the context, the background and the story all come into play. They will also of had more time and attention payed to them than the cover.
This instantly recognisable scene is great because you can instantly recognize it. The world around the characters is wonderfully detailed and lifelike but…
… there is something about the posture of the three charaters, Haddock and Snowy in particular, that looks wrong. Snowy seems stuffed again and Haddock looks like he is suffering from a bad case of rag-doll physics.
Oddly, in this scene, the problem is reversed. I think this is from the first meeting of Haddock and Tintin and here the characters look wonderful. The real emotion on Haddock’s face is there for all to see. His hair and imperfect, aged skin really give a realism to the character.
However, the background could be fantastic but is mostly blotted out by the harsh light behind Haddock. This is a real shame as the sou’wester on the right looks great. The lightning in this still spoils it by distracting from the character and the background.
So What Have We Learnt From The First Images?
The visuals have had a mixed response but the film was always going to generate this sort reaction. Unless it looks 100% like the original artwork it is inevitable that people will complain. Personally I’m excited by them, trusting to the directors to make the look of the film work within the context of a 3d movie, not as a magazine cover.
What is far more important is wether the film captures the spirit of Tintin – the sense of adventure, the humour and above all, the characters. To answer these questions, we must wait another year.
The first two stills for Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, have been released.
Both images have been revealed by Empire Magazine and the December issue (available 4th November) will have more comments and news from the cast. Including this:
So what can we expect from the story? Here’s what Spielberg told us. “The first part of the film, which is the most mysterious part, certainly owes much to not only film noir but the whole German Brechtian theatre — some of our night scenes and our action scenes are very contrasty. But at the same time the movie is a hell of an adventure.”
The images follow a weekend-long teaser that slowly released close-ups of their cover. A full version of which is now available.
This image was specially created for the magazine and is not from the film.
All images are copyright to someone, though who the hell knows because Empire doesn’t say. So please credit Empire magazine if you reproduce them.