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.
Tintin Movie Cast & Crew
In the German translation of the Tintin movie, Captain Haddock, while chasing down the parchment in Morocco, calls out “Mein Schatz,” which means “my precious,” a nod to Andy Serkis’ famous role as Gollum.
When Spielberg was planning “Tintin” back in 1984, he had considered Jack Nicholson for the part of Captain Haddock.
Tintin has one more trophy to put up on his shelf, this time from the Empire awards, who gave the film the ”Art of 3D” award over such other nominees as Hugo, Thor and the final Harry Potter film. You can watch the video of Harry Hill’s very brief acceptance speech (Spielberg couldn’t make it to the event) here.
Last Monday I started posting scans of original Tintin magazine covers from a wonderful site Thierry found. However, in honor of the day of the week every Tintin magazine issue used to come out, I will be posting them each Thursday. Thierry pointed out the interesting fact that in Belgium, at least back then, kids got Thursday off of school as a sort of break in the middle of the school week, but went to school on Saturday. So Thursday was a great day to come out with Tintin Magazine. I don’t know about Belgians, but I know at least in France they still go by a weird schedule…
So make sure to check back on Thursday!
Very good find Britto! An important piece of news has been hiding on a French site the past few days and, while I admit I do occasionally check google.fr, I almost certainly would have missed it. While in Paris for the release of ”War Horse”, Spielberg did an interview with ”Figaro”. The big ”scoop” the article was trying to push was what Spielberg thought of the Tintin movie’s ”failure” in the USA. The movie was no mega flop, but within the USA it was certainly no hit either. Spielberg said he didn’t want to blame anybody, and that he thinks the the movies bad reception in the USA was due mainly to the decision to use performance capture rather than a problem with the movie itself. Mainly, and I think I’d agree with him most here, he said that what people most rejected were the television commercials. They didn’t give them enough of a chance to go and see Tintin in the cinemas. I personally believe that, even though they used performance capture, the movie would have done much better if they had advertised it better. An American friend of mine told me all he saw related to the Tintin movie most of the time he watched TV this winter were short TV spots that didn’t tell him very much about the movie and left him wondering ”who’s Tintin?” I bet a lot of people saw the motion capture and thought the film was an expensive animated movie for kids. They needed more than occasional TV spots…they needed giant billboards, advertisements everywhere you looked, they needed to play the second trailer more on TV, a good line of action figures and other toys to get kids and families interested. The movie didn’t even get McDonald’s toys in the US. I also suspect that part of the movie’s failure to make as much as they hoped was because it came out right alongside Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (I couldn’t turn a corner in the US without seeing an ad for this one), Happy Feet 2 and The Muppets, all of which stole away a large part of the families going to the movies over the holidays. And anybody who wanted to see action and adventure was going to see Mission Impossible 4 in 3D. When given the choice between going to pay and see something new, especially when it’s been poorly marketed, and something old they are familiar with and know they like, American’s will choose the latter. It makes sense. Nonetheless I’m interested in seeing how many DVDs the movie sells, and I think that with a bit more luck and more work to let the USA know who Tintin is, Tintin 2 could be a really big hit. Regardless of American interest in Tintin, the film still made 76 million dollars in the US and about 300 million dollars worldwide. Spielberg reminded those in the interview that the film only cost about 142 million dollars to make, so he’s really pretty happy with how well the film did and a sequel is certainly underway.
However the most interesting part of the interview for me was the end, where they ask whether or not Calculus will ”finally show up in the film.” Spielberg answered yes, because he shows up in Red Rackham’s Treasure and they plan to pick up the second movie around where the first one left off. Then he told them that as of yet they still don’t know what books they will be combining in the new movie, and that Peter will be looking more into that this year…If this is true it’s quite something! Elsewhere they’ve told us that a script is already being written, so I really doubt that they are as clueless as Spielberg told Figaro. In any case, it does suggest that the beginning of Red Rackham’s treasure will make it into the next movie. And if what Spielberg told us before is true and the movie is ”more than one book, but less than two books”, all we’re missing is the name of one album. We’ll see…I’m interested in finding out whether or not Calculus’ shark submarine will make it into the film. If not, I wonder why Calculus will be interested in meeting Tintin…
On a side note, I got Williams’ Tintin 1 soundtrack and have been listening to it over and over…It has grown on me a lot, and I sincerely hope that Williams wins an Oscar this Sunday for his superb work.
New Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg Interview: Jackson will start working on Tintin 2 as soon as he’s done with The Hobbit
In a recent interview with Total Film, Spielberg and Jackson revealed some information regarding the sequel to ”Tintin,” . . . which is really not much information at all.
“Peter [Jackson]’s doing it. I wanted to do it, but Peter has to because we made a deal. I said, ‘I’ll direct the first one, you direct the second one.’
“And Peter, of course, is going to do it right after he finishes photography on The Hobbit. He’ll go right into the 31, 21 days of performance capture.
“We’re not telling the world what books we’re basing the second movie on yet.”
But didn’t producer Kathleen Kennedy say it’s going to be The Calculus Affair?
“We haven’t decided that yet. She’s throwing a monkey wrench into your story! It could be that. I like The Calculus Affair. So it could be.
“We have completed a story outline now. We have a writer on it. I’m just not declaring what it is. It will be more than one book, but no more than two.”
Why wouldn’t he go right to Tintin 2? It only takes a month or less on set to shoot!I see the wisdom of their choice of not revealing the stories just yet…Apparently it’s not Prisoners of the Sun, and it may or may not be the moon books (a long time ago that was considered as a better Tintin 3). That leaves no more two part stories, which means another combination of stories that is bound to receive mixed reactions. I was amazed at how well the two they blended last time worked, and especially after recently having read Horowitz’s ”The House of Silk”, I am firmly confident that he can write an adventurous story while respecting to the best degree Tintin’s original albums. So long as people understand they will not BE the original albums, the movie should be very enjoyable, like the first one was. However, if they wait too much longer I think I am going to explode. I have made little effort in concealing the fact that my vote definitely goes to The Calculus Affair. But what story would it go with? Maybe just the a small section of Red Rackham’s treasure to introduce Calculus, or do they plan on grafting in more than just that from one album into another? Jackson, I would really appreciate it if you don’t wait TOO long to reveal the albums to the world.
The Golden Globe award for best animated film first appeared at the 64th Golden Globe Awards in 2007, given to the 2006 film ”Cars”. Every year since then a Pixar film has won, with awards going to Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3. However, this year the award has gone to the controversial film that the Oscars weren’t even going to recognize as an animated film: ”The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn”. I’m a huge Pixar fan, but after having followed this movie for so many years, it’s great to see it win such a great award. Spielberg, Jackson, the actors, the animators, and every single person that worked on the movie did an absolutely great job and the work paid off. Hergé would be proud that after so many low quality Tintin movies, the world has seen a Tintin movie that actually won a Golden Globe Award. Congratulations!
It’s interesting to note that every movie that has ever won this award also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, with the exception of Cars, which of all films lost to Happy Feet, a film that, like Tintin, used motion capture. So far Tintin has received 6 nominations from the Directors Guild in the four categories devoted to animated film, with three of the five in the Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Motion Picture category. Tintin stands a very good chance of winning an award this February.
As Spielberg took the award, he made sure to recognize all of the main actors as more than just the voices of Tintin and his friends. He finished recognizing Andy Serkis as ”the man of a thousand digital faces”.
Here’s the video of Spielberg receiving the award.
I was sitting looking at Tintin stuff on the internet and suddenly realized that the fat lady in the phone booth that takes shelter from the rain never made it in the movie! I guess she wasn’t really needed if she wasn’t missed until now, and I’m not sure were it would have fit in since Tintin never needs to ”call the captain”, but I still kind of hope that it’s a deleted scene somewhere on the DVD. If not, I would really appreciate it Jackson and Horowitz if you would please include that section somewhere in Tintin 2…
I wonder if the scene was deliberately cut out because there is really only a couple females in the whole movie with a name, and while that is completely true to Herge’s works it still might have bothered some people for the only other girl in the whole movie that Tintin talks to after Mrs Finch to be a stereotypical fat lady with her dog ”Fifi”.
Anyway, I guarantee I will laugh hard if it makes it into the next script…
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.
I almost lived out one of my worst nightmares…I looked online to find The Adventures of Tintin:The Imax Experience 3D and almost every theatre in my state wasn’t showing it. The few IMAX theatres that were showing anything are playing Mission Impossible 4…But at the last moment I found a place 30 minutes away that’s showing it on Thursday. I am SO excited. I’ve been waiting so terribly long, just like the rest of you. Honestly, it’s been a lot of fun to have something worth looking forward to. I would say I can’t wait to see the movie but…I can wait a little more.
I’m debating about whether or not to buy popcorn. Sure, I’ve waited years and years for this, but is any popcorn, no matter how good, worth ten bucks??? Wow…
By the way, here’s an awesome new TV spot. My favorite part is the beginning. Honestly, I never liked it much when Tintin said ”Great Snakes!”…but I absolutely love how Jamie Bell pulled it off.
For those of you newbies to Tintin, he is such an icon that the Vatican’s official newspaper actually just recently wrote an article on him. Specifically, on the debate that’s been going on in court on whether or not to ban ”Tintin in the Congo” for racism. Now, one might think that just because of the Vatican’s very nature the article would certainly be defending those poor congolese people of the past that were portrayed far from accurately. But the author actually took the time to look at the facts of the article and has chosen to vigorously defend Tintin as his movie comes out around the world, stating that Tintin has been a good example of Catholic values throughout the ages. The article must be remembered and pulled out in the future to hopefully silence all of those foolish people that talk of Tintin being racist, gay, nazi,…you fill in the blank. The article is especially upset that Tintin in the congo has, in the UK, been ”wrapped up like a pornographic magazine and consigned to the adults-only section” of British book shops.
Like an excellent lawyer in Belgium at the moment arguing that the book is simply showing stereotypes from the time of Hergé, ”L’Observatore Romano” also holds to the obvious fact that ”Tintin in the Congo” is simply a reflection of its time, the fruit of a man who had never seen what Belgium was really doing there and only had false stereotypes to go on. We know how much effort Hergé put into researching his future albums, so it would be unfair to characterize hardly any of his other albums based on this one album. Furthermore, the African people, while certainly shown as unintelligent and naive people, are not even portrayed as villains in the story, but rather the gangsters Tintin deals with there. Tintin has nothing against these people and neither did Hergé. There is really nothing in the book that would lead anybody except the most sensitive of Congolese person to truly be offended by the book, and then that guy would probably just see how his people were drawn on the front and find some other comic to read (or take Moulinsart to court…). As the Vatican put it, ”The comic book was published in the 1930s, and for that reason expresses the values of the era – but can it really perturb young Britons of today, raised as they are on the Internet, video games and fish and chips?”
The Vatican praises Tintin’s character, calling him ”an angel” helping widows and orphans…Tintin is said to be driven by ”a sacred moral imperative – to save the innocent and conquer evil….Tintin is a Western knight of modern times, an unstained heart in an invulnerable body.” It’s great to see people still defending Tintin in the press. ”Le Soir” was a Catholic newspaper when Tintin was around, yet another reason that the Vatican would be pleased with kids reading Tintin. I myself am not catholic, but I certainly support kids reading about Tintin’s heroic virtues rather than all of the junk out there for them to read.
Interestingly enough, while the Vatican sings Tintin’s praises, one zealous worker in Lebanon tried to cover up Spielberg’s name from a Tintin poster. Circuit Empire, in charge of cinemas in Lebanon, commented that ”He knew that Spielberg was blacklisted and he took it upon himself to black out his name,” pointing out that this was not some movement of several men but just one worker. The name was quickly uncovered and the posters are still seen today. Of course this was nothing against Tintin, but it’s funny to watch how different countries react to big American films like this and how it affects Tintin’s release. I found it interesting they also commented that technically according to the strict laws in Lebanon Tintin should be banned, but due to the popular black market selling films the law would be impossible to implement and people are allowed to see it on the big screens. There’s a unique piece of Tintin trivia you can remember and tell other Tintin friends in the future…