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 News
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!
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.
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…
Tintin has recently expanded to the rest of Europe and the Middle East, and has once again been received with open arms. According to ”Box Office Mojo”, Tintin has brought in an extra 40.8 million dollars between the 45 territories, which added to what the movie had already received comes to about 125.3 million dollars over the past 2 weeks! After years and years of work, the results are literally paying off:
(…the movie opened to a…) solid second place start in Russia ($5.9 million). However, its top market was once again France, where it plummeted 64 percent to $7.8 million after its enormous opening last weekend. It held extremely well in Spain (easing 12 percent to $6.15 million), and it also added $3.6 million in Germany and $3.3 million in the United Kingdom. Finally, the movie was up 25 percent to $2.5 million in author Herge’s native Belgium. Next weekend, Tintin is set to expand in to a handful of smaller Asian markets like India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
We have no reason to think the movie won’t continue to do well in the remaining countries. Today Europe, tomorrow the world! And finally, the USA in December…grumble grumble grumble….
Just today I told somebody how I was torn…when the soundtrack comes out, will I listen to it before I see the movie or wait until I see it with the film? I didn’t want to know what was coming ahead of time too well or hear things out of context, but on the other hand I was dying to hear SOMETHING from the soundtrack! This provided a great balance between the two. Even if you are weary of spoilers, I recommend you check out this site with very short previews or each track. Check it out here
If you are worried about even reading the track list, I´ll give you a spoiler free summary of the soundtrack: if you are familiar with John Williams and his music you will instantly recognize his style here. All of his stuff has a certain sound to it uniquely Williams. At times listening to the previews it really sounded like Indiana Jones. At other times it sounded a little more fun than that. My friend, familiar with the extremely repetitive and (at least in our opinion) kind of annoying music from the TV series, said ”up until now, Tintin has never had epic music”. This music truly does match Tintin. The music in the trailers, while pretty cool, doesn’t do justice to the style of the movie. I think only with John Williams score can we really get the feel of the movie and complete the illusion that we are going back in time to Hergé’s day.
Excellent, long awaited find, Kalli!
”The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn” will now open in the USA on December 21st, instead of December 23rd. Those extra two days will be two less days of torture in my life…
Perhap’s the movie’s greatest competition is Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which curiously enough, if you have followed this site for a while, had it’s first logo revealed way back when alongside the Tintin movie’s logo. We will see how things go in December, but I’m confident that the movie will do very,very well.
Spielberg’s other recent project, ”War horse”, has had it’s release date postponed a bit to December 25th.
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.
The image from my last post has been slightly improved. Thank you SO much, Mike Dutton! I have cropped the image to focus on the most relative part of the new image.
My thoughts are essentially the same as they were when I commented on the image in my original post. I love the dramatic lighting in the image. But despite how awesome it looks, it seems that even in their early advertising campaign they are determined to hide Tintin’s face from us. It’s almost like they’ve forgotten the fact that they already revealed it on the cover of Empire, which makes me wonder if there’s something we don’t know yet. Will there be a difference between the final Tintin and the Tintin on Empire’s cover? Tintin’s face has never actually been revealed from any still from the film. I would assume that it will still be pretty close to the boyish Tintin that we’ve seen. This face goes great with the Tintin we see in ”The Secret of The Unicorn”, a relatively ”early” Tintin.
I don’t know how I missed this before, but another obvious difference in the image is that Tintin is wearing his trademark coat, which looks great flying behind him. The addition of the coat once again makes Tintin look more dynamic, as does the completely new running Snowy. I can tell already that, even though there may not be a main female character in the story, cute little Snowy will help bring in the female audience. I actually know a few girls who only read the books because of Snowy.
After a further look at the right side of the image (that I cropped above) I came across an interesting detail. In a recent interview with Steven Moffat, the writer who started the script for the Tintin movie but had to leave after he was offered the job of writing the new Doctor Who series, the writer was asked how much of his work he thought was still in the movie. He answered:
I’m sure hardly any. I haven’t kept track. I now don’t know which bits are secret and what aren’t. So, I’m very circumspect. I mean, I was the one that left. I was the baddie there. They didn’t sack me, or anything. I left to do Doctor Who and they were incredibly kind and decent about that. They could have kicked up more of a legal fuss about it, frankly. But they were really gentlemanly about it and they were lovely people to work with.
So how much of his work was left in the film? Maybe more than he thought. Whatever may be the case, his name is still proudly written in the credits below the title, next to Joe Cornish’s (behind the sign) and right above Steven Spielberg’s:
I think it’s nice of them to mention his name and to mention it first. Of course it would have been unfair to give him no credit, but the film is still recognized as being written by Steven Moffat. I can’t wait to see how the movie comes along. Forget teaser trailers! Skip right to a full length trailer! We have been teased long enough.
UPDATE: here’s another angle. Great job Britto for finding it. Not as great a view of Tintin but very clear titles and credits:
For the film festival in Cannes, this enormous advertisement has been released:
3 things immediately strike me about this image outside of the fact that it’s obviously very close to Empire’s picture: to start it takes Herge’s classic panel of Tintin running against a wall and with the color and lighting makes it look kind of mysterious and dark. We can begin to get the ”film noir” feeling they were talking about a long time ago when asked about the feel of the film. Second Snowy looks more like the book’s version of Snowy than any previous version I’ve seen. Of course it’s hard to tell from such a far distance, but his ear’s and nose look just like the real Snowy’s. Something about him looks funny to me, maybe the part under his neck, but that’s because I can’t really see his position very well. It would be great to get a better close up shot of this. Is it nowhere digitally online?
The third thing is that Tintin is holding a gun in his right hand. There are multiple reasons for giving him one in this image. It makes Tintin look more interesting than if he were simply ”running” like he is on Empire. Now he’s running after or away from something. People will see the gun and know that Tintin has something he’s fighting against, that the movie will be more than a movie about dogs, teens and Unicorns. That the film will have action and adventure. However the gun is small enough that it adds more to the effect that the movie is old and mysterious than to making Tintin look violent. I suppose there will already be people complaining about Tintin using a gun and how we can expect a super violent Tintin. But Tintin did use guns when he had to. He wasn’t Rambo or James Bond, always travelling around with who knows how much ammo in his pockets, but he was no MacGyver either. He used guns in extreme situations when you just had to catch that villain no matter what. So it isn’t all that strange that Tintin would have a gun in the picture.
The Cannes film festival will be held from the 11th to the 22nd of this month. We should keep an eye out for anything else Tintin related that may show up. And in the meantime see if we can get a clearer image of this shot.
Thanks again Britto for finding this info. You do a really really great job.
Sources: the Tintin Facebook page.