Film Review: The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Film Review: The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

The original book series, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ by Hergé was one of my favorite books growing up. Borrowed constantly from the library and read cover to cover, I always wanted to see a big screen adaptation of Tintin. But alas, Tintin’s heyday was far behind us, and even still, the series, at least in my time was never very popular. Mentioning it only brought the response, “You mean that show with the dog? Rintintin?”

When it was announced that Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg were going to be bringing the stories to life in a feature, it was a no brainer. One of my other favorite characters growing up was Indiana Jones, whose adventures, despite being inspired by the old Republic serials, had to be also inspired by Tintin’s adventures.

‘The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn’ is the first in a series of films being produced by Spielberg and Jackson. It stars Jamie Bell as Tintin, and Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock. The script really merges a few elements from the various books into one complete story.

Tintin, a well known reporter, comes across a model ship at an outdoor flea market. Purchasing it from the vendor, he instantly is offered money by a mysterious American, who warns him of the trouble behind the ship, as well as by a man we come to know as Sakharine (Daniel Craig).

When he takes the ship home, an accident causes the ship to fall, releasing from the ship a small scroll, that holds a strange paragraph. Tintin’s journalistic instincts take hold, as he investigates the interest in his model ship.

The investigation eventually leads him to Captain Haddock, a mostly drunken Sea Captain whose family background ties into the secret of the Unicorn, and the two combine their efforts and become fast friends on their adventure.

The film captures the spirit of the books completely. Even to the point where I completely forgot where the lines of the different books they combined were. Also great are the characters of Thompson and Thompson (played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), hopefully the next film features these characters more prominently.

I’m not the biggest fan of motion capture, or 3D, but I thought the animation looked great. Not so realistic looking that it begged the question, “why do it this way,” and not so fake that it looked like a Veggietales film. One of my favorite parts of the film was a street artist in the opening scene sketching Tintin. The resulting portrait is literally a Tintin as drawn by Hergé.

While many who aren’t familiar with Tintin might not enjoy the film, it is easily accessible to all ages. It’s a fun, unique family film, that for once, does the source material great justice.

Spielberg & Jackson Talk “Tintin”

In a video taped for some sort of comic convention in Europe, we have the first look at Steven Spielbeg and Peter Jackson talking about the upcoming “Tintin” project.  Both Spielberg and Jackson appear in the video, wearing bowler hats a la the Thompson Twins, and talk a little about the upcoming movie.  You want to check it out, click here.

Word on the project is quiet at the moment, but from what I understand, Spielberg has either wrapped or is close to wrapping his production of the first film.  Production now heads to New Zealand where WETA will take over and begin the animation process.  (Spielberg will check in on-line and not make the flight.)

“The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn,” is scheduled for release in 2011.

Tintin Has Been Cast

Tintin Has Been Cast

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There is more exciting news about the upcoming Tintin movie, based, of course, on the popular Belgian comic book character.  The movie started shooting on Monday, and there has been some announcements made about casting. [Read more…]

Tintin To Begin Shooting in Two Weeks

Tintin To Begin Shooting in Two Weeks

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According to Andy Serkis, (who will be playing the role of Captain Haddock,) the 3D Peter Jackson produced and Steven Speilberg directed movie will begin shooting in two weeks.

Here’s what Serkis told Coming Soon about the books about the famous Belgian boy reporter: “I remember reading them as a child. I wasn’t this massive fan. I loved the almost storyboard nature of the beautiful, beautiful drawings. And the way its going to be done… It’s obviously performance capture so it’s is going to be perfect. There isn’t a more perfect way of doing it.”

There has been no casting news with regards to the lead character.  We expect to hear something soon.  -Sam

Tintin Casting News Released

Tintin Casting News Released

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In what is one of my more anticipated movies of 2009/2010, (probably ’10 given the production delays,) there is some word on casting in Steven Spielberg’s Tintin movie.  (Don’t forget Peter Jackson will be doing the second film with a director yet to be announced to do number three.)

First off, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ fame have been cast to play the Thompson Twins.  The rumor had been going around for months, but it’s now finally been confirmed.  Also, Jackson regular Andy Serkis will be playing Captain Haddock.  You will recall that Thomas Sangster had been cast as Tintin, but he has supposedly dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

So, a new Tintin needs to be cast as well as Snowy.  That said, these names just announced has me excited to see this movie just a little bit more.  -Sam

Simon Pegg to Appear in Tintin?

It’s no secret, I’m one of the three American’s excited for the new Spielberg/Jackson ‘Tintin’ trilogy, and this week, a lot of news has been coming out from the mill, the big news of the week being Universal backing out of funding the trilogy.

This latest news comes from The Times Online, apparently, Simon Pegg (‘Hot Fuzz,’ ‘Shaun of the Dead’) was told by Steven Spielberg that perhaps he and Nick Frost could play Thomson and Thompson, a pair of bumbling detectives that often pursue the wrong suspect (oftentimes even arresting poor Tintin).

The obvious physical differences between the two actors may bring up a slight problem, though, since the film is animated/motion captured CG, the two could be made to look like each other. For example, in th eCG/Mo-cap film Beowulf, Ray Winstone definitely has no resemblance to his on screen character.

This story can’t get more exciting, the chance of this being a success frightens me a little, but, if they do this right, they’ll introduce the Belgian reporter to a whole new generation of kids.