The Adventures of Tintin

by Alan Rapp on December 21, 2011

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Adventures of Tintin
  • IMDB: link

adventures-of-tin-tin-posterFor his first dabble in the world of animation director Steven Spielberg decided to adapt the Belgian comic of Hergé which center around a young reporter out to discover the truth by unraveling a mystery often by relying on his wits and the help of his dog, Snowy.

The film adapts the eleventh title of the series, The Secret of the Unicorn, which begins with Tintin (Jamie Bell) purchasing an old model ship which contains a clue to a mystery involving an alcholic sea captain (Andy Serkis), a mysterious collector (Daniel Craig), a pirate treasure, and an unsolved riddle in three parts.

Although the film lacks the heart you would suspect of a Spielberg project, The Adventures of Tintin does provide a distinct animated style and several impressive chase sequences. In fact, it could be argued the entire film is little more than a collection of these sequences.

The individual set pieces are beautifully done, and the film even gives a nice nod to Hergé whose art appears in the credit sequence and briefly in the movie’s opening scene.

However, the look of the characters, who come off initially as a little creepy, did take a little getting used to. The motion capture technique makes the movements of the characters look very natural, and Snowy looks terrific, but the film might have been better served to go with a slight more cartoonish appearance for the human characters.

The movie does little to distinguish it in a year of mostly good, but not really great, animated features. It’s definitely worth seeing, and in 3D if possible, but it’s more style than substance. It’s fluffy and sweet and goes down easily, like cotton candy, but quickly evaporates in your mouth without leaving you anything of substance to sustain your appetite.

The Adventures of Tin Tin

The Adventures of Tintin is a perfectly fine animated film. However, given the number of stories to choose from, Speilberg’s involvement, and the fact that both Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright worked on the script, I was hoping for a little more than simply a fun ride.

We’ve known since Raiders of the Lost Ark that Spielberg knows how to stage a chase sequence. (Which he does with a great degree of skill multiple times here.) Whether it was an over reliance on animation or simply the detachment that comes from not working with real actors on a set, the humanistic elements which are usually so pronounced in his films, are lacking here.

As a first animated feature the film works well. As the latest film from a director who has put out quality work for decades, however, it feels a bit incomplete. Maybe I’m holding Spielberg to too a high a standard given his inexperience in animation but I wanted a little more out of The Adventures of Tintin.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

CoosCoos December 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

It’s strange . . . I really liked it, but then I don’t really care about it. Not sure if it’s my complete infamiliarity with Tintin or the fact that it lacked depth/soul . . . or a combination of both. It was entertaining, and well done, but I don’t feel I got my money’s worth.

Like you, I also had issue with the animation. They went to great lengths to make the characters look oddly human, but not human enough, and that was distracting. Of particular distraction was the lack of focus in their eyes when they would look around, and the disproportionately large hands that couldn’t really touch anything, especially noticeable when they were picking things up. Strange.

If he makes another one, I’ll be waiting eagerly to see it on TV, where I don’t have to pay for it, and then I’ll forget about it right after watching it.


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