Monday, November 14, 2011


I didn't really discover the joys of Tintin until I started attending animation festivals in France. Of course, I loved the art – the cool realistic drawings of the planes, boats, and cars – but also the deceptively simple art style that Hergé employed.

So when I was forced by the entire French populace to learn French, I turned to the Tintin books as a simple and fun way to learn French. C'est magnifique!

I've just returned from the screening of the Stephen Spielberg/Peter Jackson version of the eternal boy's adventures. First, I must say I liked the film a lot – it had loads of action scenes and crazy adventures that stayed fairly close to the original books.

However, I do have a few reservations about the film:

One, Tintin didn't really look the same. His eyes were too small and too close together, he looked like a different character. Although I must say, all the other characters, even Snowy the dog, were quite successful.

Two, there was very little humor in the film, and Hergé used a lot of humor in the books. You'd think with Spielberg and Jackson, experts at humorous films, there would be a lot more gags. The full audience I saw it with hardly laughed at all.

Three, the ending was very anti-climactic. SPOILER ALERT----------- They find a hole in the wall that leads to a hatful of old coins. And that's the grand finale! What kind of adventure film ends with a wet rag finish like that?

One final nit-picky complaint – why do all the characters speak with British accents, yet live in France? Are the Brits now taking over France?

I tell you what I would have loved to see in this film, is Tintin (who seems to be eternally in puberty) watching a hot French girl and show a little sexual curiosity.

But it is a wonderful, roller coaster film full of amazing effects and fun characters. I give it a B-.


  1. Are you sure they live in France ? I always assumed it was Belgium. Which would make sense.
    Then again, not an explanation for the accents. Haddock's was very disturbing to me, making me wish, for the first time ever, I had seen the dubbed version of the film.

  2. C'mon Mr. Plympton, this movie is fucking gorgeous, B-? seriously?

  3. Tin-Tin is not into girls.
    In every book he saves a young boy from peril and looks after him.
    The only woman in the whole of the Tin-Tin series is Mrs Castafiore who looks like a man.

  4. I wondered about the British thing, he even paid the man in pounds instead of euros.

  5. I still have not seen it... and now fear to miss it altogether The few excerpts I've seen look good, the adaptations of the characters- considering how hard a task it is- is pretty damn good as well. I agree with the reservations expressed regarding the not-so-perfect "translation" of Tintin's face, the lack of humor and English accents. (Likewise, I always wondered why old time Romans speak with an English accent?) I haven't seen the film because, like most French and Belgian boys (of course, he's Belgian) I must have read each album over a 100 times, Tintin -the original- is as important to us as Marcel Proust and Italo Calvino (I'm half Italian). I get super nervous when anyone plays with "my " secret toys.

  6. I meant "sacred" toys. Not "secret at all!