Tintin Film Review From Someone Who Read The Books


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Having read all of the Tintin books as a child and more than a few times over throughout my youth I can say it would be difficult to squeeze the stories into a single movie or for that matter even a dozen movies. In the case of this first film I had a mixed feelings. Tintin being a part of my childhood I feel it to be sacred and something not to be changed or altered but as said it is difficult to make them films unless you plan to do one for every book.

I think Spielberg did his best when he made the film and had to borrow scenes from a few other books to make this one primarily "the secret of the unicorn." As any one who has read the books knows Tintin actually met Captain Haddock in the book "The Crab With The Golden Claws," which was actually a couple of books before "The Secret Of The Unicorn." Sakharine featured prominently in the film as the antagonist and relative of Red Rackham was was not the villian in the books and not Red Rackham's relative. The Bird brothers, Max and G. Bird were actually the villians of the story. I also noticed that even though they named Alan as Haddock's first mate and he had lines his character was reduced to more of a secondary role in the film. There are a few other changes and alterations but you get the idea.

Overall as a story by itself I think it was very well done. The motion capture animation was so life like that closeups to a face almost made you think they were real people. Action sequences throughout the film were very incredibly well done. I notice a few touches they added to try and stick with the original as well, the big noses of the characters that seem unnatural are carryovers from the books, the painting Tintin has done of himself at the beginning, and even birds flying around the head of someone who was hit and dizzy. If you look closely in the film you also notice a crate that is destroyed in Haddock's crane fight contains cans of crab meat that come from the book, "The Crab With The Golden Claws."

The redeeming factors of the film outweigh the issues I have with it. I would want them to continue the series, but possibly follow more closely to the books in the future. I support it partially because the original creator Herge chose Spielberg as the one to bring Tintin to life on the big screen before his death. That said I think Spielberg has the responsibility to do justice the Herge's original storyline and very little straying should happen. I hope that the film does well and I look forward to sequels.

One thing I would mention also if there are any reading that have not watched the 1991 Nelvana cartoon adaptation of the Tintin Books you should do so. This adaptation with animation done using the book frames as direct templates and following the story exactly are still the most faithful to the books in my opinion.

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Comments 8 comments

CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago

Thank you for this, I recently did a review for this movie, but admitted that I hadn't read the comic book myself so it was hard to review. Most of the people who read my article emailed me "WHY WASN'T PROFESSOR CALCULUS IN THIS MOVIES!!!" I did feel like this movie was fast paced and yet the story was very predictable (calling it the "fastest-slow" movie I have ever seen) but you seem to have done a better job than I with this and for that I am sharing this article with everyone I know (or don't know I don't care everyone should read it), because it is great to hear constructive and useful criticism from someone who knows the series well enough to get into the in depth detail about how they felt about the movie. In addition to that I voted Up, Useful, Awesome, and Interesting, keep up the great work sir :)

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jenubouka 5 years ago

This is my first reading of your hubs and first off well written in my opinion! I regret to admit I did not really know of Tin Tin or the whole story line but have seen the movie trailers and it looked like a great animated film.

This was a great review especially coming from someone who grew up with the story, it is hard to love a story told from a book stand point then see a movie that does not own up the original.

So well done with your move review terrektwo! Voted up.

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terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

CarltheCritic1291 - thanks, I could actually expand this more if I went back sometime and looked through the books. I'm sure there are other things squeezed together from a few different books into this one movie but I just put in what I noticed right away. Either way though hope it helps those who have and those who haven't read the books :)

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terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

jenubouka - thanks for the vote up, your right it is difficult to see a movie that doesn't live up to the original. I'd say Spielberg did a good a job as possible while cramming a few different books into one movie. It's not true to one book but it was good enough I guess.

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aboutaustralia 5 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

I'm not a Tintin fan but I'm sure some of my facebook friends are, so I'll give your article a shoutout. Very good review!

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terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

aboutaustralia - thanks a bunch for the shout out :)

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Great review! Not being aware of Tintin and this movie you made me interested enough to look into it. Thanks for the info. Giving this a tweet.

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terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Gypsy Rose Lee - I'm glad it was of interest to you. Tintin is a great adventure series of books, I hope that the Tintin sequels do it justice.

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