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>> Friday, January 6, 2012

Growing up I vaguely remember the story of Tintin and his dog Snowy, not to mention his friend Capatain Haddock. I remember this because it was a cartoon and back in the day before there was too much to watch the selections were limited. As a cartoon, Tintin always seemed a little dry but nonetheless I found myself watching it from time to time. Then - nothing. At least not for fifteen years of my life.

Then, through my various interweb snoopings, a couple of years ago I discovered Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were teaming up to bring Tintin to the big screen. Retrospectively, it's surprising it took anybody this long to make a movie based on one of the most successful comic series of all time. But alas, along with writers Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) this amazingly talented super team has brought us The Adventures of Tintin, which also happens to be Spielberg's first 3D movie. As Scorcese did with Hugo, I'm happy to say he's done it right.

In this case, The Adventures of Tintin turns out to be more of a single adventure - one surrounding an old ship called the Unicorn. The ship itself belonged to a relative of Captain Haddock, who's played by the motion capture master himself - Andy Serkis. Tintin is played by Jamie Bell and other notable 'performances' come from Thomson and Thompson, who are voiced by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg respectively.

works for a lot of reasons. The biggest and most important reason it works is why any good film succeeds - the story. I'm not certain if the story is wholly based on previously written written material, although I wouldn't be surprised as even my foggy memory shook loose a few familiar moments from the cartoon. Other reasons Tintin is so wonderful are in part due to the amazing special effects, the successfully utilized 3D and my thirst for adventure - or anybody's for that matter. Any criticisms lie within that of the uncanny valley. While I admire the detailed animation and often marvelled at it - my suspended disbelief was never broken per say, just jarred.

The Adventures of Tintin gets an open door as I suspected it would. It's kid friendly, it's adult friendly and it's PETA friendly. Seriously, a lesser dog would have been eaten by that hawk. With Oscar season upon us, Tintin is sure to score big in at least a couple of categories including Best Animated Feature. I imagine a sequel isn't far off either.


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