Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Adventures Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

The Adventures of Tintin, based on the classic comics by Herge, released last week here in Japan. I grew up surrounded by the colorful characters and interesting situations Tintin finds himself embroiled in, and was eagerly looking forward to the film version. As is often the case, I was worried about how it would translate from page to screen. Though certainly the talent behind the all digital camera has a certain pedigree. Steven Speilberg knows adventure and action set pieces, and producer Peter Jackson well knows how to lovingly adapt a well known work for a new medium. Steven Moffat, one of the screenwriters, is currently running the show for both Doctor Who and Sherlock for the BBC, and has shown a great grasp of both fun and adventure on those programs.

The film is an amalgam of two of the comic adventures, The Secret of the Unicorn and The Crab with the Golden Claws. This necessitated quite a bit of structural change to fit the two together, but the result was quite enjoyable. The basics that make Tintin great survived intact. The interplay between Tintin and the crusty Captain Haddock, the slapstick of the Thompson twins, and the heroism and frequent barking of Snowy the dog are all present and accounted for. As well there are plenty of winks and nods from the Tintin Canon that have made their way into the film.

In short, I had a blast. Tintin is a true comic book film. Filled with adventure, humor, and that sense of hightened reality that comes from the best adventure fiction, be it Indiana Jones or The Three Musketeers. I find myself hoping that Tintin does quite well this holiday season, so that we may see another installment a few years down the line!


Island Auntie said...

Wonder how this movie will go over in France? The French can be a tad sensitive about their cultural icons being interpreted by Anglophones, but who can argue with Spielberg's credentials?

victoriasart said...

Yes. In answer to Island Auntie - Grant, Remember when we went to visit the house where I lived in Orleans, France, and the current owners are both Dr's and they had Tintin posters on their walls? that was so telling, so it will be interesting to see how the French react to this adaptation of their classic illustrated stories.