Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Movie Review: The Adventures of Tintin

Although the Tintin comics were published in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, they were popular around my house when my kids were growing up in the 1990s. My youngest son in particularly loved them and we bought him all the books. We all went to see the animated The Adventures of Tintin the other morning.

For those of you that don't know the story, Tintin is a young Belgian reporter (as is the original artist, Herge) who, with the help of his fox terrier, Snowy, is always after a story. The movie is a combination of two of the Tintin books, The Secret of the Unicorn and it's sequel, Red Rackham's Treasure.

First, the technical stuff. The movie is in 3D animation with heavy use of motion capture. The results are just stunning. You won't be fooled into thinking you're seeing a live action movie, and I don't think director Spielberg meant you to be, but there is so much detail that every scene just pops off the screen. We saw in in flat screen because none of us really likes 3D movies which explains why we were at the theater at 10:15 in the morning. Every other showing was in 3D.

The story concerns the long-ago sinking of ship The Unicorn by pirates. The captain of The Unicorn and the captain of the pirate ship, Red Rackham, survive and the fight for the treasure sunk with the ship is now rejoined by their decedents. The movie is full of action (not all of it believable but it's a cartoon after all), exotic locales and humor. It sounds like IM: Ghost Protocol, except it's more believable and funnier. My kids tell me that it's full of references to other Tintin books. There is also a lot of stuff going on in the background, usually involving Snowy, that is funny.

Take the kids. If they are familiar with the Tintin books they (and you) will love this movie. If they are not familiar with Tintin, this will expose them to some of the best comic book writing of the 20th century.

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