The Adventures of Tintin, known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn outside North America, is a 2011 3D motion capture computer-animated epic adventure film based on The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is based on three of Hergé’s albums: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham’s Treasure (1944). The cast includes Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Spielberg acquired rights to produce a film based on The Adventures of Tintin series following Hergé’s death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but release was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the film. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been originally cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose company Weta Digital provided the computer animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film. The world première took place on 22 October 2011 in Brussels. The film was released in the UK and other European countries on 26 October 2011, and in the USA on 21 December 2011, in Digital 3D and IMAX.
The Adventures of Tintin grossed over $373 million, and received positive reviews from critics, being compared to Spielberg’s previous work Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was the first non-Pixar animated film to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. It was nominated for six Saturn Awards, including Best Animated Film, Best Director for Spielberg and Best Music for Williams.
Having bought a model ship, the Unicorn, for a pound off a market stall Tintin (Jamie Bell) is initially puzzled that the sinister Mr. Sakharine (Daniel Craig) should be so eager to buy it from him, resorting to murder and kidnapping Tintin – accompanied by his marvelous dog Snowy – to join him and his gang as they sail to Morocco on an old cargo ship. Sakharine has bribed the crew to revolt against the ship’s master, drunken Captain Haddock, (Andy Serkis) but Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape, arriving in Morocco at the court of a sheikh, who also has a model of the Unicorn. Haddock tells Tintin that over three hundred years earlier his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock was forced to scuttle the original Unicorn when attacked by a piratical forebear of Sakharine but he managed to save his treasure and provide clues to its location in three separate scrolls, all of which were secreted in models of the Unicorn.
Steven Spielberg makes his directorial debut on the animation side produced by Peter Jackson with a script by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, & Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), and Joe Cornish (Attack The Block).
That’s a huge ass group of brilliant talent. Sure, each one of them has had at least one bad thing they’ve done but they are all still great and with all these talents coming together, how can this be nothing but a great movie?
And for the most part, the movie is pretty great. This is probably some of the best motion capture technology I’ve seen in a very long time. Hell, it’s even better than Avatar and that was supposed to be groundbreaking technology. Here, it’s perfected incredibly well.
The cast is perfected as well with Jamie Bell giving a convincing performance as Tintin and Daniel Craig doing a decent job as the villain. But the highlight of the film is Andy Serkis, on a hot streak in 2011 with this, Arthur Christmas, and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, as Captain Haddock. He’s a lot of fun and brings a lot of the funnier moments in the film.
The action sequences and visuals are beautifully done as well. They are rendered very well and some of them even last for long periods of time without cutting such as the chase in Morocco near the end of the film which goes on for 2 whole minutes without cutting at once. It’s one of the best action sequences I’ve seen in a very long time and you get really involved in it.
The 3D as a whole is just okay and I think that’s the film’s only flaw because it’s nothing really special. Nothing’s really popping out at you, nothing’s really benefiting from being in 3D, and as a whole, it’s nothing special.
Steven Spielberg continues to prove why he’s one of our greatest directors with this and treats this like a great live-action adventure made into a CG film. In fact, I would like to see a crossover with Tintin and Indiana Jones, make that the next story for the fifth film.
The Adventures Of Tintin is a lot of fun and a great action adventure film that can appeal to everybody. Even though we don’t really know the character of Tintin, we at least get a good introduction in this film. The visuals are great, the story is great, the direction is great, and everything about this movie is just great.
Capping off a very good year in animation in 2011.