SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't' seen "The Adventures of Tintin" yet but you plan on it, or you happen to be a passionate Tintin fan who gets dyspeptic at the thought of Spielberg's adaption, it's probably best that you don't read any further.
When Michael Farr, a world-renowned expert on everything Tintin, was writing a biography on the comics series’ creator, Georges Remi (better known as Hergé) he found a note while digging through the Belgian artist’s papers.
It said: “If there’s one person who can bring Tintin successfully to the screen, it’s this young American director.”
Farr, who has authored over a dozen books analyzing “The Adventures of Tintin,” told The Telegraph that Hergé was talking about Steven Spielberg because the note was dated 1983, right when they were in talks about acquiring the rights for a movie. The illustrator was apparently also a fan of Spielberg’s early films. Unfortunately, Hergé passed away in March of that year, long before anything came to fruition.
So when I heard that a big budget motion-capture movie directed by Spielberg was coming out in 2011, the Tintinophile in me was excited. Technically this movie has Hergé’s posthumous seal of approval. Also Peter Jackson, a longtime Tintin fan, was on board. (See Jackson dressed up as Captain Haddock in a motion-capture test here).
With that winning combination, it has to be good, right?
I tried to keep a completely open mind before I saw the movie and refused to read any reviews. OK, maybe I read one or two. But still, I was ready to embrace Spielberg and Jackson’s vision of the adventurous reporter with his trademark upturned tuft of orange/ginger hair.
Without giving too much away, I thought the opening sequence was great and the amount of detail in Tintin’s apartment and the flea market was absolutely spot on and fantastic. Even Hergé himself makes a cameo as a caricature artist.
However, my “Oh boy, oh boy” quickly turned to, you guessed it, “10,000 thundering typhoons” (For the newbies, this is just one of many colorful expletives uttered by Captain Haddock in the comics).
The movie was visually breathtaking - most of the scenes, outfits and color tones mirrored those in the books. It was also aggressively fast-paced, perhaps because it stuffed three comics into one movie; “The Crab with the Golden Claws,” “The Secret of the Unicorn” and “Red Rackham’s Treasure.”
The movie has been out in most of Europe and Asia since October, so there are already many lengthy fan-reaction threads on the Internet. The first few posts on a forum at Tintinologist.org, an English-language fan site, were quite positive. However, just a few praising posts later, some users responded with scathing reviews.
“I can’t help but be wowed by the special effects,” one user, Mamunadil said. “But despite the suspense, action and the dazzling special effects, the Tintin fan in me can’t help but feel cheated.”
“The movie will be liked only by people who are not very familiar with the Tintin comics (unlike me who has read the comics over, and over, and over again!!!),” another user, Snowy_1001 said.
Critics like Nicholas Lezard and Tintinologist Tom McCarthy were much, much harsher in their reviews.
Lezard’s headline in the Guardian was “How could they do this to Tintin?” and in his article he accused Spielberg and Jackson of suffocating the series.
“I found myself, for a few seconds, too stunned and sickened to speak,” he wrote. “For I had been obliged to watch two hours of literally senseless violence being perpetrated on something I loved dearly. … As it is, the film has turned a subtle, intricate and beautiful work of art into the typical bombast of the modern blockbuster, Tintin for morons.”
Tom McCarthy, who penned “Tintin and the Secret of Literature,” said in his Guardian article that the filmmakers didn’t quite understand Hergé’s creation.
“Everything that found its form so well in Hergé's remix loses it catastrophically in Spielberg's,” he wrote in his review for the Guardian. “The slapstick - oars swinging round and bumping on heads, feet tripping on cats, and so on - is gauche and anachronistic. … If your children love the Tintin books - or, more to the point, if they have an ounce of intelligence or imagination in their bodies - don't take them to see this truly execrable offering.”
But what Tintin fans know for certain is this: it's a Herculean task to adapt these comic books into movies, especially when everyone reads them at their own pace and appreciates a different quality.
“The Adventures of Tintin” is like soccer in the U.S.; a globally loved phenomenon that is not quite as big among American audiences, but is slowly catching on. Tintin is an institution that has captivated fans for years all over the world.
My mother grew up reading them in India and often fought with her brothers and sisters over the only library copy. Then she bestowed some of the series to me and I couldn’t get enough. At first I loved just looking at the colors, the drawings and would spend hours over one frame gazing at the details. As I grew older, I could be found giggling over the dialogues and the hidden gags that I spotted. Now, as an adult, I get the satire and the cultural relevance.
The Tintin books have intricate plots. Clearly, fans feel that intricacy has been lost in the translation to this movie. Even more disappointing to them is the fact that screenplay writers are Steven Moffat, the lead writer of “Doctor Who,” Edgar Wright, director of “Shaun of the Dead,” and Joe Cornish of “Attack the Block,” are something of a dream team, but they still didn't get it right.
Fans point to scenes like the Indiana Jones-esque motorcycle chase and the dockyard crane fight as being silly and foreign in the Tintin universe. Even Tintin himself was decidedly un-Tintin-like when he greedily urges Captain Haddock to unearth more treasure after he finds the stash hidden in the globe.
Fans also noticed the absence of the beloved Professor Cuthbert Calculus (who will most likely make an appearance in the sequel, although that's cold comfort to some) and fundamental changes made to Captain Haddock’s character.
Sure, this movie is being marketed as a family film and children will be watching. So it’s understandable why Captain Haddock was moralized, his swearing reduced and his alcoholism toned down. But the transformation just didn’t sit well with most Tintinites. No matter how amazing Andy Serkis is, he just didn’t sound like the Captain Haddock I imagined and the self-deprecation scenes were borderline Gollum.
“Not only does he have a SCOTTISH accent (where on earth did he get that from?), he gives moral, motivational speeches,” Mamunadil said.
Altering Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine’s character from a normal collector to an evil mastermind seeking revenge seemed a bit far-fetched according to some fans posting on the forum, as was the introduction of his incredibly obedient falcon, which are not part of the Tintin tradition.
Yet, if there is one person fans and critics alike are more than willing to blame for the outcome of the movie, it is Spielberg, the one anointed to bring Hergé’s genius to the big screen.
Unlike Jackson, Spielberg only heard about the comic series when people compared Indiana Jones’ exploits to Tintin’s. He once even called Tintin “Indiana Jones for kids.” It’s easy to see why Lezard called Spielberg “a burned-out sun,” especially after what he did to the Indiana Jones franchise and “nuked the fridge” with his “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (Let’s not go there now).
“Spielberg has proved that he doesn’t understand Tintin in the least,” Mamunadil said. “The movie lacks soul, thanks to the ‘creative’ liberties that Spielberg has taken.”
Fine, a lot of fans are not happy. It’s not anything new. This happens when books are made into movies. Elements have to be cut to make it more cinema-friendly. And we’ll never know who was responsible for the changes and why Jackson, as a fan, didn’t intervene. While fans feel a little let down, there is definitely a lot of good that can come out of this.
If Spielberg’s movie inspires a new generation to dig through their grandparents' Tintin collection or to add the comic series to their holiday wish list, I’ll be the first to say “Bravo.” Even the toughest critic of the movie has to give the makers credit for that.
Michael Farr told The Telegraph that introducing Tintin, Captain Haddock, Snowy and Professor Calculus to younger audiences through a different format could be key to spreading and sustaining the work of Hergé.
“Even if the film isn’t perfect in my eyes, that doesn’t really matter because a lot of people will discover Tintin who didn’t know him before and will then go to the books and will have the great pleasure that I and millions of others have derived from them.”
Have you seen the movie? What is you verdict? Do you think it did justice to the comic series? Let us know in the comments section below.
Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. It stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, Martin Ferrero, Samuel L. Jackson and Bob Peck. The film centers on the fictional Isla Nublar near Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, where a billionaire philanthropist and a small team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park of cloned dinosaurs.,;..
Gee, folks, it's just a movie... !
As a longtime fan I have to disagree with most the haters on here. I really enjoyed the film and unlike many of these other fans, threw away my expectations when I went and saw the movie. Its a big budget Hollywood film catered to American families, so of course its going to be different from the graphic novels. The film needs to be profitable in order for it to be made, if it was made exactly to the fans liking nobody would have gone to see it other then fanboys. Honestly when has a movie adaptation ever been just like the book, get over it
What do you expect from Peter Jackson? He created an epic, pretty version of LOTR that delivered on the action but completely missed the point of the trilogy – in fact completely turned the message around 180 degrees.
Took my two young sons, who both read the books. I knew practically nothing about TinTin. We had a blast! Great movie, and I'm a pretty tough critic – usually dislike big budget Hollywood films due to the poor scripts, plots & acting.
I saw the movie and really enjoyed it. I had no knowledge of TinTin prior to seeing the movie. The photo-style: details, mood, ambience captivating. The derrick fight wonderful....I didn't even think about Transformers until this review spoiled the movie for me!!!!! Take that, purists! LOL I am a mental health therapist and thought the portrayal of Captain Haddock refreshing in that the movie played it for real (in a kids' film no-less_)...his alcoholism. That the directors could have even gone further is intriguing to me The "greed" that was vilified in this review I took as a wonderful message to me as a movie-goer: there will be a sequel! How wonderful. And in it all Captain Haddock (a dim...pun intended...remake of Captain in "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"????? enchanting. He is also pretty hot as a virile loser. I will agree the motorcycle chase was a bit pretentious. It seems axiomatic now that there has to be something like that in every adventure movie...god=bless "Indiana Jones" and that mine car ride. Even "Polar Express" had to have three!, not one, not two, but three major scenes involving out-of-control falling. Talk about over-kill. Anyway, like the reviewer says, the movie has done its part: I will seek out the original. Bravo! And damn-it all, I had a great time watching it!!!!!!!!
not sure what this article is talking about. LOVED it. the animation was impeccable!
I thought I was going to see The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin...was I surprised.
Liked the old tintin show on HBO when i was a kid, so i figured id like the new movie. It was infact, a snoozer. Looked kinda cool though.
I got the Tintin game for the 360 and it only had about 3 and a half hours of gameplay.
How can we expect Americans to understand this kind of literature when they have been weaned on the innate imagination of Hollywood crap and sci-fi dreams of DC Comics etc
Tintin IS a comic book! It is NOT literature!
The movie seems fairly interesting, but the name "Tintin" sounds a little dumb.....
This is the type of comment I would expect from someone who has the username, Texan. Travel, read a book, open your mind.... and by travel I don't mean go to a Sandals Beach Resort in the Bahamas.
The Spielberg Tintin movie is the best screen version of Tiintin ever made. Tintin was very well done, but Milou or Snowy the ever faithful canine companion of Tintin was not as present personality-wise as the original version. I would have liked to see a Snowy more closely resembling the Herge Snowy with all his personality as well as his distinctly Scottish wire terrior looks. The Snowy in the Spielberg film is a bit more remote, opaque, and blurry than the Herge version. Still, all-in-all this Tintin film by Spilelberg is fantastic and is very true to the Herge vision. The plane, the tramp steamer, the red jeep, the desert scenes to name but a few were perfect if not more than perfect. Well done!!! I can't wait to see the sequel which will probably be "Red Rackham's Treasure".
You could certainly see your skllis within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. The only way most people recognize their limits is by trespassing on them. by Tom Morris.
Who the hell keeps making these movies off of crappy Euro-Peeing comics? Really? Tin-Tin? What a piece of crap. Keep that crap in france!
The post above was either made by a troll... or a child
i like turtles
Baby Boomers never had to see movies that re-hashed their parents' childhoods. It would be nice if they took the hint.
The Three Musketeers and The Wizard Of Oz disagree. The first Three Musketeers within the Baby Boomers generation was the tenth adaptation and there were six Oz films before the Judy Garland one.
In addition to the spoiler alert at the beginning of the article, they should have added a giant DORK ALERT. This write is like a a Star Trek or Lord of the Rings fan complaining about obscure details.
I would disagree. The author is pointing out broad areas that just don't square with Tin Tin the comic, not nit piking details. The greed, the Indiana Jones style action scenes, the toning down of certain characters and removal of others. That is not being a dork, that is pointing out basic changes that change the feel of the material. It would be like re-writing Indiana Jones and making him motivated by getting rich from selling artifacts. You could do it, but it is not what the character was originally about.
But Indiana Jones is THE main character. Also "Toning down" a character is not the same as wholesale changing his motivations.
So, the general public and moderate Tintin fans will enjoy it, and the super-tintin-nerds will pick it apart over subtleties. Did we expect anything else? Most people who are moderately interested in the genre found the LOTR movies to be excellent, but read a Tolkien dedicated forum and you will not get a very fond reaction.
I know nothing of Tintin but a name like that is a big negative to start with.
Mr. Spielberg, while admittedly a good technical director who has shown occassional flahes of brilliance, has an annoying tendency to take the best steak and grind it into hamburger. Good hamburger, surely, but hamburger nonetheless. He seems to have lost his cynical edge of his early movies, and tries to turn most of his movies (at least since ET) into family (read children's) movies with any bit of darkness deftly covered and/or removed. Yes, he has done some darker films as well (like Schindler's list), but it seems to me that he wants more to make upbeat, kids' films (with all their cliches and saccaharine sweetness) than to take on realistic challenges. The Spielberg of today would never have made Duel or Jaws, and would have fought far more with Tobe Hooper to make Poltergeist more upbeat. What he's done with TinTIn is no surprise.
Call in Senor Spielbergo for the sequel
We did twenty seven takes, and THAT was the best one.
Out of his great catalog of work, that Simpson's reference is the first thing I always think of!
Seems to me this reviewer (and others) are judging the film by way of the literal changes, and not on it's own merits. How is that objective?
Because the movie is based on the literature. If the movie does not do it's literary source material justice, one ends up with "Interview with the Vampire" and Tom Cruise.
I'm a Tintin fan from way back. I can't help but think that the "Tintinophiles" doth protest too much. Honestly, the Tintin books, as enjoyable as they are, are a bit quaint by contemporary standards. Lots of action and adventure, but ... um... dated. The movie gets it right, adding enough modern action/adventure punch to the mix to appeal to contemporary movie audiences. Getting your knickers in a wad because Captain Haddock has a Scots accent? Seriously?
Just wait... Prof Calculus will probably become the Jar Jar Binks of the Tintin series.
When i first saw the movie preview i thought it was about Rin Tin Tin.
I saw the preview and it was very loud, and I don't like the 3D movies, however, when I saw the preview I looked up and said thats Tintin and Snowy. They did do a great job of making him look like the character. Personally I don't usually go to see movies that were made from my favorite books. I have a certain view of them in my mind and they don't match I find it jarring. I remember Chevy Chase in Fletch, and he was nothing like the Fletch in my mind. If I see this movie it will be at home where I can control the sound. I think some hearing aid company is paying the movie makers to make the sound as loud as possible to insure great sales in the future.
It was great!!
Ive read all of the originals and my 3 sons gave it a big thumbs up. Quit whining about digressions. Watching this animated movie in 3D was a treat.
Like too many fans, you're missing the point.
Sure, there are fans of [insert your favorite fictional character here, but let's go with Tintin for this discussion]. But there are many more... many _millions_ more who might go to a movie.
Therefore you should be looking at this NOT from the perspective of the rabid fan (who, let's face it, is never going to be satisfied anyway), but from the perspective of a prospective _new_ fan. Having the movie viewed by a few million eyes who've possibly never heard of, or been remotely interested in the character in question is likely to bring a new generation of fans to the fold. So welcome it with open arms. Don't be elitist and exclusionary just because the director's vision and interpretation isn't perfect or, god forbid, doesn't match your own.
Agreed that the Spielberg of the 80s may have done this justice. Spielberg today makes garbage movies.
I am big fan of Tintin comics. I just came back home watching the 3D format of the movie. By all categories, this is the best most capture movie I have every seen. Full marks to all the technical aspects of it. Spielberg is a genius who knows how to entertain. The action sequences and camera movements are stupendous. Yes, like every die hard Tintin fan, I was slowly dragged from comic reading experience into Trademark Spielberg's adventure movie.
Loved the Tintin comics,...would love to see the movie...anyone making Astreix movies ? 🙂
That would be awsome! But Asterix and Obelix HAVE to be done right like borderline R rated for it to make me love it like I loved the comics
Yes, there are some Asterix movies with Gerard Depardieu as Obelix. The one in Egypt is very good. Check amazon.
I'm convinced that Spielberg knew all about Tintin long ago and is lying about not being aware of Tintin when he made Indiana Jones. There is an Indiana Jones scene in some sequel involving two wooden motor boats - straight out of "Golden Claws."
Everytime I read the adventures of Tintin, its always a new experience. I haven't seen the movie but I think I'l stick to the book.
I have given up on Steven S. after the last Indiana Jones mess, er i mean, Movie!!!
I was excited to watch Tintin but I made the mistake of watching it in english, going to have to watch it again in french. I mean british and scotish accents. thompson and thomspon ?? snowy ??? seriously ......
Some of Tintin behavior had to chance in the movie to make it watchable but still for old timers, it is butchering the story.
Tintinites?!?! Come on !!! don't be such a lo o sers. I loved to read those books too... but this is kind of my introduction to the world of TinTin to my kids. It's a great movie and did a good justice to the books.
RE: "Come on !!! don't be such a lo o sers."
You mean: Don't be such losers (not "a lo o sers."
Spielberg hasn't made a decent movie since Saving Private Ryan. It's sad that he is more focused on packaging a product than on giving his movies heart and soul. I'm not a reader of the Tintin series, but I think I'll buy the books and pass on the movie simply because it is a Spielberg product but the passionate fan base of the series piques my interest.
Except for, you know, all the absolutely brilliant films he made, from "AI" to his masterpiece, "Munich" and right up the the excellent "War Horse".
Do justice to a racist comic book penned by a nazi sympathizer?
It's not a comic book. It is 25+books made over more than 40 years. Some of them have racist elements. Some do not. Like the people and the times they changed over those years.
The earliest few books had racist scenes or premises, and after befriending a Chinese man and learning of his culture, Herge changed his views.
And I'm sure your next trick is an all=out boycott of that horrible Melville chap who writes about whaling.
Ive seen the movie and it is AWESOME.
For some reason it released in India 2 weeks ago and i caught it there in 3D.
TinTin fan or not.. its a good movie.
Hergé was right. The Spielberg from 1983 would have probably made a kickass Tintin movie. Unfortunately the Spielberg who made this movie was not the one from 1983, it is the one from 2011. Spielberg 2011 sucks.
It pains me to admit this, but you are right on the money here.
Spielberg movies suck
Who is "Speilberg"?
Loved the film but missed Prof Calculus! i will have to wait for the The Calculus Affair! liked the treatment of comic to film,
got the point ,Tintin needs a new adventure.incredible experience in 3D overall,Great effort for an oily American!
A superb film..........
I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it DID get a lot of what makes Tintin engaging exactly right, and the movie's pace does follow the rapid sequences often occurring in a Tintin adventure- if you're familiar with the comics, some scenes' dialog is verbatim and often the comic frame match was exact and came vividly to life. I especially enjoyed Thomson and Thompson, and I was not in the least disappointed. I felt it was a really great adaptation, and was a rollicking adventure worth seeing again. I also liked the subtle in-jokes (like when Tintin's cowlick cuts through the water like the shark fin of "Jaws" fame) and the attention to detail was nothing short of amazing. Seeing it again... this time in 3D.
One has to have grown up reading Tintin to really understand the adventures and plots that he gets entangled with. I grew up waiting eagerly for the big album that would come on a regular basis and would have to be read first by my brother and then by me, the younger sister. The album was in the original french and therefore nothing was lost in the translation. I'd read it in one sitting and to this day, I don't think I took too many breaths while reading it. It totally transported me to the exotic places and implicated me in all the adventures in the album. Spielberg, I'm sure, did not grow up reading all about the adventures of Tintin...he just doesn't get it...
I love tintin. Havent seen the film yet, but I plan to. Im just happy people are talking about the series again.
Absolutely love Jurassic Park as a kid. Was completely skoetd to find out that there is a PREHISTORIC CHANNEL. How perfect a concept is that. The Founder of PREHISTORIC CHANNEL has just released his first thriller book. THE ICE GORILLA book is being looked at by movie producers i read, and may be made into a movie. It all depends on how well the book in fact sells. Would be cool to see THE ICE GORILLA made into a movie as well as Jurassic Park 4. Then I could die in peace. LOL