The Adventures of Tintin
In a matter of weeks, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson will be bringing Hergé’s Tintin to the screen in sumptuous motion capture. The Belgium hero has been around for nearly a century and is insanely popular throughout Europe, where the film is already playing to big crowds who are happy with the adaptation.
Cashing in on the crazy is Shout! Factory, reissuing the 1991 animated Adventures of Tintin as a two-disc DVD. This was the second time the graphic albums were adapted for animation and I watched the first one as a kid and my children saw this edition. Produced as a collaboration between France’s Ellipse and Canada’s more familiar Nelvana, they ape Hergé’s style rather well.
When these first ran on American television, they were criticized for the liberties taken and that obviously has not changed with time. We can, though appreciate the attempts to bring these stories to life for an audience unfamiliar with the source material. Without the comparison, they work pretty well and move at a nice clip.
The graphic albums adapted for the first season include The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, Red Rackham’s Treasure, Cigars of the Pharaoh, The Blue Lotus, The Black Island, and The Calculus Affair. Each album is spread over two episodes making for five hours of action, although the violence is markedly toned down by the writers including Toby Mullally, Eric Rondeaux, Martin Brossolet, Amelie Aubert, Dennise Fordham and Alex Boon. You can tell the animators paid close attention to the albums, replicating angles and scenes almost verbatim.
The video transfers well and Shout! does a nice job with the packaging and production even if they are totally devoid of any extra material. This is here only because of the big budget production, but for those who grew up on these, they will be a welcome addition during the holiday season.