The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

adventures of tintin poster 2011 movie spielberg herge snowy
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

A big screen Tintin adventure finally realized, great motion capture animation

About 20-30 minutes too long, U.S. audiences don't know the character

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Adventures of Tintin

Studio: Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s): Animated/Action/Adventure/Comic Book/Mystery/Suspense/Family

Release Date(s): October 26, 2011

MPAA Rating: PG


Snowy and Tintin…hot on the case!

Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) and his dog Snowy have found themselves in another adventure mystery.  When Tintin discovers an antique ship at a market, he makes himself a target of Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (voiced by Daniel Craig).  Tintin is taken hostage after discovering a hidden scroll in the ship (which he loses to a kleptomaniac pickpocketer) and taken aboard a ship when he meets the descendant of the model ship’s captian—Captain Haddock (voiced by Andy Serkis).  Captain Haddock, Snowy, and Tintin must now race against time to stop Sakharine from discovering Sir Francis Haddock’s treasure by finding the three scrolls necessary to unravel the mystery of the Unicorn.


This drawing is crap…it looks nothing like me!

Directed by Steven Spielberg (his first animated movie), The Adventures of Tintin is known as The Adventures of Tintin:  The Secret of the Unicorn worldwide.  It was released overseas before being released in the U. S. on December 21, 2011, and that is partially due to the popularity of the character of Tintin outside of the United States.  The movie collects the storylines of three Tintin adventures The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham’s Treasure (1944).  The movie received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.

Tintin is an international sensation that never really made it in the U. S.  The stories were written by Belgium author/artist George Remi (1907-1983) under the name of Herge and are one of the most popular European comic strips of all time (his popularity has even spawned a name for people who study him Tintinology).  The character started out as a journalist but was forced into more of an adventurer during World War II because of the threat to Herge’s safety by being more political.


Great…I’m trapped in the desert with a drunk

Stephen Spielberg discovered Tintin when Tintin was compared to Indiana Jones.  In this movie, you can see that connection and that is mostly what Tintin feels like.  There is a sense of adventure with exotic locations and eccentric characters like Tintin’s Scotland Yard detectives Thompson and Thompson (voiced by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost).  Spielberg has wanted to make the movie for years but just now finally realized it with the computer animation.

The movie goes to show how far computer animation has come.  The motion capture animation which was brought in by Spielberg’s partner on the project Peter Jackson, allowed the movie to still have a cartoony feel, but a sense of realism at the same time.  Unlike something like Beowulf which was going for complete reality, The Adventures of Tintin has a bit more leeway due to the cartoon factor and looks fantastic as a result.


My name is Tin…Tintin

The story presented in the movie however is so-so.  It goes on and on and on.  It is very simple, and kids will enjoy it because despite being a great investigator Tintin seems a little dim when it comes to interpreting clues…most viewers will probably get the clues before him.  It is also a bit bizarre at points at features that had to be held over from the original Tintin comics that seem odd to see in a kids movie like Captain Haddock only wanting to drink and Snowy sometimes following his lead.  I like aspects like this because it feels like a throwback, but some parents might not like some of the drinking jokes.  The other problem with the story is that it is pretty anticlimactic.  After a big battle, there still is about 15 minutes of movie which just kind of ends…no surprises or tension.  It felt like the movie could have been that much shorter.

Tintin is a fun, almost experimental film.  It will be interesting to see how U. S. fans react to a character they perceive as new that has such a long history.  Hopefully Tintin’s popularity will migrate to the U.S. and there will be a new generation of Tintin fans.  I doubt that will happen, but Snowy’s is counting on it.  A sequel to The Adventures of Tintin was planned and was tentatively titled The Adventures of Tintin:  Prisoners of the Sun but after pushing back the release date multiple times, the sequel appears to have died.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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