Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin


The fabled Tintin franchise has finally made it to the big screen via Steven Spielberg's production of The Adventures of Tintin. The whole Batty Clan, along with our old neighbors and their son (we all discovered Tintin in the early eighties, when the boys were little) went to see the new movement-capture CGI film. This was big production- lots of intricate chase scenes featuring tons of period accurate detail- all encompassed in a fairly faithful re-creation of the spirit of the early Tintin adventure comic books. Spielberg really is just a big kid at heart, and his juvenile fascination with machines and action is actually well-used here. The characters were rendered with slavish attention to detail, and the motion-capture animation preserved a sense of organic motion, even more lifelike than some real actors. We caught it in 2D- 3D may have its place, but it wasn't missed here- usually the image is dimmer and duller, the 2D presentation captured the cartoonish colors vibrantly.

One problem of the movie, and this holds true for virtually every comic book adaptation, is the loss of the design elements of the original comic- usually not a big thing, in fact it is almost imperative that the movie must change when transferred to the new medium. Still, it could have had a more graphic look (Hergé was an absolute master of design) versus the photo-realistic tone of the film. For a detailed look at the differences between Hergé and Spielberg, check out the wonderful essay by Jenny Hendrix in the LAROB. The film did deliver a solid entertainment, especially when compared to the rash of G-rated previews which we had to endure before the show. "Suffer the children..." I think that there is a special circle in hell reserved for the producers of these features (do we really need Madagascar 3?) where they will be forced to watch their own creations eternally. Speaking of producers- there were five studio credits for the Tintin film- Paramount, Columbia, Sony, Amblin, and Nickelodeon! It's just a comic book story folks!

By Professor Batty


Blogger Rose said...

I was wondering whether to go see this on the big screen ... rather than watch it in the far future on my Netflix viewing machine ...

Blogger Professor Batty said...

That's a tough call- the big screen is spectacular, but it makes it a little "diffuse"- the smaller screen might actually be better. It really doesn't need to be in wide screen.

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