Originally written in French by Belgian author Georges Rémi under his pen name Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin has now been translated into over 80 languages. It's amazing when you realise that this comic book was around at the end of the 20s and Hergé has been dead for almost 30 years, but his work is still read, talked about and inspiring today.
The film is very entertaining for children and adults alike. If you are an adult, it delivers a hell of a lot in a very short period of time so make sure to be paying attention, otherwise you can get lost in the fast paced mystery.
Here is the interesting thing: Tintin was originally published in the children's section of a newspaper. I myself knew his adventures as a cartoon for children; but as I read a little of its history I discovered it was anything but, if you look from the perspective of what we today consider "appropriate" for children. You can pick at all angles: his characters' history - take as an example Captain Haddock who originally was an alcoholic but later redeems himself; the original plot lines - like how Tintin in Tibet translate Hergé's depression at the time he wrote it or how when Hergé died Tintin's last adventure was left unfinished right at the point where Tintin is about to be killed, although it's uncertain if Hergé ever intended to really finish with him.
That is not to mention that Hergé has faced some criticism for portraying animal cruelty, racial stereotypes and even supporting the Nazis during World War II. Albeit his newspaper strips are known for not showing any political agenda and its latest film adaptation surely doesn't. I should imagine that, bearing in mind his background, Steven Spielberg wouldn't like that much. Spielberg not only manages to make it children friendly by our current "standards", but also to do what he does best: add a moral lesson at the end of it all. Even Captain Haddock's alcoholic redemption becomes something to envy (see my review of Super 8, another of Spielberg recent films).
Having said all that, I love Tintin's adventures just as much as did when I was little. Its latest film adaptation, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, is marked as a certificate PG and it's great fun. The animations are fantastic and fairly realistic. Let's not even talk about the fact that with Steven Spielberg on the director's chair it would be foolish not to assume it's good enough to be worth the ticket.
Add it to your movie list.
Film Rating: ****
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