Pin It

Win TinTin 

Spielberg's first attempt at directing animation couldn't have gone much better

click to enlarge art17343.jpg

Steven Spielberg is no stranger to animation. He's produced Monster House and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the TV series Animaniacs.

click to enlarge movie.diamond.jpg

The Adventures of Tintin

Rated: PG

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: The voices of Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Toby Jones, Andy Serkis

But this adaptation of the popular Belgian comic book series marks his first time as a director of an animated feature.

The story has the brave and curious and often foolhardy young newspaper reporter Tintin (voice of Jamie Bell) and his loyal (and braver and more curious) pooch Snowy roaming the streets, stumbling upon a beautiful model of a sailing ship called the Unicorn.

Tintin buys the model, then immediately finds out that others will do anything to get their hands on it.

Ah, there’s a secret, or two, or three, attached to the ship, one that some believe will lead to a treasure. But, shiver me timbers, there’ll be no more spoilers revealed here!

With the villainous Sakharine (Daniel Craig) coming after Tintin, the jovial and drunk Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) trying to help our hero, and the bumbling, bowler-wearing Thompson Twin cops (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) providing comic relief, the film is, as the title suggests, an adventure.

And a pretty darn violent one at that. Sakharine will off anyone who gets in his dastardly way. We expect this from the bad guy; killing is what he does. What is more startling is the small, child-like, clean-cut Tintin’s ability both with his fists and with a gun.

The violence never mars the film’s (and Spielberg’s) sense of wonder, which forms the reliable backdrop to equal portions of slapstick comedy and perilous action. The story features a spectacular mid-ocean battle between two ships, complete with sword fighting, blazing cannon, crashing waves and huge helpings of fire and lightning. Once aground, viewers get thrown into the midst of a breathtaking chase through the streets of a hillside town. In a dazzling display of imaginative editing, there’s some frenetic but seamless jumping back and forth between the captain telling Tintin his family story and that story splashing out on the screen.

Spielberg’s animation department is content to stay rooted in the cartoonish characters that made the Belgian comic strip such a classic. That cartoonishness doesn’t lessen the feelings of peril, though. After only a few minutes, you fall into the film’s visual style, and those characters become as real as you hope they’ll be. This is also a 3D production, done, thank goodness, with all the right technology. Tintin was shot with dedicated 3D cameras, not made in 2D, then cheaply transferred over. Showcasing some quirky humor, one sequence gives us Captain Haddock’s bad breath, made all the better by the third dimension.

Yar, I suppose there be one spoiler more (though it’s one you could have guessed): As with any great franchise-in-the-making, the film comes to a satisfying conclusion while still setting up the inevitable sequel.


  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Double Trouble
  • Double Trouble

    Keeping Up with the Joneses steals an idea and does little with it
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • From Book to Bore
  • From Book to Bore

    Inferno is a messy, nonsensical continuation of the Robert Langdon series
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • The Bad, the Worse and the Puppy
  • The Bad, the Worse and the Puppy

    In a Valley of Violence is a funny, thoughtful Western semi-send-up
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Stevie Lynne & Company

Stevie Lynne & Company @ The Big Dipper

Thu., Oct. 27, 8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks


More by Ed Symkus

  • Ode to <i>Joy</i>-less
  • Ode to Joy-less

    This reviewer really, really doesn't like Jennifer Lawrence
    • Dec 23, 2015
  • Winning Reboot
  • Winning Reboot

    Somehow, Arnold's return to the Terminator franchise makes for solid sci-fi
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • Dog of a Story
  • Dog of a Story

    Max wastes a promising idea on forgettable characters
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Kids Aren't Alright

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children can't quite strike the balance between whimsy and darkness
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film


indigo girls


spokane symphony

Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?
  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep dive into the way movies portray half of humanity
    • May 12, 2016
  • Road Goes On Forever
  • Road Goes On Forever

    Widespread Panic's never-ending tour stops in Spokane for the first time since 1999
    • Mar 11, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation