Monday, January 2, 2012

Review: The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Sorry that my hiatus for reviews went on longer than expected. I plan on going back to reviews starting with this one. They will still be posted either on Monday or Tuesday of each week (though most likely Monday). Thank you for your understanding.

I didn't really consider this a period drama at first, but upon further thought, it kind of is. A period drama is, after all, a miniseries, movie, etc. that takes place during a time in history. Since Tintin was published in the 1940s (therefore I'm assuming that it takes place in the 40s), I would consider it a period drama (for reviews, I review movies that take place pre-1950s). We saw this movie on New Years Eve in 3D: I had only seen one other movie in 3D (Up), so this was my second time watching a 3D movie in theaters.

The Adventures of Tintin is based off of the popular comic series by HergĂ©. When Tintin, a reporter, buys a model ship of The Unicorn, he finds that there are two men who want to buy the ship from him: one warns him that it is cursed, the other wants the ship for his personal interests. Tintin and his dog, Snowy, research the ship and are taken on an adventure. Secrets are to be revealed.

There are some actors that you may recognize from other period dramas in "Tintin". Jamie Bell (Tintin) was also in Nicholas Nickleby. Andy Serkis (Captain Haddock) was in both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Little Dorrit. Toby Jones (Silk) was in Amazing Grace and The Way We Live Now.

I was not at all familiar with Tintin before seeing this movie. I liked the character of Tintin, though I did think that he looked pretty young to be a reporter and living away from his parents. Tintin is always accompanied by his dog Snowy, a white Wire-Fox Terrier. I must say, Snowy stole part of the show from Tintin: that dog is just so cute! Snowy is very easily one of the main characters, though he has no speaking parts (though Tintin does talk to him a lot). Tintin is a very likable character: he is a young reporter who likes to dig deeper and ask questions. It was very easy to like him (though Snowy might have helped!).
Tintin (front) piloting a plane. Behind him is Captain Haddock.

I have only seen Andy Serkis in movies where he is a villain. In Tintin, his character, Captain Haddock, is actually a good guy, though with some vices. His vice is that he indulges too much in drink, which proves to be a part of his character and when he is taken away from his drink, it can be disastrous (though it can be nearly disastrous when he has his drink). Andy Serkis wasn't creepy in this role: his villains (at least the ones I have seen him in) were creepy, but here he was not: flawed, but not creepy. His character holds the secret of The Unicorn. His ancestor is connected with The Unicorn, and only a Haddock could solve the puzzle that The Unicorn has left. 

There is an additional subplot which doesn't have too much of an impact on the main plot. It concerns the pick-pocketer, Silk, and the officers, Thompson and Thomson, who try to catch him. Silk impacts the main plot in such a small way that it might not have been necessary to include it in the film, but it was still entertaining and didn't take away from the main plot.

I saw this movie in 3D. If you can, I would say see it in 3D. My mom at the start of the movie asked me if it was a cartoon or real people. The animation was very well done, and the animation did look real. There are a lot of very nice scenes throughout the movie, and a variety of them. Scenes take place from England, to a ship, to an airplane, to a desert, and more!

Snowy, Tintin's faithful dog.
The music is very good (and the soundtrack is available at Amazon if you're interested). The theme song sounds like it keeps with the time and place, like something out of 1940s Europe. The music varies from tone to tone: some songs sound as if they came out of a mystery movie, others an action movie, and one opera song (which is involved in the plot). Overall, good music.

Overall: 4/5
I very much enjoyed this movie. I was not at all familiar with Tintin before seeing the movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Towards the end, it is much more action packed than the beginning and middle of the movie (I did get a little weary of it towards the end); there is some action during the beginning and the middle, but there was also enough of the plot in there to even it out, but action is much more concentrated towards the end of the movie. There is some violence, but the violence isn't very bad: there are a lot of gunshots during the movie, and one man dies and a little bit of blood is left on a newspaper, but nothing is graphic. I think I recall one use of a swear word.

The Adventures of Tintin is now out in theaters in both regular and 3D showings. It is rated PG.

A clue!


  1. I've been interisted in this movie,in part because the animation looks realistic.
    Thanks for the review

  2. Glad you're recommending it! My siblings love Tintin, and I admit...I've read all the books myself. :) You're right, he's rather young, I've always wondered just how old he is! Andy Serkis is in here too? Now I really want to see it. He's such a unique actor!

  3. You MUST read the Tintin books!!! They are better then the movie :D I think it is sad that not many people in America have read the books :( Anyways I enjoy your blog so much. Thanks for posting :)

  4. Quick Q for u.
    Why is it rated PG? (my parents are quite strict on what me and my sibling watch), so I was just wondering if there was something like inappropriate or is there just a bit of violence? I am aware that Captain Haddock does sometimes get drunk in the books, is it like that in the movie?

  5. Jemimah,
    From what I can remember, there's just a bit of violence (but nothing graphic save for a bit of blood on a newspaper). Captain Haddock does get drunk often. Other than that, I'm pretty sure that there wasn't anything horribly inappropriate in there. The main reasons for it being rated PG were the violence, the drunkenness, and some brief smoking.


Thank you for visiting Elegance of Fashion. If you wish to leave a comment, please do. I ask that you refrain from bad language and are polite and constructive. If you are posing under "Anonymous", if you could leave a name, that would be great! I reserve the right to delete any comments that I deem family unfriendly.

Thank you very much and please come again.