When I first saw the trailer for The Adventures of Tintin, I anticipated the animation to be Polar Express-esque in its realism. It is not. Though incredibly detailed, the characters appear to be lifelike manifestations of their original-drawn selves. Tintin‘s hair retains its signature flip, Captain Haddock‘s beard is perfectly shaped, and Thomson and Thompson‘s noses and moustaches are comedically oversized.
The animation allows for Spielberg to do some interesting things on screen, such as have sleeping sailors slide from bunk to bunk on a rocking ship, have a stack of tires fall perfectly around a henchman, and feature an over-the-top single-shot chase sequence through the flooding streets of a fictional Moroccan city. I loved it.
That said, the 3D did nothing for me. I normally wouldn’t choose to see a movie in 3D over 2D, and in this case I had no choice, but I thought that it would have had more to offer, given that it’s animated. Save for a couple of scenes where something popped out a little more than normal (I’m guessing to remind me that I paid an extra three or four dollars for a 3D ticket) I never noticed it.
Tintin is a lot of fun. I’d never read any of the books, but I knew to expect some big cinematic adventure. The movie delivers, and is pure magic. I actually left the theatre thinking that it’s for films like this that people go to the movies. These characters are great, and made me wonder if I was too old to start reading the books.
My only complaint is a small one: I was hoping for this to be somewhat of an origin story. I think it’d have been interesting to see how Tintin lives on a day-to-day basis before going out on an adventure. The movie wastes no time dropping us into mystery and intrigue, and it almost felt like a sequel because of it.
Overall though, it was a fine movie. I’m looking forward to the sequels, and hope that Spielberg and Jackson make these so long as they stay fun.