THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN, the 3D mocap extravaganza directed by Steven Spielberg opens THIS FRIDAY in Europe, where—due to the widespread love for the characters—it’s got a chance to do boffo box office, even if the movie is problematic, a la TRANSFORMERS. The reviews are rolling in.

Variety’s Leslie Felperin liked it!

Steven Spielberg was apparently turned on to the Belgian comicstrip hero Tintin while making his first Indiana Jones films, so it seems entirely fitting that his motion-capture animation “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” should rep such a rollicking return to action-adventure form, especially after the disappointment of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that’s largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged auds. Pic should do thundering typhoon biz globally, but will whirl especially fast in Europe.

At one point Felperin spells Hergé as Herve, however, so consider this review as “objective.”

Meanwhile over at the Guardian, Tintin admirer Nicholas Lezardfeels…well, the review is titled How could they do this to Tintin?.

He did not care for the film:

Coming out of the new Tintin film directed by Steven Spielberg, I found myself, for a few seconds, too stunned and sickened to speak; for I had been obliged to watch two hours of literally senseless violence being perpetrated on something I loved dearly. In fact, the sense of violation was so strong that it felt as though I had witnessed a rape. I use this comparison not as a provocation or to cause unnecessary offence: I am using it in honour of a very good joke made by an episode of South Park, in which the cartoon’s children watch the final Indiana Jones film and are so traumatised by what they have seen that they go round to the police station and try to get Spielberg and his colleagues charged with the crime. “What they did to poor Indy. They made him squeal like a pig.” The tragic irony of this is that it was Hergé himself, Tintin’s creator, who, a few weeks before his death in 1983, anointed Spielberg as his preferred director to make a Tintin film; and this after he had seen, and loved, as we all do and did, the first Indiana Jones film.

So yeah aside from becoming physically ill and feeling violated, Lezard also feels it is “cretinous” and “made for morons.” And mind you this is despite seeing in the script by Stephen Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish echoes of the Tom McCarthy biography of Hergé which theorized that the entire Tintin oeuvre was Hergé’s response to possibly being related to the king of Belgium.


TINTIN opens here at Christmas. Can’t wait.


  1. Excited! There’s too much of my favorite talent involved here to poo-poo this before actually seeing it. Can’t wait!

  2. any movie that *looks* like it should be a summer movie, but is released in October is almost certain to not meet studio expectations. With rare exceptions, these films are generally sub-par to downright horrendous. This is the month all of that is burnt off getting ready for oscar season.

  3. @Karen and @Peter–

    Out of curiosity, what version of TINTIN would you have liked to see? Not asking this snarkily, I genuinely want to know.

    Is it that you just don’t like motion capture 3D animation and would prefer traditional hand-drawn stuff, or that you would prefer live action, or that you just think this version of 3D mo-cap looks ugly, or what?

    I’m asking because to me this looks fantastic and I’m having trouble understanding what people dislike about it. Inquiring minds wanna know!

  4. that would be something:)
    Seriously, here’s a movie with outstanding reviews so far and clearly the movie company is banking on a slow roll out meaning they have absolute faith that the word of mouth and reviews will continue to work in their favor.

  5. For me, the main problem with the visual style is that there’s such heavy detail on such cartoony proportions – it looks like a whole movie’s worth of those “de-tooned” pictures that were passed around the internet a couple of years ago.

    I appreciate that they decided to use the comic’s proportions instead of the “live actors but not really” Polar Express stuff, but . . . it still looks wonky.

    Though, hey, I’ve only seen stills so far. Maybe it works better on the big screen and in motion.

    In any case, I hope it does well, if only to inspire more people stateside to check out the originals!

  6. Isn’t the guardian something like fox news on the left? I don’t care, I’m sure they made something great. Looking forward to it

  7. It’s obvious they’re just out for money. Just leave it to all the Jews to ruin everything.

    Steven Spielberg. Jew.
    Stephen Moffat. Jew.
    Edgar Wright. Jew.
    Joe Cornish. Jew.

    Also, Tin Tin now carries around a walkie talkie instead of a gun.

    Free hat! Free hat! Free hat!

  8. @ Angelica Brenner

    Now I’ll never be able to see this film without seeing those scary pseudo realistic versions of the Simpsons or Family guy