TINTIN is coming this Christmas! Did you remember? The Steven Spielberg-directed, Peter Jackson-produced film — shrouded in veils of mystery for the most part — has just released its first trailer, and from the looks of it, it’s fitting right into the Holiday Uncanny Valley Mocap Vacation slot that Robert Zemeckis was dragged from kicking and screaming.

A couple of posters were also released.




It’s not that we don’t want this to succeed. TINTIN stars Jamie Bell as Tintin, Daniel Craig as villain Red Rackham, Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock, and Simon Pegg as the Thompson twins. The entire film was shot in mocap, then turned into animation, which Jackson is allegedly fine-tuning. The script is by Edgar Wright (SCOTT PILGRIM), Steven Moffat (Dr. Who) and Paul Cornish, another member in fine standing of the Brit Comedy Mafia. So good people all around.

But this kind of mocap CGI (in 3D!) has had a spotty history, with this spring’s MARS NEEDS MOMS from Zemeckis flopping so horrifically that it impacted Disney’s quarterly profits. People like extreme CGI people in video games when they re blowing them up, but feel more uneasy in movie theaters.

The look at Tintin’s face at the end of the trailer is the first time we’ve seen it in promos — perhaps because the idea of a humanoid Tintin is a bit of a shock. Or as editor Nate Cosby tweeted this morning

Dangit. Can you IMAGINE how excited everyone would be if Spielberg had done a live-action Tintin?

Obviously the filmmaking duo love Tintin, however, and the film is sure to do well overseas where Tintin is the equivalent of Scooby-Doo.


  1. It could be because you’re from the country where Tntin is least popular, but I don’t think it’s in any way “equivalent” to Scoony Doo. Tintin is far more popular and culturally significant than that.

  2. Want to love this… been a fan since I was 5… but I am not encouraged by the way they are hiding almost every face. I mean, Herge’s clean line drawings convey more emotion than these facial expressions. Hopefully that’s what they are fixing.

  3. i think it looked pretty good. they colors look pretty darn close, just wish it was all done in medium shot.

  4. It’s a teaser, everyone. They’re hiding faces and focusing on obscure action at this point to raise interest in the spectacle and create mystery about the characters.

    I thought it looked fantastic; I love Herge’s books, and I’ve got them all. And I’ll still have them when the movie’s out and over and done with. So to me, to see two of popular filmmaking’s biggest directors working on a cool feature? That’s icing on the cake.

    Plus, Edgar Wright!

  5. Cameron: I know that Tintin is not “like” Scooby-Doo. But I was trying to get across how pervasive and well known it is in the Franco-phile/Euro Comics world.

    IN other words, I was trying to SHOCK awareness! SHESHIN!

  6. Er… I’d say Tintin’s more the equivalent of – er- Shakespeare.

    Cameron’s right: to the rest of the world (i.e. not the US), Tintin is WAY bigger than Scooby Doo has ever been anywhere. I was going to compare it to Mickey Mouse, but that’s not right either, because in addition to universal recognition, Tintin also has a much higher level of genuine respect and devotion than the ubiquitous mouse.

  7. Pretty neat teaser trailer, I think.

    I also think the Uncanny Valley is annoyingly trendy to bring up and nowadays doesn’t much bother people.

  8. Given the fact that the eyes in the polar express’ characters had this creepy soulless quality to them which this trailer doesn’t have, I wouldn’t go as far as saying it goes into that territory.

    I wish the soundtrack had at least a variation of the animated series’ theme, which I always thought had a very elegant quality to it.

  9. @Dave Down here in Colombia I saw it when I was 9 (About 1994), So I would say that yes, it ran during the early 90s.

  10. The fact that they’re focusing exclusively on non-facial shots (except for one carefully-chosen one) does worry me a bit. It suggests either a lack of confidence in the results of the technology, or a a fear of it being thought of as “a motion-capture film”.

  11. None of the quick shots of humans in the trailer looked good at all. But I’ll save judgment until I can see more.

    Everything else looks great, but I’m reminded of the old adage that if you put a teaspoon of wine in a barrel of sewage, you have sewage. And if you put a teaspoon of sewage in a barrel of wine, you still have sewage. Which is to say, great lighting, sets, art direction and script can never overcome bad character animation.

    And sadly another thing I’m reminded of is Rami’s first Spider-Man movie. For that one I saw the trailers and the Spidey animation of swinging and especially jumping looked gawdawful. And sure enough, when the actual movie came out… it still looked gawdawful. Hoping this movie escapes that fate!

  12. As a 3d artist, I feel the uncanny valley has been a convenient scapegoat for when these types of movies crash at the box office. Many of them flop because they suck, frankly. This trailer, however, has convinced me to purchase a ticket on the weekend of its release.