The Adventures of Tintin

Fun and engaging CGI movie from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson was really worth the wait.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig
Budget: 130 million | Box office: 190 million (outside USA)
IMDB: 7.8 | Metacritic: 86

Adventures of Tintin, Spielberg, Jackson

This year was really dull for animation, with just predictable sequels and spin-offs, so The Adventures of Tintin was really like a rain in the desert. It grips almost from the very beginning and gives you a 3D roller-coaster ride through beautiful places and engages in interesting adventure with quite a few unexpected nice twists.

It really feels like fun animated Indiana Jones movie, as it should be, as it was kind of an old dream project of Steven Spielberg. Director found out about Belgian artists Herge comic books just after he finished the first Indiana Jones movie, when somebody mentioned that the too are quite similar. At once Spielberg ordered Tintin books and tried to make a movie back in the eighties. Then he re-optioned the rights in 2002 (during that time nobody managed to get a Tintin movie going) and after some delays and negotiations with studios began to work.

The idea to depict Tintin in the big screen jumped from film to computer animation. It was Peter Jackson who convinced Spielberg to go for full motion capture CGI animation. Although as I was afraid the characters look a bit too similar to Zemeckis movies, here they look more cartoony, lively and not as reanimated dead actors. But one problem I think persists: younger faces seem much worse than older people. Tintin himself is kind of featureless and in some scenes really looks like a puppet. But thankfully, he doesn‘t fill most of the screen time, and the other main characters look really impressive and believable. The animations are done really carefully, depicting even the micro-expressions. Even though, I swill wonder why studios are not following and improving the photo-realistic look in Final Fantasy style. Maybe it is true that people don‘t want to watch really photo-realistic CGI movies as they don‘t see the point in that?

Another thing I was really impressed about was lighting. Of course CGI technologies always move forward so you can expect that, but somehow here it was not only technically, but artistically fascinating. The effects of glass and transparency were very nice too. And the must haves such as realistic water, dust, sand were really in place.

So from technical point Tintin really shines and you quickly forget about the faces as the action starts sucking you in. Rare movie lets you forget about everything else and fully engage in the action and Tintin manages that perfectly. I especially liked the parallel action ideas, linking the story‘s past and present.

After so many producing works and absence from directing for three years (six if you discard the unnecessary fourth Indiana Jones), Spielberg proves that he can still use any tools available and create a spectacular and sincere movie. I‘m still doubtful about his War Horse epic, but at least the future for Tintin should be very good. He and Jackson have already done a deal for the second movie (with Jackson probably directing), but with guaranteed financial success (movie paid off just in screenings outside USA – smart move to create big buzz where the comic book is not famous), I think we‘ll have another long running series.

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