Monday, December 26, 2011


The Adventures of Tintin – the Secret of the Unicorn (2011)

Director: Steven Spielberg. Writers: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish. Stars: Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg

Before “Pirates of the Caribbean”, before “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, even before there were Republic Serials – There were “The Adventures of Tin Tin”. 

Tintin's debut, in the 11th issue of the Petit Vingtième:Tintin in the Land of the Soviets:
What began in 1929 when Belgium’s Georges Remi, better known as “Hergé”, started writing and illustrating a regular comic strip, Tin Tin has entertained young and old alike worldwide for decades. Each serialized story was published in book form. 

Herge In the office of the Petit Vingtième
His 11th book, “The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn”, is the basis of the big screen animated film directed by Steven Spielberg. [The Hollywood Review: The Adventures of Tin Tin – the Secret of the Unicorn]

Tintin : Secret of the Unicorn by ~Barukurii - DeviantArt


Having bought a model ship, the Unicorn, for a pound off a market stall Tintin is initially puzzled that the sinister Mr. Sakharine should be so eager to buy it from him, resorting to murder and kidnapping Tintin - accompanied by his marvellous dog Snowy - to join him and his gang as they sail to Morocco on an old cargo ship.

Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine: a collector of model ships
Sakharine has bribed the crew to revolt against the ship's master, drunken Captain Haddock, but Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape, arriving in Morocco at the court of a sheikh, who also has a model of the Unicorn. 

Captain Haddock “gruff, capable of expansive gestures and prone occasionally to minor mishaps.” Herge

Haddock tells Tintin that over three hundred years earlier his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock was forced to scuttle the original Unicorn when attacked by a piratical forebear of Sakharine but he managed to save his treasure and provide clues to its location in three separate scrolls, all of which were secreted in models of the Unicorn. Tintin and Sakharine... Written by don @ minifie-1   

The story of this film actually combines several of the Tintin books: ’The Crab with the Golden Claws’ (in which Tintin befriends Haddock and saves him from smugglers) and the two-parter ‘The Secret of the Unicorn’ and ‘Red Rackham’s Treasure’ [which is the core of the story about the search for the lost treasure]. There are also some very small elements and secondary characters from other stories too, but as far as taking liberties that’s where Spielberg stopped. 

Everything else is precisely how the Belgian creator, Hergé had imagined it: with that same sense of adventure, mystery, intrigue, action and fun. In other words the same mood and atmosphere that made the comics so successful  [at least in Europe] and incidentally, in a way those same elements that were also at the centre of one of Spielberg’s classic, Raiders of the lost ark.  [MovieGeekBlog]

Photo Credits: Hergé, by Pierre Assouline, published by Plon.
It’s not surprising that Hergé himself, after seeing that film back in 1981 thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice. Spielberg pays homage to Tintin’s creator right from the start, not just in the beautifully design title sequence (reminiscent of the one from Catch Me If You Can), where he show us so many elements from all Tintin stories, not just in the colour palette he chooses for the cinematography of the film or in the way each character’s face looks, but he even goes as far as having Hergé himself appearing as a street artist drawing a portrait of Tintin the way we are used to see him in the comics. [MovieGeekBlog]

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