WE’D ARRIVED ten minutes early at the cinema, so, without really settling into full drawing mode, I drew my hand. The Adventures of Tintin; The Secret of the Unicorn started life as drawings by Hergé and his team and this Steven Speilberg production pays homage to the original artwork, without being too reverential about it. The opening credits show how effective a purely graphic version might have been but I feel that Hergé would have approved of this big-budget over-the-top widescreen 3D production. It’s a bit exhausting but an absolute delight for a Tintin fan like me. There have been traditional animated cartoon versions of Tintin in the past, which seemed to me rather pedestrian compared with the original comic strips and even a live action version, which I didn’t see but which I can’t imagine working successfully.
For me Hitchcock’s North by Northwest is the film that comes closest to the pacing of the original adventures. The Tintin stories are one relentless adventure, so if you used them as a storyboard for a movie you’d get something like this Speilberg version but that’s a different experience to reading a comic strip where you can always pause to take in the scenery and the artwork.
I’ll be interested to see the book The Art of the Adventures of Tintin to discover how they created the artwork for the film.