The Secret of the Unicorn

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.

2 Replies to “The Secret of the Unicorn”

  1. ” I also find it hard to work out why aocohll is the main character in a children’s movie, and it is without a doubt the main character, we even see Tintin’s dog Snowy inhaling some zero-gravity whiskey. ”No the main character is Tintin.You’ve juste the kids were not stupid, if not they know what aocohll is, what an aocohllic is and they have very probably already seen it from they own eyes, so what’s the problem ?If you think this could urge the kids to become aocohllic, then the kids ARE stupid.And they should never watch ANY kind of movie at all.Tintin is not a franchise, it’s a comic-book. I don’t care how much films, anime, clothes were made after its name, for it’s just a comic-book, period.Oh, and btw, a comic-book for anyone aged from “7 to 77 years old”. So you see ? it’s not only for the kids. 😉

    1. Yes, you couldn’t have Captain Haddock without the whisky and Snowy develops a taste for malt whisky in Black Isle. Tintin, as far as I remember, never touches alcohol, he remains a true hero, partly based on a boy scout character that Herge had drawn for a previous comic strip, so he’s a difficult character to identify with; the stories wouldn’t work without flawed characters who we can identify with like the irascible Captain Haddock and the bumbling T(h)ompson ‘Twins’.
      There’s a similar problem for the producers of the Sherlock Holmes movies; at some stage in the movie Sherlock has to light his famous pipe, and he wouldn’t be the character he his without some hint to his occasional use of a 7% solution of cocaine.
      I think it would be a shame if children’s movies were entirely devoid of menace and deeply flawed characters.

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