First of all, this doesn’t need to be 3D. The animation on The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is unbelievably real, right to the wind blowing through Tintin’s hair. I felt like I was Homer Simpson in that episode where he stepped into the real world when the film opens up with Tintin getting his portrait sketched at a local market and we see Herge’s classic cartoon of the round-faced boy journalist. As if you didn’t get it yet, now you know we’re suppose to really pay attention to the cartoon-brought-to-life aspect of this film. Now for the good stuff: we’re immediately introduced to the Unicorn (a model ship) and Tintin gets cracking on a potential story. Are you ready for 100 minutes of action-packed adventure, drunken tales and a ship full of treasure?
Whether you’ve read the Tintin stories or not, you’ll immediately understand and appreciate why this series is so widely received. I mean, if Steven Speilberg is making a trilogy, you better bet he’s channeling Indiana Jones. This is epic. Especially because there’s basically no borders in animation. Although the pirate fights in Pirates of the Caribbean were beautifully captured, the light-hearted Peter Pan version in this film is charming and brilliant in its twists and turns around a boat. Sometimes you might feel like you’re on an amusement park ride in Disney Land. Yeah, buckle your seats, this is one hell of a ride!
Played by Jamie Bell, Tintin is a flat character that just gets himself involved in a lot of drama (no love interest, no arch enemy, just an unquenchable thirst for adventure). You actually get more of a character out of his sidekick Snowy; at least we know he’ll go for the sandwich. The real star of the show is Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) who can easily solve the secret of the Unicorn if he could just remember what it was. The best moments happen while Haddock is re-living his memories and playing them out in the present. If all it took was a day in the desert, hey, we should have gone off the water years ago!
You get a little overwhelmed with all the jam-packed action that the characters get pushed to the side. I guess this is a story for kids, and we can’t make the bad guy look too admirable, but I do feel sorry for Daniel Craig’s two characters, Red Rackham/Sakharine that barely get any love throughout the film. On another note, the Thompsons are deliciously enchanting with their genuine naiveté during their not-so-serious case on a pick-pocketer. Now add a girl to this whole mix, and you’ll have me singing Tintin.