The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin ★★★½

No one but Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson would think to adapt Tintin this way. The hyper-surreal character animation and the restless, omniscient camera that characterize this unmistakably early 2000s, CG-generated take are so far away from Hergé’s ligne claire aesthetic that it seems almost like a perverse joke. But with each rewatch I find it somehow more and more successful. The motion capture used to animate the characters brings them to life in a way that other CG films miss, and the continually ricocheting camera angles do capture the breathless, proto-Indiana Jones adventurism of Tintin’s world with unexpected faithfulness. The movie careens along as a nearly unbroken sequence of escapades that bleed one into the next, not always with perfectly logical segues, which is basically how the world of Tintin works in the original bande dessinée; that does a lot to make everything here feel authentic, amazingly enough, even when so much of it should not at all. Its biggest fault is that it’s probably twenty minutes too long, though oddly by the end I still felt disappointed that no sequel was ever made. 

Watched it with my twin boys, who initially resisted it and afterwards gave it a moderate thumbs up.

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