Oct 10 2011 4:30pm

New Adventures of Tintin Trailer!

We all know what you were thinking: sure, that new Tintin movie looks cute and all, but what the on earth is it actually about? We were wondering just the same thing, and this flashy new trailer is here to give us a clue:

What do you think? Are you ready to grab your favorite doggy sidekick and set sail?

David Thomson
2. ZetaStriker
Tintin still seems so bizarre to me. I'm fairly savvy where pop culture is concerned, but I have never heard of the series before this movie was announced. Not even in casual passing. I think this is the only thing with a fandom that's managed to completely slip by my radar without the name at least being mentioned once.
Stefan Jones
3. Stefan Jones

TinTin has always been a MUCH bigger thing in Europe. The books have been translated into dozens of languages. In fact, I suspect a lot of Americans got exposure to the series as a foreign language comic encountered when they were learning French or the like.

OTOH, he was popular enough for there to be a spoof in National Lampoon, in which TinTin visits Bierut.

* * *
I watched an early series of TinTin cartoons when I was a kid in the 60s/70s. They ran, serialized, on Saturday mornings. I had no idea at the time that they were imported and dubbed, or that there was a comic series behind them.

There was also a later, much slicker animated series, and a series of live action movies. A Belgian friend says the latter wasn't very good.
Stefan Jones
4. seth e.
As someone who read Tintin a lot as a child, I have to say that you all, and I mean the entire world, need to get off my lawn right this second.

I saw this trailer earlier, and here's what I said then:

I like how, since the original Tintin is simple and elegant, with exciting but relatively low-stakes stories, they decided to make all the action complex and overblown, with a treasure that could "change the course of history." The only thing that could possibly make it better is if it was acted by dead-eyed zombies!

Honestly, at a certain point, if it's really important to you to make everything look just like reality, the best way to do that is to go to real places and film real people in them. Animation and cartooning are better at other things.
Peter Tijger
5. Peter-Tijger
Tintin and its fanbase bizarre? Must seem like that for most Americans. But over here in Europe (well, most of Europe) Tintin is a comic classic just as you guys have Superman.
For a very long time....I think perceptive really changed somewhere in the 90ies....."your" comics were concerned drivel, the fastfood in comic books, just as "your" McDonalds burgers are concerned drivel, fastfood, unhealthy, not real good nutritious food. Most of the older comic book readers still regard American comics as badly drawn rubbish.
I have always liked American comics, I was blown away by the superheroes. But I can definitely see where the comments of American comics being rubbish come from....or rather, came from. A lot has changed over the years. Still, the European (French) way of producing comics is a preferred one to me. More pages, the larger for more story and the art can look better. Of course the whole production of European comics vs. American differ a lot. American comics are monthly (well, most of them if the artists aren't called Liefeld or one of the other usual suspects) serialized comics. We usually get 1 comic in a year with most series.

And Tintin is one of the granddaddies of European comic books, a revered one, part of Belgian culture.

I just hope, but don't expect, the movie to pay hommage to the comics.

And Tintin recently made the news too...over here that is, I don't know if it was news overseas. An African man went to court because of "Tintin in Africa". He wants this comic off the shelves forever because of its racist contents and portrayal of Africans. There's undeniably some of it inside the comic. But it must never be outlawed, it's part of culture. And having read these books from when I was a little kid it has never done anything to me to view Africans other than as normal people like anyone else. It's a comic book, not real (that I already knew as a kid) and later on I got the stereotyped portrayal of Africans, but later on I also got smarter and knew to place this story in the time it was made in, it was a different world back then.
Stefan Jones
6. Narmitaj
@Stefan Jones - I too got my introduction to Tintin in French (coincidentally in Beirut, given your reference to National Lampoon) in the 1960s; my parents had bought them to help my older brother learn French.

I thought they were great. Most of the stories themselves are pretty episodic and full of coincidences and give a bit of a feel of being made up on the hoof. But the quality of drawing was great - clear and bright, with great attention to accurate detail. Michael Farr's Tintin: The Complete Companion explores the sources for a lot of the imagery and the lengths Herge went to make accurate portryals of not just planes and cars and ships but also exotic costumes, landscape and architecture.

It's worth remembering that basically all the new stuff had been produced by 1963; there were 21 books published between 1930 and then, with a couple more in 1968 and 1976 and then one posthumous unfinished book. I think most people would have got the stories from the books, not strips, and perhaps the marketing pattern didn't suit the US; if people weren't reading Tintin in the 1950 their kids are unlikely to have heard of him now. The subject matter, which ranged over the world and though not exactly realistic did not have super-heroes and did sometimes reference current political events (such as the Chinese invasion of China in the 1930s), maybe did not suit the American market.

Here's a collage of all the covers:
Stefan Jones
7. James Davis Nicoll
such as the Chinese invasion of China in the 1930s

Japanese invasion, perhaps?

This is where someone mentions Zhang Chongren and why it was Herge's China was somewhat more nuanced than his Africa.
Stefan Jones
8. Gerry__Quinn
The 3D animation seems like a great way to implement a comic book on-screen. It looks like a lot of fun.
Stefan Jones
9. narmitaj
@ Nicoll "Japanese invasion, perhaps?" Oops, yes.

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