The 3D images in ‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’ are so crystal clear that everything looks so real, to the point that you forget you are watching a cartoon film. Director Steven Spielberg really used the latest image capture technology to its best, which can be expected since he did work with WETA, the special effects house that made movies like ‘Avatar’. As Spielberg told us, this has been a project that was 20 years in the making, but it sure was worth the wait.
This family film introduces us to a story that has been around since 1929, when the Belgian comic writer Hergé brought to life a journalist and his Indiana Jones like adventures and continued them until about 1983. The cartoon form of the comic has also delighted generations around the world for decades. In this particular chapter we follow Tintin (Jaime Bell) to try to find the secrets of a ship called the Unicorn, which is tied to his biggest obstacle Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). Haddock is the last survivor in a long line of defeated Captains that drown their inherited sorrows in whiskey bottles. With Tintin’s journalistic skills as well as his clever sidekick and loyal dog Snowy, they help Haddock sober up or drink enough to help them find the secrets behind the ship and to try to beat the villain, Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig) in discovering the secrets first.
The voice of the cast chosen for the film goes perfectly with the characters they represent, as it should since the crew worked off the comic books along with the actors’ appearance to give us a 360 view of Tintin’s world. The funniest scenes are played out by twin inspectors Thompson (Simon Pegg) & Thomson (Nick Frost). Tintin travels from London to the mighty sea and to Morocco. The best sequence is the one in Morocco. Unfortunately a whole imaginary town is destroyed; especially the poor part of the city but it gives us plenty of breath taking action shots in which Spielberg let’s us choose where to focus with a little guidance.
Various age ranges of people will surely enjoy this film; it will certainly keep children entertained for a good almost 2 hours. The only thing to question is if maybe Tintin is too sophisticated, which is a good and refreshing thing, to many children. The film has done wonderfully abroad, especially in Europe where it has been more popular than the USA. It definitely has a really good chance of doing in the USA what it has done in Europe for about 50 years. The best part of it all is that a sequel is soon in the making, so this is just the first bite of what will probably be a series of movies about Tintin’s adventures.