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Still shot from the movie: Adventures of Tintin.

Adventures of Tintin

Tintin (voice of Jamie Bell) is a young journalist in search of a good story. With his faithful pup Snowy at his side, the youth sets out to discover the secret of the Unicorn (a sailing ship) and a lost treasure. This animation is based on a series of graphic novels by Herge.

Overall Grade: B
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: A-
Language: B+
Drugs/Alcohol: C-
Release Date: 20 Dec 2011
Run Time: 107
MPAA Rating: PG


In-Depth Review

Comic artist Georges Prosper Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé, authored 23 books chronicling the exploits of a young journalist named Tintin. Now the redheaded reporter (voiced by Jamie Bell) jumps onto the big screen with the directorial input of Steven Spielberg.

The story begins when Tintin buys a model of a three-mast ship from a street vendor (voiced by Alex Hyde-White). Before he even gets to his flat, Tintin is approached by at least two men (voiced by Daniel Craig and Joe Starr) wanting to purchase the miniature. When one of them is gunned down at Tintin’s front door, the budding correspondent determines to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the reproduction of the Unicorn.

What follows is a high seas caper that has Tintin searching for lost treasure with the inebriated Captain Haddock (voiced by Andy Serkis). Along the way audiences also encounter other well known characters from the book including the bumbling but amiable police inspector Thompson (voiced by Simon Pegg), his identical twin brother Thomson (voiced by Nick Frost), the opera singer Bianca Castafiore (voiced by Kim Stengel) and the nefarious Red Rackham (also voiced by Daniel Craig).

While the film will likely capture the attention of older children and teens, the frequent depiction of intense peril, hand-to-hand combat, weapon use and criminal activities may discourage parents from taking younger family members along. (Tintin is kidnapped, caged, shot at, tied up and hit over the head several times.) Captain Haddock’s love affair with the bottle is also problematic, especially when it clouds his ability to remember some important information imparted by his dying grandfather.

Fast-paced with hardly a moment to breathe, this galloping 3D animated whodunit proves to be lots of fun even if it lacks any real moral messages. The film’s best advice: buyer beware.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

Violence: During the opening scenes silhouetted figures are involved in a car crash and robberies with characters being hit and covered in bloody injuries. Intense, frequent action includes moments of peril for several characters. A man is hit over the head and kidnapped. Others are bashed with alcohol bottles. A man falls down the stairs. A pickpocket steals wallets. A character is almost run over on a busy street. Hand to hand combat, swordplay, gunfire and the use of weapons is portrayed. A man is gunned down with blood depicted. Characters are threatened. A man is electrocuted and another is nearly decapitated by an airplane propeller. Some are caught in storms and fires. Ships engage in sea warfare. Men are bound and thrown overboard to the sharks. Characters fight one another with loading cranes.

Sexual Content: A brief, highly veiled sexual comment is made along with some mild cursing.

Language: The script contains a term of Deity and some name-calling.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A character drinks excessively and is often portrayed as drunken. Other characters drink and smoke cigars or cigarettes.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

How is alcohol consumption portrayed in this movie? Does making a joke of Captain Haddock’s drinking problem seem to lessen the seriousness of it? What are the withdrawal symptoms that he experiences? How do these relate to real life?

What characteristics does Tintin have that make him a good reporter?

The movie is based on three of Hergé‘s comic books:The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicornand Red Rackham’s Treasure. How closely does this movie’s plot follow that of the books?

Herge first began publishing The Adventure of Tintin in 1929. Other comic books in his series can be found here:

Video alternatives

Another young man in search of adventure travels through space in Treasure Planet. (This movie is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.) A quest to clear his ancestor’s name and follow some elusive clues leads to various American historical sites in National Treasure.

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes: The Adventures of Tintin

Release Date:13 March 2012

The Adventures of Tintin release to home video on Blu-ray (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) and in 3D (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy). Both packages include eleven behind-the-scenes featurettes.


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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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