The Adventures of Tintin: Season One
November 27, 2011

I blush to admit that I’ve never read a Tintin comic book, although of course, I’ve heard of the boy adventurer and I love the ligne claire style. With the movie due here later this year, it seemed an excellent time to sample this Shout! Factory animated release and introduce myself properly to Tintin.

This set includes 13 episodes on two discs, with each episode about 23 minutes, including credits and opening sequence, which is shown here:

Since most of the stories are two-parters, that makes for seven different globe-trotting adventures. There’s no introduction; we’re thrown right into the action, with the assumption that we either know boy hero Tintin (voiced by Colin O’Meara), his dog Snowy, the two goofy detectives Thompson and Thomson, and Captain Haddock (whom we meet in the first episode), or we can pick up their roles pretty quickly. Here’s the list of episodes included in the set:

  1. The Crab With the Golden Claws (Parts 1 and 2)
  2. The Secret of the Unicorn (Parts 1 and 2)
  3. Red Rackham’s Treasure
  4. Cigars of the Pharaoh (Parts 1 and 2)
  5. The Blue Lotus (Parts 1 and 2)
  6. The Black Island (Parts 1 and 2)
  7. The Calculus Affair (Parts 1 and 2)

Stories 1, 2, and 3 are reported to have influenced the plot of The Adventures of Tintin movie (due out December 21).

The style is very faithful, and the animation is high-quality, with plenty of motion and strong, European-flavored coloring. The series was a joint Canadian-French production from 1991-1993, airing in the US on HBO, then on Nickelodeon. The goal was to accurately capture Herge’s graphic novels, although with a little less violence and fewer ethnic stereotypes to make it suitable for kids as well as adults.

The only flaw in this set is the lack of any extras. A short documentary would have been helpful in introducing the American audience to the character and his significance over the decades. Otherwise, I haven’t seen a cartoon series with this much quality and exciting adventure in ages, and I love the world-wide perspective. This is a terrific way to enjoy the famous comic character. (The studio provided a review copy.)

4 Responses  
Dwight Willliams writes:  

Been trying to refresh my memory for weeks about when the anglophone portion of North America was going to get its launch date for that movie! As you may or may not know, the rest of the planet got the jump on us owing to their greater familiarity with this particular franchise…and Tintin is indeed a franchise on par with any major Disney-owned character, Star Trek or Peanuts.

I’ve seen the book featuring a great deal of the production artwork that went into building this movie already on sale in local independent bookstores around Ottawa, and it’s going on my want list for the holidays.

And as for the original graphic novels? Chase them down when you can.

Remco writes:  

We’re currently watching ourselves through the complete(r) box set. I remember seeing older cartoons during my youth, though; less faithful to the Tintin style than these, but imo working better as animation (with more squash&stretch etc), and with its own charm. They’re from 1959 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iWAVI2_yNI
Herge wasn’t too keen on them, though (and have to wonder what he’d make of the mutant-Tintin of the current film).

Rob writes:  

If you do decide to read the original comics, I’d strongly avoid skipping the first few. Herge hadn’t really solidified his characterization yet, and the stories are pretty disjointed–they read more like a series of set-pieces without much connecting them.

I’d say the stories start holding together around “Cigars of the Pharaoh.” The series that begins with “The Crab with the Golden Claws,” which introduces Tintin’s adventuring partner Captain Haddock, is another good place to start.

Tintin Comes to Home Video » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] up their release of Season One late last year, Shout! Factory is bringing The Adventures of Tintin: Season Two to DVD on March 20. […]


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