*Warning: This review may contain SPOILERS!*
Last night was Geoff’s birthday and he decided that he wanted to see The Adventures of Tin Tin. You see, he is a rather big Tin TIn fan. Having a stuff snowy on his bookcase and everything and this made him extremely excited to see the film. On the other hand, I know virtually nothing about Tin Tin. I’ve seen the comics briefly, but that’s about it.
The film, however, I knew was coming out due to all of the people in the industry working on it. A screenplay by Steven Moffat (who writes Sherlock and Doctor Who) and others, a director who directed classics like Indiana Jones, Steven Spielberg, and actors like Daniel Craig and Andy Serkis doing some of the voice acting. Just from looking at the production aspects of the film, I had a feeling it was going to be amazing technically, but could it recreate what Geoff loved so much about the original comics?
For once in my lifetime I wandered into a movie with barely any preconceived notion of what I was about to see. And I have to say, without any question of a doubt. This movie was absolutely fantastic! The story is intriguing, light-hearted and fun. It keeps you amused the entire time with jokes, and references to the original comics. And while the film is a CGI-animated film, the camera angles, and pacing the production achieved reminded me of something akin to Indiana Jones. I also thought that the graphics themselves were something of an accomplishment. They aren’t as cartoon-like as previous CGI-animated films, but they don’t give off that weird unsettling feeling from being too realistic.
One of my absolutely favorite things that they did with this film was the transitions. As the characters moved from country to country (yes, they do travel the world), the transitions are created by focusing on a part of the current scene and fading it into the scenes coming next. For instance, there is a scene where Tin Tin and Captain Haddock shake hands. The next scene is in the desert. So, the hands of Tin Tin and Captain Haddock shaking hands becomes the dunes of the desert. This type of transition occurred repeatedly and it was just gorgeous.
The other thing that really struck me about this film was the way the flashbacks fo Sir Francis’ treasure were intercut with the current story. Captain Haddock narrates them, as he is the only one who knows them, and he tells the story through very animated body language. What I loved a lot in these sequences was that the audience would see the flashback come and take over the present scene. The first time it happens, for instance, Tin Tin and Haddock are in the desert and as Haddock begins to tell the tale, the audience see The Unicorn (the ship they are chasing) rise up from the dunes and come crashing down turning the dunes into water and eventually turning Haddock into Sir Francis. The transitions back are just as similar and they serve to tell us just how animated the Captain got when he was telling the story. (Several times Tin Tin is cowering from nearly being injured by the Captain and his story).
Overall, this film is just good old fun. It’s rare that I come away from a film going “you know, I don’t really have any criticism on that”, but this is one of those times. I’m sure if I sat down to watch it again I could come up with something that I would have done differently, or that I didn’t like, but I am actually quite content with leaving this one lie. It is a great film, full of action, fun and humor. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and according to Geoff is pretty reminiscent of the original comics (although, he’s pretty sure they combined a few stories to make the movie long enough). If you’re looking for something fun with no thinking, this is definitely worth seeing.