Captain Haddock, especially in comparison to his original appearance in The Crab with the Golden Claws, where he causes more trouble than he solves. In this movie he climbs out the seaplane in midflight and refuels it with his Alcohol laden belch, takes part in the cazy motorcycle chase for the parchments, and fights the Big Bad in a crane duel. In fact the climatic battle almost entirely belongs to Haddock, with Tintin's main contribution being saving the parchments from being burnt at the last minute.
Sakharine as well - in the comic, he is easily tricked and chloroformed by Barnaby, and is at worst a nuisance to Tintin, never actually threatening or harming him. In the movie, he is a much more vicious fighter, complete with Sword Cane.
Barnaby. In the comic, he works for the villains and, while he turns on them, it's out of a petty grievance rather than remorse. In the film, he is an Interpol Special Agent who is shot by goons working for Sakharine. Interestingly, this is a reversal of the comic, in which Sakharine is attacked by Barnaby, who wants the scroll in his Unicorn model.
Omar Ben Salaad, who's an innocent extra in this movie and a drug smuggling boss in the comic.
Adaptational Villainy: Ivan Sakharine is a much more malevolent character than he was in the comics, in which he is more annoying than malicious, and, ironically, is one of the only characters who Tintin accuses mistakenly of being a villain. Also unlike his movie counterpart, he doesn't seem to have any particular grudge against Captain Haddock. Interestingly and very surprisingly, the Licensed Game based on the movie actually uses the Bird brothers from the comic as the villains instead of Sakharine.
Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The page image comes from the comic the movie is based on ... and yes, that scene does make it into the movie. Along with multiple instances of this.
Anachronism Stew: The date of the movie is somewhat difficult to determine; no matter what, the use of the term "third world" and references to INTERPOL are definitely out of place (see "Artistic License - History") and the cars just complicate matters (see "The Thirties"), as do most of the guns.
And the Adventure Continues: The film ends with Tintin and Haddock discovering a clue to the location of the Unicorn, where the rest of Rackham's treasue would be hidden.
Artistic License - History: At one point Bianca mentions this is her first time visiting the third world. The term "third world" originated during the Cold War in the 1950s, while this film takes place in the 30s.
Thompson and Thomson make a mention of both the FBI and INTERPOL. While the former existed as of 1935, most people would have referred to it by its old name, the Bureau of Investigations (BOI) out of habit; likewise, though the International Criminal Police Commission was created in 1923, it did not change its name to INTERPOL until 1956.
Ascended Extra: Ivan Sakharine. In the comic, he is a rather minor, non-villainous character, a harmless ship model collector who mostly serves as a Red Herring. In the film, he is the main antagonistand the descendant of Red Rackham.
Aside Glance: Snowy looks straight at the audience at least twice, and even winks! This might be a nod to the comics, where he could talk, but only the reader could "hear" him.
Beard of Evil: Sakharine, with his pointy goatee. The artists apparently referenced Rasputin when working on his movie design, which makes sense - his comic design was already pretty Rasputin-y. The redesign helps him resemble Red Rackham a little more. His slicked-back, distinguished look vs. Haddock's unkempt look is very much a case of Good Hair, Evil Hair.
Bilingual Bonus: At one point, Sakharin is addressed by Castafiore as 'Monsieur Additif', the French word for 'additive'. Saccharine is... wait for it... an additive.
Blood-Stained Letter: A dying man highlights letters on a newspaper using his bloody fingerprints to spell out the name of the Karaboudjan.
Bloodless Carnage: The Pirate flashback is chockful of sword and gun killings, all without a single red stain, save for the sword wound Rackham receives - and even then it's not really bleeding much. Averted with Barnaby's death.
Brave Scot: Unlike previous adaptations of Tintin, Andy Serkis chooses to give Captain Haddock a Scottish accent.
Captain Obvious: During a conversation with Haddock when Tintin first met him.
Tintin: "You're the captain?"
Haddock: "Of course I'm the captain. Who else could I be?"
The Cast Showoff: Kim Stengel, who plays Castafiore, is an actual soprano. That's really her singing!
Character Exaggeration: The movie tends to exaggerate the traits of some characters and the Tintin comics in general, which tend to be more low-key than the Indiana Jones series (which the movie was commonly compared to).
Chase Scene: One of the more spectacular ones in recent memory.
Chekhov's Gun: A minor, yet hilarious one. Early on, Haddock's breath is established to smell strongly of whiskey. When Tintin and Haddock are flying towards Bagghar in a seaplane with almost no fuel, Haddock drinks a whole bottle of medicinal alcohol and belches into the plane's fuel tank to give it an extra boost.
Also, Snowy's knack for finding holes in brick walls leads Tintin and Haddock to the bricked up portion of the cellar where they find Sir Francis' treasure.
Composite Character: The film version of Sakharine is a combination of several characters from the comic. He has the appearance and some of the scenes of Sakharine in the comic, but his ownership of Marlinspike and his Adaptational Villainy are inherited from the absent Bird brothers and his employment of Allan is a trait from the comic's Omar Ben Salaad. The part about him being Red Rackham's descendant seems to be from a humorous scene from Red Rackham's Treasure involving several people who claim to be descended from Rackham.
Barnaby is a composite of Barnaby from Secret of the Unicorn and Dawes from The Crab With the Golden Claws. He even combines their names.
Cool Boat: The Unicorn. "Finest ship that ever sailed the seven seas!"
One of the pirates in Red Rackham's ship looks similar to Hergé as well.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Captain Haddock seems to often cause more trouble for Tintin than he solves, but it's obvious he can more than handle himself in any given situation.
As an example, late in the film Haddock is attacked by 3 soldiers, and he flails around angrily a bit, leading us to expect slapstick takedowns or just failure. Next we see him he throws 3 punches and knocks them all out.
Death by Adaptation: Barnaby Dawes, unlike the comic, doesn't recover from his bullet injuries.
Defiant to the End: In an attempt to get Tintin to give up, Sakharine ties Haddock and Snowy to some weights and threatens to drop them into the ocean unless Tintin backs down. In addition to insisting that Tintin not do it, Haddock never stops insulting Sakharine to his face the whole time, even though he's at his mercy. When Sakharine finally drops him to make his point, he even makes sure he gets one last shot in before he hits the water.
"You two-timing troglodyte! You simpering son of a pug-faced profiteer!" (Sakharine drops him) "Fathead!"
Determinator: Tintin, in spades. This causes a sort of chain - by leading him on this amazing adventure and never giving up Tintin inspires Haddock to stop drowning his sorrows and become a determinator as well, and so Haddock in turn re-inspires Tintin to take up the fight again when everything looks bleakest.
Notably, Haddock becomes a determinator almost immediately after getting his memory of Francis Haddock's tale back - Francis is clearly a determinator of his own, willing to blow up his own ship to stop Rackham, and Haddock is just like his ancestor.
Dying Curse: Red Rackham curses Sir Francis Haddock as he sinks with the blown-up Unicorn declaring, "We will meet again, Haddock! In another time! In another *life*!"
Epic Tracking Shot: The abovementioned chase sequence. Sure it's done in CGI, but seriously, wow.
Eureka Moment: When Tintin thinks the bad guys have won, Captain Haddock gives him an inspirational speech about never giving up, and a chance phrase gives Tintin an idea about how to regain the upper hand.
Evil Former Crew: Haddock's crew betrayed him to Sakharine who offered them a large amount of money.
Family-Unfriendly Death: Barnaby is gunned down by Sakharine's goons, which is brutal enough for a PG rated film but he even uses his blood stains to spell out a message that becomes a major plot point. There's also Captain Francis stabbing, shooting and slicing up dozens of pirates, albeit bloodlessly.
Red Rakham coldly executes the Francis' crew after promising to spare them, by dropping them into the water while tied up, where they are implied to be eaten by sharks.
Notice what color Sakharine wears throughout the entire movie. And his character design just screams Rasputin, with a very Alternate Universe Spock-esque beard.
Friends Rent Control: Tintin owns a surprisingly upscale apartment for someone who works as a reporter.
Funny Background Event: Snowy, often; particularly in the desert, when he appears in the background with a giant bone from nowhere.
Right after Thomson and Thompson pull the pickpocket out from the Circling Birdies moment, the old lady whom the pickpocket crashed into strikes a man with her cane whom she seems to think was groping her.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: During the scene where Tintin tries to recover some keys from a sleeping man, Haddock explains about some of his former crewmen. One of them was a shepherd once, but he was kicked out because of his "animal husbandry".
It's also implied that Sakharine slept with Bianca Castafiore to be her escort into Morocco. Bianca's quote sums it up quite nicely: "He's been very...passionate in his support." The brief but distinctly uncomfortable look on Sakharine's face as she says it says even more...
Glass-Shattering Sound: Castafiore's voice. At first, Tintin doesn't know what Haddock and Snowy are complaining about. Then she hits a really high note and shatters not only everyone but Sakharine's glasses but also the bulletproof case holding the third model ship. Oh, and the chandeliers and crystalware too.
Gravity Is A Harsh Seamstress: During the motorcycle scene, Captain Haddock collides with a clothesline and spends the rest of the chase wearing a pink dress.
Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: Captain Haddock takes aim at the villain with a bazooka ... and promptly takes out the dam behind them. Attentive viewers could see this coming, as the scope was shown to be on the outside when he was taking aim.
Identical Grandson: As in the comic, Haddock looks and acts exactly like his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. In addition, Red Rackham is given an Identical Descendant in the form of Sakharine and one of Sir Francis's crew members looks exactly like Nestor, which probably isn't a coincidence. Unlike the comic, the film makes an attempt to justify this by bringing up the possibility of the characters being the literal reincarnations of their ancestors.
It Makes Sense in Context: In-universe. Haddock tells Tintin that one of the crewmen of the Karaboudjan has no eyelids. He semi-explains that a card game was involved before telling Tintin that he "had to be there".
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Not that it was a point of any real suspense in the comics, but Haddock's first name (Archibald) was not known until the final completed story, Tintin and the Picaros. In the film, Haddock introduces himself right away with his full name.
Le Parkour: Tintin tends to slide around a lot more than in the comics.
Leitmotif: All of the major characters have distinctive themes associated with them - Tintin, Snowy, Cpt. Haddock, Sir Francis and the Unicorn, Red Rackham, even Thomson and Thompson. The most prominent by far is the Unicorn theme, which recurs many times - being soft and ominous whenever the mystery is hinted at and surging to the fore with a full orchestra when a major breakthrough happens.
MacGuffin Melee: The Chase Scene has the scrolls, all three of them, pass between Tintin, Haddock, Sakharine, Snowy and Sakharine's hawk several times before it's all over.
Made of Iron: Tintin, Haddock and even Snowy. They come out unscathed from fistfights, crashes and falls that would have severely injured or killed almost everyone else.
Sir Francis Haddock's parchment slips. Those little centuries-old bits of paper go through a ton of abuse during the chase scene, going as far as bearing the full weight of Snowy as he tries to wrestle them away from Sakharine's hawk in midair. It's a wonder those things were still in one piece, let alone readable.
Mundane Made Awesome: Red Rackham walking down to meet Sir Francis Haddock when the Unicorn was burning.
Mythology Gag: Lots of Continuity Nods to the comics in the animated credits sequence, on newspaper clippings in Tintin's apartment and in Omar Ben Salaad's palace and elsewhere:
Hergé has already drawn the Bird Brothers (original villains in Secret) and Professor Alembick (one of Tintin's traveling partners in King Ottokar's Sceptre) at his cartoon booth in the market.
Tintin in the Congo: A shield on the marketplace where Tintin buys the Unicorn and his outfit in Bagghar.
Tintin in America: The newspaper clipping about him rounding up a gang. Sakharine's Sword Cane resembles that used by the unnamed bald villain in this album as well.
Cigars of the Pharaoh: A newspaper clipping in his apartment.
The Blue Lotus: A newspaper clipping in his apartment, as well as a vase similar to the one Tintin hid in at one point in the album.
The Broken Ear: A bigger version of the statue is in Omar Ben Salaad's palace. The statue also hits someone's head in the opening credits.
King Ottokar's Sceptre: A newspaper clipping in his apartment, and a sign outside a building with Syldavia's Coat of Arms.
The purple dress Castafiore wears to perform in, as well as the composition of the shot where Castafiore is singing for Ben Salaad and his guests, comes straight from the scene in King Ottokar's Sceptre where she performs for the Syldavian court.
The Crab with the Golden Claws: A statue of a crab with Golden Claws in a fountain in Omar Ben Salaad's palace and a crate of cans show up in the harbour, which Snowy uses to trip up some goons. The entire movie sequence between Tintin's kidnapping and his arrival in Bagghar (minus captain Haddock's dream about his ancestor) is directly taken from The Crab with the Golden Claws. Ben Salaad himself was, of course the original villain (and therefore Allan's boss).
The Seven Crystal Balls: The opening credits are about Tintin chasing a guy with a crystal ball. The Siamese cat that appears to belong to one of Tintin's neighbors is also lifted from the one that takes up residence in Marlinspike Hall (and proceeds to fight with Snowy) in this comic.
Destination Moon / Explorers on the Moon: The rocket is shown in the credits sequence and the anti-gravity sequence with the alcohol occurs in the film itself, transferred to a free-falling airplane.
The Land of Black Gold: The red Jeep that Sakharine and his goons were riding in during that chase scene.
The Castafiore Emerald: A poster for Bianca Castafiore's concert has an emerald placed near her name.
The red dress Castafiore wears on the cover appears in her first scene in the movie.
A train switchboard displayed in the opening credits lists several of the places Tintin visited in the comics.
The newspaper on which Barnaby scrawls in blood is Le Petit Vingtième, the same paper in which Tintin began as a strip cartoon.
There is a sign marking the cattle that Snowy must jump through as belonging to Cutts the Butcher — whose calls are mistakenly and incessantly directed to Marlinspike Hall in the comics.
Sakharine's plan to use Castafiore's voice to shatter the bulletproof glass may be an oblique reference to the ultrasonic weapon from The Calculus Affair.
And his use of a trained bird may be an oblique reference to The Castafiore Emerald. The gypsies were accused of using a trained monkey, and Tintin pointed out how improbable this was, but the thief did turn out to be a bird.
During the final credits, one of the first songs used in the film is titled Loch Lomond, another of the Captain's favourite whiskeys.
In the opening credits sequence, there's a brief shot of Tintin and Snowy running in front of a spotlight, clearly a nod to the Nelvana animated adaptation.
The villain running with the crystal ball in the opening sequence sort of resembles recurring villain Rastapopoulos.
The scene with Castafiore features an audience with members whom resemble characters from the original books, including Shiek Bab El Ehr and Piotr Skut.
There are several gallons of paint and other materials on the infamous step in Marlinspike Hall that never seemed to get fixed in The Castafiore Emerald.
The ancient statue/secret door in Flight 714 also appears in the opening credits.
In the scene where Hergé is drawing Tintin at the beginning of the movie, there are drawings of characters from the comic series. One of them is Didi, Mr. Wang's son from The Blue Lotus.
Haddock being caught in the plane's propeller and ejected with his clothes shredded mirrors a scene in the comic Red Rackham's Treasure where this happens to him with one of Prof. Calculus' devices.
Newspaper Thin Disguise: Thompson and Thomson are seen holding a stakeout at a Belgian marketplace using this technique.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Tintin and Haddock are stranded out in the middle of the ocean with no food or water, Sakharine sends in a plane to kill Tintin and bring Haddock back. Tintin and Haddock promptly hijack the plane and use to get out of the mess alive.
Additionally, when Tintin can't figure out what "Karaboudjan" refers to, a bunch of goons promptly kidnap him and take him to the ship with that name.
Palette Swap: In the co-op missions for the video game based on the film, Tintin and Haddock are a team, as are Thomson and Thompson. Snowy, instead of being excluded, teams up with a black-furred version of himself who is still named Snowy.
Powder Trail: Sir Francis Haddock sets it off, Red Rackham snuffs it out, repeat, repeat...
Pragmatic Adaptation: In the original comics, Red Rackham's treasure is just the contents of a small chest. Today, that does not look impressive at all and certainly not enough to set Capt. Haddock for life with a large estate to keep up as well. So in the film, the treasure in The Unicorn takes up nearly the entire hold of the ship and was probably doubling as its ballast while it was there.
The choice was almost certainly made for the sake of visual impressiveness, rather than to match the inflation — even a small handful of 18th century gold coins in mint condition would be worth millions of dollars. The contents of the hold would make Captain Haddock the richest man in the world, even matching the loss of rarity value for the said coins!
Also, there is an action sequence with Tintin driving a motorcycle with Haddock in the sidecar, a probable reference to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (which was partially shot on sets designed for a live-action Tintin movie).
Captain Haddock's reaction to seeing Snowy is a reference to Sherlock Holmes: "the giant rat of Sumatra" was mentioned as one of the many cases Watson never actually wrote up.
Signature Move: Red Rackham had a distinctive taunt-like swishing movement of his sword that he performed whenever he won a bout and/or was waiting for his opponent to get back on their feet. He does it several times in the flashbacks to his battles with Francis Haddock, and in the final battle, Sakharine shows that he inherited it.
Significant Background Event: Often. This is especially evident during the Bagghar chase, where sharp eyed viewers might notice that several seeimgly elements are briefly visible in the background before suddenly becoming important - like the tank that crashes into the hotel.
Sins of Our Fathers: Sakharine has a score to settle with Haddock that began with their ancestors.
The Smurfette Principle: Like its source material, the film exemplifies this trope. It has only a handful of female characters, and only two of them (Tintin's landlady Mrs. Finch and opera singer Bianca Castafiore) have names, dialogue, or any importance to the plot.
Sticky Fingers: Aristide Silk, the pickpocket, has an unusual obsession with wallets; he has a whole room full of the wallets he stole. Thompson and Thomson barely get the hint and he had to shout out that he is a thief.
Take No Prisoners: Red Rackham sails under a blood red pennant, which - as Haddock notes in his storytelling - meant a fight with him is a fight to the death, no prisoners taken and no quarter given. Later, Rackham pretends to be willing to show mercy to the crew if Haddock gives up his hidden cargo, then has them all killed anyway.
Tall Tale: Haddock's story of the taking of the Unicorn.
Television Geography: The film is set in a country whose currency is the pound and had a historical King Charles II, but several shops have French signs and cars drive on the right side of the road. (This is carried over from the English translation of the comic, which was originally set in Belgium and used francs and Louis XIV.)
Other dubs of the movie revert these to francs and Louis XIV too.
The Thirties: The style of the cars, clothes, planes, etc. Also a newspaper clipping mentioning the events of King Ottokar's Sceptre gives the explicit date of 1938.
Also, the bad guys' weapons are of evidently German origin.
Unreliable Narrator: At one point Haddock inserts his own alcoholism into the story of the Unicorn until Tintin gets him to focus.
Visual Gag: Quite a few as the source material is also big on them.
Early in the movie, the Thom(p)sons are peering out of holes they cut into a news paper: Each one has cut his holes in an ad on the paper that feature an item that not only lines up with where their noses moustaches would be, but matches the shape of said individual moustache (A broom for Thompson and a toilet plunger for Thomson).
What Happened to the Mouse?: When Tintin is escaping the hold, he pushes on a crate that roars like a lion, but then falls silent. What was in there?
X-Ray Sparks: Seen briefly when Haddock is hit by lightning.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Sakharine alludes to this trope while interrogating Tintin ("Consider just how useful you are to me") but the latter escapes before he can actually make good on the threat.
You Said You Would Let Them Go: Sir Francis was forced to reveal the treasure's location in exchange for his crew's lives. Rackham had them killed anyway.