Western Animation: The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin
is a planned trilogy by Steven Spielberg
based on the Tintin
comic series, animated in Motion Capture CGI
by Peter Jackson
's Weta Digital
In the first film, 2011's The Secret of the Unicorn
(or just The Adventures of Tintin
in the US), Tintin (Jamie Bell) is taken onboard a ship, the Karaboudjan
by Sakharine (Daniel Craig
), who believes he holds one of the scrolls leading to the lost treasure of the Unicorn
, hidden away in three identical replicas of the ship. With the help of the Karaboudjan
's Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis
), Tintin escapes the ship and begins his quest to find the three scrolls before Sakharine. The movie combines the plots of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
and Tintin: The Crab with the Golden Claws
- Adaptational Badass:
- In the video game adaptation of the film, Thomson and Thompson have an attack where they spin their canes fast enough to deflect fireballs at enemies.
- 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.
- Adaptational Heroism:
- 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.
- Adaptation Personality Change:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Haddock's Unusual Euphemisms tend to grow into this when he's particularly excited or — more often — angry. This is something carried over from the comics.
Haddock: Billions of blistering blue barnacles!
Ten thousand thundering typhoons!
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Tintin, mixed with an Intrepid Reporter.
- The Alcoholic: Captain Haddock. Played for Laughs and Played for Drama!
- 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.
- Animated Credits Opening: Similar to Spielberg's previous film Catch Me If You Can, with multiple references to the other Tintin books.
- 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 antagonist and 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.
- Tintin, the young reporter has the skills of a combat soldier. He's also Badass Adorable, being, in Haddock's words, a "baby-faced assassin".
- Sir Francis Haddock pretty much single-handly takes on the entire pirate crew by himself. And makes Errol Flynn look like a sick kitten with polio, by comparison.
- Sakharine and his ancestor. Every bit as elegant as smashing you with a crane.
- Pretty much everybody who does fight, and there are quite a few fights.
- Badass Beard: Haddock, as always.
- Badass Cape: Red Rackham has one that's on fire in his first fight with Sir Francis Haddock. He weaponizes it by brandishing the burning cape in Haddock's face to disorient him.
- Badass Longcoat: See the poster above. Allan also has one.
- 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.
- Big Bad: Sakharine
- Big, Badass Bird of Prey: Sakharine's pet hawk.
- 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.
- 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.
- Blood-Stained Letter: A dying man highlights letters on a newspaper using his bloody fingerprints to spell out the name of the Karaboudjan.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Captain Haddock
- A Boy and His X: Tintin and his dog Snowy.
- 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 Skill:
- 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.
- Circling Birdies: Diegetic birdies, no less! They escaped from a cage.
- 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!"
- Creator Cameo:
- 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 three soldiers, and he flails around angrily a bit, leading us to expect slapstick takedowns or just failure. Next we see him he throws three 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.
Haddock : You two-timing troglodyte! You simpering son of a pug-faced profiteer! (Sakharine drops him) Fathead!
- Demoted to Extra: With Ivan Sakharine's ascendancy to the role of Big Bad, Omar Ben Salaad — a drug-running strongman from The Crab with the Golden Claws — is reduced to a mere plot-advancer, as proprietor of the third Unicorn model.
- 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.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Sakharine
- Director Trademark:
- The Dragon: Allan to Sakharine.
- Dramatic Thunder
- 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 above-mentioned 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 Friend: 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.
- Faux Affably Evil: Sakharine
- "When you hit a wall, you push through it."
- 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.
- Generation Xerox: Haddock and Sakharine with their ancestors.
- 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". He's holding a struggling rat in that scene.
- The official artbook has a concept painting of the inside of the Karaboudjan where a mermaid masthead from another ship has been tied to one of the support beams. There have been lamps installed on her breasts... so, she has nice headlights.
- 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.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Done for a Rule of Three.
- 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. Snowy can be seen trying to warn Haddock of this.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Haddock and Sakharine. You can practially smell the bacon frying. Same goes for their ancestors.
- Scare The Dog: Snowy barks a Rottweiler twice his size into submission.
- Seadog Beard: Thundering typhoons! Do you think we could have a proper Tintin movie if Captain Archibald Haddock didn't have one of these?
- Sequel Hook: Tintin finding the coordinates for the rest of Rackham's treasure.
- Serkis Folk: Arguably the best-looking example yet. It even has Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock.
- 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.
- 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.
- Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: Demonstrated as the seaplane from the Karaboudjan finds Tintin and the captain adrift in the lifeboat.
- 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.
- Sword Cane: Sakharine has one, which he threatens Tintin with on board the Karaboudjan.
- Sword Fight: Both Red Rackham and Sir Francis, and their two descendants.
- 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.
- Tap on the Head: Nestor to Tintin, among others.
- 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.
- There Are No Coincidences: "Do you think it was an accident I took Haddock's ship, Haddock's crew, Haddock's treacherous first mate? Nothing I do is an accident!"
- 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. Interestingly enough, the official artbook tags the movie's date as 1949, but the models of some of the cars go as late as 1953. The film's art director notes this was done because there were no new cars made during World War II, let alone cool ones. The tanks in Bagghar are of a definitely post-WW2 design.
- Those Two Guys: Thomson and Thompson.
- Title Drop: Done preemptively when Tintin mentions Red Rackham's treasure at the end.
- Tom the Dark Lord: You wouldn't take a man named "Sakharine" seriously... until you saw him, at least. Lampshaded by Hadock calling him "The sour faced man with the sugary name."
- Unreliable Expositor: 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 newspaper: 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).
- During Haddock's Tall Tale of the taking of the Unicorn, Red Rackham's much smaller ship gets caught in the Unicorn's rigging, swinging back and forth like a Pirate Ship theme park ride.
- 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?
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted with Tintin; after he escapes, Sakharine orders his men to kill Tintin even though he might have valuable information. But he insists that Haddock not be killed. It's only later we find out why.
- 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.
- Zillion-Dollar Bill: Sir Francis' treasure.