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Adaptation Distillation / The Adventures of Tintin (1991)

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The 1990s animated series based on the Tintin comic books is Truer to the Text than all of the other adaptations that preceded or followed it. However, it is still a case of Compressed Adaptation. For pragmatic reasons, three albums, many minor characters and situations and even entire subplots didn't make it from comic book to animation:


  • Albums that were left out:
  • Snowy has no Thought Bubble Speech (he has it in the comic books). He's still as smart as in the comic books, but only barks, growls and moans.
  • Tintin in America: Probably the album that suffered the most when it was adapted in the series. The Random Events Plot has been streamlined to appear more coherent.
    • The Wild West part has been reduced to Tintin chasing Bobby Smiles up until his mountain hideout. The Native Americans subplot (which is featured on the album's very cover) has been left out entirely, the alcoholic sheriff doesn't appear, Tintin is not Chained to a Railway nor hanged by an angry mob and doesn't hijack a train, and there is no wildfire.
    • The Mob War between Smiles and Al Capone, the Clueless Detective Tintin hires to find Snowy, the corned beef canning factory, the Cane Sword fight and Tintin being kidnapped, chained to (wooden) dumbbells and thrown at sea don't appear either.
  • Cigars of the Pharaoh:
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    • The captain of the ship that saves Tintin at sea is not revealed to be an arms dealer.
    • Oliveira da Figueira does not manage to sell his junk to Tintin, and he is not seen selling his junk to bedouins with Tintin at his side either.
    • Sheik Patrash Pasha (the beduin chief) and Zloty (the Hungarian poet) do not appear.
    • Tintin doesn't tame elephants with a wooden trumpet.
  • The Blue Lotus:
    • The fakir and W. R. Gibbons (the racist American businessman) don't appear.
    • Tintin doesn't go to the Shanghai International Settlement and thus doesn't meet Dawson, the place's Chief of Police.
    • The part when Tintin is surrendered to the Japanese by the authorities of the Shanghai International Settlement, condemned to death and saved from it by Mr. Wang has been left out as well.
    • There are no comings and goings of Japanese armored cars.
  • The Broken Ear:
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    • Pablo and Trickler don't appear.
    • A sort of inversion occurs with Tortilla himself. Although he never appeared on-panel in the comic, he's killed in a shadow discretion shot in the cartoon. Similarly, the explorer and younger Alonzo Perez appear onscreen in Ridgewell's flashback.
    • The subplots involving Colonel Diaz, the war between San Theodoros and Nuevo Rico and the Rumbabas are also dropped.
  • The Black Island:
    • The two nameless members of the gang do not appear.
  • King Ottokar's Sceptre :
    • Syldavian secret agent Kaviarovitch does not appear.
    • Tintin is not arrested by Syldavian Dirty Cops.
    • Tintin and Snowy don't bump into a Bordurian barracks at the border.
    • The reveal of Müsstler being the mastermind wasn't shown.
    • A scene where Borduria makes a statement that their military are to withdraw from Syldavia's borders in response to the attempted sceptre theft isn't shown.
    • Tintin, Snowy and Thompson & Thompson don't leave Syldavia onboard a seaplane at the end, and the two cops don't fall into the sea when disembarking.
  • The Crab with the Golden Claws:
    • Captain Haddock does not start a fire on the lifeboat that he, Tintin and Snowy use to escape the Karaboudjan.
  • The Shooting Star:
    • The subplot with Bohlwinkel's oil company refusing to sell the Aurora any fuel, Tintin using booze to rally Captain Haddock out of his Heroic BSoD and Captain Chester helping them trick the oil company into refueling the Aurora does not occur.
      • Captain Chester never appears in the animated series, for that matter.
    • Philippulus the Prophet only appears in the cartoon when the meteor is flying over Belgium. His later attempt to blow up the Aurora and Tintin using a megaphone to trick him into surrendering do not occur.
  • The Secret of the Unicorn:
    • Brutus the Great Dane and the two 'delivery men' don't appear.
  • Red Rackham's Treasure:
    • The numerous con artists do not appear, and the only consequence of the press exposure is the meeting with Calculus.
    • The navigation problems Tintin and Haddock have in trying to find the island, which Tintin solves by realizing that Sir Francis used a Paris meridian to give the island's coordinates, rather than the Greenwich one used by modern sailors like Captain Haddock, do not occur.
    • The wooden cross does not appear, and Tintin comes to the realization that Sir Francis would have brought the treasure back with him when he was rescued while the group is returning from the island with the idol.
    • Tintin has a smooth underwater exploration voyage with the shark submarine as it is not snarled with seaweed, unlike the comic book.
  • Prisoners of the Sun:
    • The treasure of the Incas is not seen.
  • Land Of Black Gold:
    • Thomson and Thompson's belief that a roadside assistance company is causing car breakdowns to generate business, and their bungling undercover investigation which gets them fired from the company, are not shown.
  • Destination Moon:
    • Tintin doesn't bump into bears.
  • Explorers of the Moon:
    • Tintin finding out there's frozen water underneath the Moon's surface has been left out.
  • The Calculus Affair:
    • The Syldavian agents do not appear.
  • The Red Sea Sharks:
    • The slave trader doesn't appear.
    • The caricatured black slaves trying to get to Mecca are Race Lifted into Middle Eastern people.
      • The French version kept the "pilgrims who were enslaved at sea on the road to Mecca" backstory.
      • In the English version, they are Khemedian refugees trying to get to America. Instead of planning to sell the refugees as slaves, Rastapopolous and his goons take the refugees' money for passage and then plan to murder them at sea.
    • The wave that puts out the fire on the ship is removed.
    • Jolyon Wagg (Séraphin Lampion) does not appear at the end.
  • Tintin in Tibet:
    • Professor Calculus does not appear.
  • Tintin and the Picaros:
    • The encounter with Ridgewell and the Arumbayas has been removed.
    • Colonel Alvarez's attempts to telephone the prison to call off Thomson and Thompson's execution, and reaching other places, is removed. In the cartoon, the phone doesn't work at all because the Picaros cut the lines when sneaking into Tapioca's palace.

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