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Western Animation / Tintin and the Lake of Sharks

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Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (Tintin et le Lac aux requins) is a 1972 Belgian-French animated film based on Hergé's comic book hero, Tintin. The story is not based on any of the comic book storylines, it's an original story created by Hergé's fellow Belgian cartoonist Greg.

Whereas valuable artworks are stolen in museums and replaced by copies, Tintin and Captain Haddock are invited by professor Calculus in Syldavia. Professor Calculus develops his latest invention: a machine that can replicate any object.

The film was adapted itself as a Film Comic. It's the only official, non-Hergé story available as an album.


Tintin and the Lake of Sharks provides examples of:

  • Applied Phlebotinum: Calculus's invention, that can replicate any object.
  • Big Bad: The mysterious evil mastermind turns out to be Rastapopoulos, a classic Tintin foe.
  • Busman's Holiday: Tintin and Captain Haddock are supposed to go on holiday in professor Calculus's villa. This holiday won't be very relaxing.
  • Call-Back: The iconic shark-shaped submarine of Red Rackham's Treasure is back.
  • Cavalry Refusal: The Syldavian police refuses to intervene at first, because the lake is on the Bordurian border and the police is afraid of diplomatic incidents. Subverted, because in the end the Syldavian police shows up to arrest the villains. Double subverted, because the police refuses to chase the big bad's submarine beyond the Bordurian border.
  • Collapsing Lair: Tintin, Niko and Nouchka must escape the collapsing underwater base after Rastapopoulos locks them up and activates the Self-Destruct Mechanism.
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  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The film has been adapted into a Film Comic.
  • Coming in Hot: Tintin has to make an emergency landing in the mountains with a sabotaged aircraft.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: One of the most striking examples is the rocks that collapse in the chasm after Tintin saves Nouchka from falling.
  • Crash Course Landing: After the pilot jumps from the plane with a parachute, Tintin has to take control of the plane and to perform an emergency landing.
  • Cut Phone Lines: The big bad orders to cut the phone lines so that Tintin and his friends cannot call the police.
  • Drowning Pit: The villain locks Tintin, Niko and Nouchka up in a room which is slowly filling with water. Moreover, the rising water will also activate the Self-Destruct Mechanism of the base.
  • The Faceless: The big bad is always shown with the frame cropping out his face (we mainly see his hands), until it is revealed he is Rastapopoulos.
  • Flawed Prototype: Calculus' invention can create replicas of objects, but the replicas aren't stable and melt by themselves after some time.
  • Funny Foreigner: The You No Take Candle-speaking Syldavian farmer Tintin knocks at the door of to ask if he can use his phone for a call. In the French version, he understands Tintin's "coup de téléphone" ("calling with the phone") with the other meaning of "coup", "to hit", then points his blunderbuss through the door's hole at Tintin, who dodges a shot, and said shot destroys the farmer's poor dog's kennel.
  • Hidden Villain: The big bad is The Faceless, until it is revealed he is Rastapopoulos.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The big bad is revealed to be Rastapopoulos, a recurring opponent of Tintin.
  • Internal Homage:
    • In the beginning a valuable object is stolen from a museum. The attendant notices it is missing, then the thieves replace the object by a copy. Just like in The Broken Ear.
    • In the airport, Lazlo Carreidas from Flight 714 is waiting for his flight.
    • Tintin is hitchhiking in Syldavia. He is picked up by Bianca Castafiore, just like in King Ottokar's Sceptre.
  • Literal Cliffhanger:
    • The plane used by Tintin, Captain Haddock, Thompson and Thomson crashes on the edge of a cliff and tilts precariously. Fortunately, Niko and Nouchka save them.
    • Later, Nouchka ends up hanging from a shrub above a chasm. Tintin saves her.
  • The Mole: Madame Black, Professor Calculus's servant, is a spy who works for the villain.
  • Now Which One Was That Voice?: The English dub of the film doesn't list any of the English voice actors. Many fans have said that it was the Belvision cast.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: In one scene, the Big Bad shows Tintin, who he has taken hostage, his gallery of stolen, priceless artwork. He gloats about his new plan to exploit one of Professor Calculus' machines to make counterfeit clones of the artwork, and sell them to make gobs of money. The scene is accompanied by a powerful organ tune, and fittingly, the first things we see in the scene are stained glass windows with the Big Bad's insignia.
  • Replaced with Replica: Rastapopolous' Evil Plan. Using technology stolen from Professor Calculus, he plans to make copies of famous artworks around the world, steal the originals, and get filthy rich.
  • Run for the Border: In the end, the villain crosses the border to escape from the Syldavian police. So the police must actually stop the chase, but Tintin and Captain Haddock cross the border to and catch him.
  • Ruritania: The story is set in Syldavia, not far from the Bordurian border.
  • Secret Underground Passage: The bad guys use two secret passages:
    • Tintin and Snowy discover the first one not far from the lake when they are on the frogman's trail. It contains stolen artworks.
    • They discover the second one when they search professor Calculus's villa for bugs. It is hidden behind a clock and it leads to the bottom of the well.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The underwater base has one and Rastapopoulos activates it when he needs to escape.
  • Sigil Spam: The underwater base is decorated with a red "R" logo (which stands for Rastapopoulos).
  • Slippery Skid: Thompson and Thomson slips on Captain Haddock's golf balls in the airport.
  • Supervillain Lair: The underwater base, equiped with a Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • They Have the Scent!: Snowy and Gustav sniff the flipper of the frogman. Gustav brings Haddock to a dumping ground, whereas Snowy picks up the scent and brings Tintin to a Secret Underground Passage.
  • Underwater Base: There is one under the lake.
  • Underwater Ruins: There are the ruins of a village under the lake.

Alternative Title(s): Tintin Et Le Lac Aux Requins


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