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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.


Tintin and the Lake of Sharks provides examples of:

  • Applied Phlebotinum: Calculus's invention, that can replicate any object.
  • 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 to a comic strip, though this is not officially part of the Tintin canon and it's more or less a collection of screenshots from the film with text balloons added.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 need 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.


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