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The Adventures of Tintin: Tintin And The Picaros (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

I have to admit, I quite like Tintin and the Picaros as the final completed entry in Hergé’s saga. I know he was, of course, working on Tintin and the Alph-Art when he passed, but I think that Hergé’s Tintin and the Picaros is a frank and honest reflection on the franchise, one that perhaps concedes that all good things must come to an end, and that the world around Tintin is not the same as it once was. So, there’s some great potential for a strong finale to the series here. However, the animated adaptation lacks a lot of the subtlety and nuance that Hergé’s original story had, leaving it feeling like a rather generic entry in the series, rather than a fitting conclusion.

Dressed for the occasion...

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The Adventures of Tintin: Tintin in Tibet (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

Tintin in Tibet is a wonderful book. It’s probably, despite coming towards the end of the series, the perfect book to give somebody who wants to try to read The Adventures of Tintin. It’s a perfect encapsulation of all the heart and warmth that makes Hergé’s series so fascinating, and an illustration of how appealing and endearing his two leads are. More than that, though, Hergé’s story is one of hope and faith, and it’s hard not feel a little bit warm inside after reading it. So the animated adaptation has quite a lot to work with. While they don’t surpass the original book – which would be quite a considerable accomplishment – they do it proud.

It's Snowy out there...

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The Adventures of Tintin: The Red Sea Sharks (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

In many ways, The Red Sea Sharks feels like a conclusion to The Adventures of Tintin. Drawing together countless plot threads and supporting characters into one massive confrontation between Tintin and Rastapopoulos, providing some nice set pieces and a tour of the globe, the adventure feels like it’s really wrapping up all the left over bits and pieces the series has accumulated since Cigars of the Pharaoh. The four adventures that followed would have a markedly different tone, to the point where they almost felt like an epilogue, examining what happened after Tintin’s globe-trotting adventures had concluded. The animated adaptation of the episode seems to treat it as an adventure relatively epic in scope, and again makes a surprising case for an unconventional candidate for a potential movie adaptation.

Just plane trouble...

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The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

I think that Destination: Moon represents perhaps the most significant challenge to the producers of the animated series so far. While they managed to harvest a plot from the disjointed collection of scenes Hergé knitted together to form Tintin in America, this is the perhaps the least standard instalment of the series they’ve tried to adapt until this point. I’m a big fan of Destination: Moon, reading it as a wonderful optimistic and enthusiastic reflection on mankind’s potential, coming from Hergé after the Second World War. However, it’s also a bit unstructured and episodic, almost a collection of short stories tied together by the plan to send a manned mission to the moon. The animated adaptation doesn’t have the luxury of cutting the adventure down to a single episode, and so it’s a standard two-parter. It seems that there was a bit of difficulty structuring the story for that format.

Blast off!

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The Adventures of Tintin: Land of Black Gold (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of the nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

Land of Black Gold feels like a rather conscious throwback to the earlier adventures in the series, stories like King Ottokar’s Sceptre or The Black Island or Cigars of the Pharaoh, dealing with relatively grounded political concepts and economic realities, rather than hidden treasure or lost civilisation or trips to the moon itself. Of course, there’s a very good reason – Land of Black Goldwas started before the outbreak of the Second World War, and Hergé put it on hold to write about more abstract and less political concerns. That’s why Haddock only appears in this episode five minutes from the end, because he hadn’t been created when the original story was told. I don’t dislike the adventure, but it does feel rather strange, situated where it is in the Tintin canon.

Petrol was always an explosive topic...

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The Adventures of Tintin: Red Rackham’s Treasure (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

It’s quite strange, given how lukewarm I was to The Secret of the Unicorn, that I am undeniably fond of Red Rackham’s Treasure. At a time when Hergé seemed to be aiming for fantastic escapism, perhaps to avoid dealing with wartime reality, I think that Red Rackham’s Treasure perfectly encapsulates a lot of what was fun about Tintin, at least for my inner child. There’s hidden treasure, untouched tropic islands, walks along the ocean floor, submarines and even a shark attack! It’s all very light and whimsical, but it’s pure adventure all the way through, with a giddy enthusiasm sustaining the narrative.

Pushing the boat out...

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The Adventures of Tintin: The Crab With The Golden Claws (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

Though the blu ray box set of the animated series includes the episodes in the order of the stories Hergé published, the studio actually produced the adventures in a different order, spread across three seasons. In fact, the first episode we reviewed, Tintin in America, was the last produced. So The Crab With the Golden Claws was actually the first animated adaptation in this particular series. And it makes sense to use this adventure as a good place to start any adaptation of Tintin – indeed, it appears Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson would agree, as this is the first of three stories adapted in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. It has everything you need from a Tintin adventure – a mystery, an exotic locale, international criminals.

Oh, and it also introduces Captain Haddock.

Haddock can't hold his liquor...

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