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The Adventures of Tintin: The Broken Ear (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 was curious about how the animated series would handle some of the more political material Hergé inserted into his work. I admired the way that Cigars of the Pharaoh handled international drug smuggling, but I suspected that broad political satire set in a banana republic might catch some viewers completely off guard. And, to be honest, there’s a lot of other stuff in Hergé’s The Broken Ear that makes it one of the tougher stories to adapt as a cartoon adventure. It’s very close to farce, and while the cartoon acknowledges that this business is a little sillier than usual, it never feels like the episode fully embraces the story it’s trying to tell, instead settling for a fairly generic run-around featuring characters and locales from the origin story.

Spotlight on the fetish...

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Tintin: The Broken Ear (Review)

In the lead-up to the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, I’m going to be taking a look at Hergé’s celebrated comic book character, from his humble beginnings through to the incomplete post-modern finale. I hope you enjoy the ride.

The Broken Ear is a strange little Tintin story. On one hand, it begins as a sort of a mystery adventure, with an artifact stolen from a museum and then replaced the following night, a little note apologising for a childish prank. As seems to be the case in these kinds of stories, the authorities decide “no harm, no foul” and go on about their daily business, but our boy Tintin is not convinced. However, over the course of his investigation, the story develops into something a bit more substantial, allowing Hergé the opportunity to indulge some of his wonderfully broad political satire. It wouldn’t be among my favourite entries in the franchise, if only because I was too young to appreciate a lot of the commentary when I first read it.

Hergé doesn't go overboard...

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