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The Adventures of Tintin: The Castafiore Emerald (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.

The Castafiore Emeraldis certainly a strange title to adapt for an animated television series. Essentially an excuse for Hergé to play with the assorted tropes and clichés he had established for the series, the story is a mystery that refuses to conform to what Tintin and the audience might expect it to, with each and every avenue of exploration turning into a dead end. As such, it allows Hergé to explore the more personal interactions of his supporting cast (like Haddock and Calculus), while having a bit of fun with his lead character – the boyish reporter. While it makes for an interesting book, I’m not convinced that it could ever really work as an animated episode.

Faithful to the letter...

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Tintin: The Castafiore Emerald (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 Castafiore Emerald is famous as an example of Hergé playing with the reader’s expectations of a Tintin book. It’s essentially an exercise in creating suspense out of nothing, with the mystery of the eponymous jewel ultimately turning out to be a rather mundane affair, and instead allowing for all sorts of hilariously mundane hijinks to befall Hergé’s cast with relatively little point to it all. Then, after all, this is fiction, as Tintin seems coyly aware of on the cover, staring our at us with his finger on his lips, smiling like he knows something none of his castmates do. If you can embrace the central pointlessness of it all, and enjoy it as a collection of wryly observed scenes, The Castafiore Emerald is another rewarding addition to a series growing gradually more experimental.

That engagement's news to Haddock!

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