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The Adventures of Tintin: The Shooting Star (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 like The Shooting Star. It’s one of the stranger entries in the series, and so it tends to divide fans – much like the equally surreal Flight 714. Part of the reason I enjoy it so much is the wonderful atmosphere Hergé generates early in the story, as if channeling his own fears and uncertainties about a Europe that was (at the time) on the brink of war. I also enjoy the way that the adventure allowed Hergé to cut loose with his imagination – the final few pages allowing the artist to indulge his own zany imagery in a manner similar to the wonderfully odd dream sequences in Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Crab With the Golden Claws. The animated adaptation does a decent job of translating the story from one medium to another, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with it.

Magic mushroom...

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Tintin: The Shooting Star (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.

It’s very strange to return to material you read as a child. Occasionally – as when reading King Ottokar’s Sceptre – you find a lot more than you remember. However, reading The Shooting Star, I was quite surprised to find the more surrealist elements I so strongly recalled – foreshadowed by the giant mushroom on the cover and the not-so giant spider on the telescope – were pretty much confined to the last ten pages of the adventure. Reading it again, I was incredibly impressed with the atmospheric opening scenes and the wonderful race to the fallen meteorite, both elements downplayed in my memory to giant apples and exploding mushrooms. It’s things like this that make me glad I decided to revisit the series for the occasion.

Tintin scopes out the observatory...

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