It’s all about the blistering barnacles

The New York Times ran an editorial that pretty much sums up my opinion of Spielberg’s Tintin movie.

The only thing missing from the review is how well the movie animated Captain Haddock. As I was telling a friend of mine about how I went to see the movie:

“I went in with misgivings. It is a little weird to hear Tintin with a voice, one is so used to reading him inside one’s head. I’m not crazy about the way they animated Tintin or Snowy, but Captain Haddock is exactly how I imagined he should be in animation.
Captain Haddock steals the show (colorful language! he drinks! my kinda guy!) but then, even in the comic books, Tintin was always a bit bland,a bit too goody two shoes. (Another reason why I prefered Asterix to Tintin.) If you’ve ever read the series, the movie is a mash up of the Secret of the Unicorn + Crab with the Golden Claws, plus a few liberties with the plot.”

I had heard initially that the movie was based on the ‘Secret of the Unicorn,’ which I thought was a pretty lame choice, since the setting was a bit bland. Why didn’t they pick a story with a more exotic setting, like ‘King Ottokar’s Sceptre’ or ‘Flight 714’? But after seeing how the movie mashed up the plots from three books (plus a plot twist that would have been completely unknown to Herge for gratuitous action sequences, it made a bit more sense. It really was an introduction to Captain Haddock, and the ending is set-up perfectly for a sequel (now that’s really Spielberg.) And I’d trade the Milanese Nightingale out for Abdullah.

I was talking to Biker in Bangkok; he said his sons were reading Tintin and Asterix as well, beaten-up copies checked out from the library. They may be the very same copies I read over 20 years ago!

I was riding on Caltrain, and eavesdropped on a woman with a Spanish-accent conversing with a newly-arrived young Indian couple with a young daughter.
“Where are from?”
“Is that in Europe?”
“No, it’s in South America . . .”
“Is it near Peru? Oh I know about Peru. Have you heard of this comic book Tintin? He goes to Peru in the ‘Prisoner of the Sun.'”

Geography teachers everywhere owe Georges Remy big time.


One thought on “It’s all about the blistering barnacles

  1. Pingback: On the fly | Fishface

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