Belgian artist Georges Remi—under the pen name Hergé—introduced Tintin to the world in 1929. The beloved character who is a Belgian reporter sets out on a series of adventures with his dog Snowy and best pal Captain Haddock. Though the characters originally lived in a comic strip, throughout the years they were reproduced in a variety of media, including books, movies, TV, and theatre, and were translated into more than 50 languages. It seems the popular series is well known and loved in almost every part of the world—except America. But that’s soon to change.
As is by now widely known, legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg (director) and fellow Oscar-winner Peter Jackson (producer) will bring The Adventures of Tintin to US audiences starting this Wednesday, following the film’s initial bow in oversees markets, where the characters and stories first found success and praise. In this first of at least two films by the filmmaking duo, Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Haddock (Andy Serkis) set off on a quest to find a sunken ship that was commanded by Haddock’s ancestor. (Though Spielberg directs this first installment, it’s been reported that Jackson will sit in the director’s chair for the film’s follow-up effort.)
Jackson’s company Weta Digital provided the special effects for this 3D movie, which employs motion capture to tell its story. Serkis, a veteran to motion capture, previously acted using this technology in a series of films directed by Jackson, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy (as Gollum) and in 2005’s King Kong (as the title beast). Earlier this year, he once again donned the motion capture suit to play Caesar in Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
As motion capture is still a relatively new technique in filmmaking, there’s still a bit of controversy over whether films that use this technology can be considered “true” animated films. After all, the actors are providing all of the characters’ movements, not the animators. For this reason, many are curious to see whether the Academy will embrace this technology by keeping the film in the running for this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar prize. And if it is, it may just stand a decent shot at winning, as powerhouse Pixar’s Cars 2 is largely out of the race (because it wasn’t that great). Perhaps its strongest competition will come from Gore Verbinski’s Johnny Depp-starring Rango, an animated western with heart. We’ll see in February …
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenwriters: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish
Producers: Peter Jackson, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
Cast: Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Cary Elwes, Toby Jones, Nick Frost
Genres: Adventure, Animation
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Official Site: us.movie.tintin.com
Release Date: 12.21.11[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ua_4ajpP58]