The Adventures of Tintin collects the first season of the cartoon series produced in a by Canadian animation studio Nelvana and French studio Ellipse. This series remained closer to the source material than the original cartoon shorts produced in the late 1950s. Tintin is a reporter and an adventurer who often accidentally stumbles upon criminal conspiracies and tries to resolve them. The Adventures of Tintin is an adaptation of the body of work Belgian cartoonist Hergé (Georges Rémi). It is one of the most celebrated comic books in the world and certainly, one of the most popular European comic book. Season One features 13 episodes which are often two-parts 22 minutes episodes capturing the spirit of an entire graphic novel.
It was fun to rekindle with this series which I watched on television years ago. At the time I liked it better because it was a better adaptation of Hergé’s material than the older cartoon series, and it was also more modern in pacing and storytelling than the various animated and films released ever for decades. It’s interesting that the modern sensibilities which characterized this series in 1991 remain, but the animation while more dynamic than anything done before has not aged as well.
The animation in Adventures of Tintin was produced just when computer production techniques were being used for animated cartoon series. Some of the overlays are not well integrated and there are a lot of reused animation sequences, such as Thompson and Thomson’s goofs. Still, this series is filled with action and the pace quick. If you’re a little boy, you want to watch this series because it embodies everything about the adventures one can dream about.
The plots of the stories are tight and well-constructed. Truly, the production team on this series outdid itself when producing it. I would argue that this series is as good as any adventure series coming out today and will compete with some of the best-known comic book adaptations of the last decade such as Justice League and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The most criticized Tintin stories, such as Tintin in the Congo and Tintin with the Soviets are not in this series. The representations of people of other ethnic backgrounds is not as controversial in this series as it was in the comic books.
The DVD is quite Spartan with few extras. One issue that I have with this collected edition is the lack of a French-language dub. There is a Spanish and an English soundtrack, but the original one created in French was not included. I know it exists, as the series was produced in French and I used to watch this series in French too. I will say that it always feel odds to me to here the pronunciation of Tintin’s name and the English versions of the names given to Snowy, Thompson and Thomson and Professor Calculus.
If you need a quick introduction to the world of Tintin and something to sate the appetite of the new hordes of Tintin fans the new film by Steven Spielberg will produce, this collection is a perfect match.