Monday, December 19, 2011

Two days until Tintin

As the title says, there is only two more days until Tintin premiers in the United States!
This post will feature pictures of the characters, biographies of the characters, biographies of the actors, and the synopsis of the plot from the movie.
The hero of the Tintin adventures is, of course, Tintin. His occupation is reporter, although we never see him writing any articles. Perhaps we can compare him to Jon from the Garfield the cat comics. Jon, Garfield's owner, is a cartoonist but the only time this is referenced is in the first comic. In the same way, we know Tintin is a reporter, but we never see him at work in his profession.
In the Tintin books we never find out how old Tintin is. He is old enough to live on his own in his apartment on Labrador Road, and he is old enough to write for a newspaper, and he is old enough to travel around the world by himself (save his constant companion Snowy) but his age is never fixed. Interestingly, we hardly know anything about Tintin, except for his character.
He is often described as having boy scout type morals. That description is an accurate one, coming through often in the books. Tintin is compassionate and hardly ever gets angry. He tries to get to the bottom of mysteries for the benefit of society. He can be a bit proud, however, and sometimes lies to get people to do what he wants. He is a very good friend and goes places like the Tibetan mountains, rainforests, and deserts, to save his friends. He also doesn't like to drink or smoke and often politely refuses both when they are offered to him.
As well as not knowing his age, we don't know a thing about Tintin's past. The only friends, and enemies, he has are ones he meets in the books. Such as Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Chang, and Rastapopoulos. We don't even know if Tintin is his real name. In one of the books he says, "My name? It would mean nothing to you, but back home they call me Tintin."
As well as having good morals, Tintin is an amazing swimmer and, despite his somewhat short stature, is very strong, always knocking out dangerous men much bigger than he. He is also a good shot with a gun and is very smart. He can fly a plane, drive a tank, drive a tank on the moon, drive a car, a motorcycle, and even a boat!
In Tintin an Alph-Art, the final, unfinished, Tintin adventure, Tintin once again meets with his enemy Rastapopoulos. Raspapopouslos is Tintin's Moriarty. The author of Tintin died before he could finish Alph-Art and leaves Tintin is a precarious situation. He is facing his certain death... Rastopopoulos is going to have him covered in wax to become a living statue! The guards are taking Tintin away to meet this fate, when Herge, the author, died, leaving Tintin's fate undecided.
Tintin is being played by the actor Jamie Bell. Jamie Bell started out as a dancer and was made famous in the movie "Billy Elliot" (2000). As opposed to other actors, he is fairly young, both in age and in movies. He has been acting for the past 11 years of his 25 years. In the movies that I have seen with him as a character show that he is a very good actor.
I believe that Jamie Bell is the perfect choice of an actor for Tintin. Jamie himself read the comics when he was younger and was a fan of Tintin before being approached for the part.
Here is a great interview with Jamie. It really shows that he put a lot of work into the Tintin movie and really cares about the character.
Other movies that Jamie Bell has been in - that I've seen - are King Kong (2005) and Jane Eyre (2011).
Now, for the pictures. The first is Tintin from the comic, the second is Tintin from the movie, and the third is Jamie Bell.

The next character is Captain Haddock, who happens to be my favorite.
Captain Haddock is perhaps the complete opposite of Tintin. He is a retired sea captain, NOT a boy scout, and his history and former friends come into the books.
Haddock is a bristly old sea dog, probably over 40 years old. He likes to smoke his pipe and has a drinking problem (which adds humor to the books). He loves to drink whiskey and has a very large vocabulary of "swear" words, if they can be called that. His two favorites are, "Ten thousand thundering typhoons!" and "Blue blistering barnacles." Sometimes the two are put together to make, "Blue blistering barnacles and a thundering typhoon!" Herge, the author, looked through a nautical dictionary to find most of Haddock's exclamations.
Although he has an explosive temper, Captain Haddock loves to live quietly, often preferring his home at Marlinspike Hall to the wild adventures that Tintin drags him on. Loyalty to his friend, however, gets him out of his chair and into dangerous situations.
Many things from the Captain's past have come up in the Tintin adventures. In the final completed Tintin adventure, "Tintin and the Picaros", the Captain's first name is revealed to be Archibald. In "The Shooting Star" Haddock meets an old friend Captain Chester. And in "The Secret of the Unicorn", we find out a lot about Captain Haddock's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. At the end of "Red Rackhum's Treasure", Haddock buys Marlinspike Hall, an estate that has been in his family for years.
Despite his brash tendencies, Captain Haddock is the ideal best friend for Tintin. He accompanies Tintin on his adventures, watches out for him, and adds lots of comic relief for the readers!
In the movie Captain Haddock is being played by the talented Andy Serkis who happens to be my favorite actor! Funny how my favorite actor is playing my favorite Tintin character...
Andy Serkis is a VERY amazing actor, although we don't get to see his face all that often since a lot of his characters are done with motion capture or animation!
Andy Serkis played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies (2001, 2002, 2003), King Kong in King Kong (2005), Spike in Flushed Away (2006), and Capricorn in Inkheart (2008). He is also playing Gollum in The Hobbit which comes to theaters next December.
Here are the pictures. First is Captain Haddock from the books, then from the movie, and then Andy Serkis.

Next we have Thompson and Thomson.
They are most definitely the most prominent comic relief characters in the books, even more so than Captain Haddock. They are bumbling detectives who are always going off on the wrong trail and mixing up what they say. Their motto is, "Mum's the word, that's our motto." While one Thom(p)son is saying that, the other is always echoing it with, "Dumb's the word, that's our motto."
We don't know anything about these characters either. Probably because they aren't major characters.
You may ask, how do you tell them apart? There are subtle differences between the two. For example, Thomson's mustache is flipped up at the ends, while Thompson's is straight.
In the book "Tintin and Co." by Michael Farr (a Tintinologist), he states that the Thom(p)son's aren't twins, nor are they even related! I'll leave it up to you, the reader, to decide for yourself...
These two detectives are being played by Nick Frost (Thomson) and Simon Pegg (Thompson) who are best friends in real life. I have never seen anything with Nick Frost in it so I can't talk about him... However I have seen two movies with Simon Pegg. He played Scotty in the new "Star Trek" movie (2009) and voiced Reepicheep in "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (2010). He is a good actor and played the part in Star Trek very well!
Here is a picture of Thompson (left) and Thomson (right). Below them is a picture of Thompson (left) and Thomson (right). Below that is a picture of Simon Pegg (left) and Nick Frost (right).

Here is a very important character... Snowy! Tintin's loyal companion through all of the books. Snowy is as brave as his master, except when it comes to spiders. Snowy hates the restrictions of a collar and leash and often goes without them, except when he has to ride in an airplane.
Snowy likes whiskey almost as much as Captain Haddock and is always drinking spilled alcohol. He also has the tendency to steal food and drop anything and everything for a bone.
Here is Snowy and below him is the Snowy from the movie.

The last character I will talk about is Ivanovich Sakharine. In the Tintin books, Sakharine is a peaceful model ship collector but in the movie, he is the bad guy. I don't know much about him yet since I haven't seen the movie.... But I'll report back when I know more!
He is being played by Daniel Craig. I don't think I've seen any Daniel Craig movies but I do know that he is James Bond and I've heard that is a wonderful actor.
The first picture is Sakharine from the book, then from the movie, and the final picture is Daniel Craig.

There is a wide range of cast members in the Tintin movie like Toby Jones, Cary Elwes, Mackenzie Crook, Daniel Mays, and Gad Elmaleh.
The director of the Tintin movie is the well-known Steven Spielberg who has done movies such as Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Transformers, and E.T.
Joining him as producer is Peter Jackson who is very well-known for Lord of the Rings.
The music of the Tintin film will be done by John Williams who has composed MANY movie scores (like Star Wards and Indiana Jones).
Peter is on the left while Steven is on the right.

No story would be complete without an author... Georges Remi wrote the Tintin books under the name of Herge. He was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1907. He created his character Tintin in 1929 and he continued writing Tintin adventures until his death in 1983. Tintin took up most of his life.
He was so dedicated to his books that he would travel the places Tintin traveled, just so he could get a particular land mark for his books. He would cut pictures and articles out of "National Geographic" magazines and keep them for reference when he was drawing. You may think Tintin is just another comic... But in reality, a lot of time and effort and LOTS of research were put into the Tintin adventures, up to a point where Herge was so stressed about writing Tintin that he had to take a break for a number of years.
As an aspiring author, I greatly look up to Herge. His research and detail alone make me stare in awe at the page before me. Every time a re-read Tintin, I pick up something new that I hadn't noticed before. Herge's witty dialogue and hilarious characters influence me to add humor to my writing. The settings of his stories, whether they be in the desert, under the ocean, or on the moon, inspire me to take my characters out of every day life and throw them into precarious situations in foreign lands and strange new worlds.
In Belgium, Tintin and Herge both are looked up to as heroes.
“Tintin is myself. He reflects the best and brightest in me; he is my successful double. I am not a hero. But like all 15-year-old boys, I dreamt of being one…and I have never stopped dreaming. Tintin has accomplished many things on my behalf.” -HergĂ©

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn movie is based off of three of Herge's Tintin adventures.
"The Crab with the Golden Claws."
"The Secret of the Unicorn."
and "Red Rackhum's Treasure."
The movie will follow Tintin, and of course Snowy, as they meet Captain Haddock for the first time and then join him on a treasure hunt involving his ancestor's ship "The Unicorn."
But someone else is after the treasure.
"Of course someone else is after the treasure. It's the axiom of treasure hunting." Riley Poole from National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, so aptly puts it.
So who will find The Unicorn and the treasure first? Tintin and Captain Haddock or Sakharine?
I guess we'll have to wait until Wednesday to find out....

The idea for this blog post comes from Miss Jack Lewis Baillot and her blog:


  1. Nice post, Abbey. Your passion for this subject is obvious.

  2. Greetings. First off I must beg pardon for answering so late. I finally got about to answering emails, woke myself up enough for it I suppose.
    I quite enjoyed this post, you know a deal more about Herge then I and it was great fun reading about him - as well as all of the characters of course. Herge was brilliant. Such an amazing writer.
    I found that interesting about the Thompson "Twins" I had thought they were brothers the first time I read the books but as you said they do not seem related at all. Which in a way makes more sense. Very interesting.
    Oh, and that was a jolly fun surprise at the ending, seeing my blog linked here. Thank you for the link back 8-D
    So, do you plan on seeing the movie tomorrow? I shall have to come back in the hopes of a movie review, would love to know what you think of it. I am desperately hoping I can go tomorrow, or at least Thursday.
    But, anyways, very nice post! Great read!

    A Bit Unlikely,