The Adventures of Tintin
GenreAction
Adventure
Mystery
Comedy-drama
Created byHergé (characters)
Developed byStéphane Bernasconi
Voices of(English version)
Colin O'Meara
David Fox
Wayne Robson
John Stocker
Dan Hennessey
Susan Roman
Theme music composerRay Parker
Tom Szczesniak
ComposersRay Parker
Jim Morgan
Tom Szczesniak
Country of originFrance
Canada
Original languagesFrench
English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39
Production
Executive producersMichael Hirsh
Patrick Loubert
Clive A. Smith
Phillipe Gildas
Pierre Bertrand-Jaume
Simon Hart
ProducerRobert Rea
Production locationBrussels
Running time22 minutes (approx. per episode)
Production companiesNelvana Limited
Ellipse Programmé
Disney Channel Original Series
Release
Original networkFR3/France 3 (France)
Global Television Network (Canada)
HBO (United States)
Original release2 October 1991 (1991-10-02) –
28 September 1992 (1992-09-28)
External links
Website

The Adventures of Tintin is a 1991/1992 animated TV show co-produced, written and animated in France by Ellipse Animation and in Canada by Nelvana International, based on The Adventures of Tintin by Belgian comic artist Georges Prosper Remi, more commonly known by his pen name Hergé ([ɛʁʒe]).[1] Thirty-nine half-hour episodes were produced over the course of its three seasons.

History

The television series was directed by French director Stephen Bernasconi, with Peter Hudecki as the Canadian unit director. Hudecki was the primary director, but could not be credited as such due to co-production restrictions. It was produced by Ellipse (France) and Nelvana (Canada) on behalf of the Hergé Foundation.[2] It was the first television adaptation of Hergé's books since the Belgian animation company Belvision was responsible for Hergé's Adventures of Tintin twenty years earlier. Philippe Goddin, an expert on Hergé and Tintin, acted as a consultant to the producers. The series' writers included: Toby Mullally, Eric Rondeaux, Martin Brossolet, Amelie Aubert, Dennise Fordham, and Alex Boon.

Production

The series used traditional animation techniques[3] and adhered closely to the original books, going so far as to transpose some frames from the original books directly to screen.[4] In the episodes "Destination Moon" and "Explorers on the Moon", 3D animation was used for the moon rocket—an unusual step in 1989. Each frame of the animation was then printed and recopied onto celluloid, hand painted in gouache, and then laid onto a painted background. The rocket seen in the title sequence is animated using the same 3D techniques.

Artistically, the series chose a constant style, unlike in the books. In the books, the images had been drawn over the course of 47 years, during which Hergé's style developed considerably. However, later televised episodes, such as the "Moon Story" and "Tintin in America", clearly demonstrated the artists' development during the course of the production of the television series. The series' original production language was English, but all visuals (road signs, posters, and settings) remained in French.

Changes from the books

Certain aspects of the stories posed difficulties for the producers, who had to adapt features of the books for a younger audience. Nevertheless, this series was far more faithful to the books than the earlier Hergé's Adventures of Tintin, which was made from 1959 to 1963.

Some examples of these changes included toning down the high amount of violence, death, and the use of firearms in many adventures. Tintin's role was slightly downplayed and he scolded his dog Snowy less often than he did in the books. Twice in the series, Tintin is portrayed as knowing various characters already (Thomson and Thompson and Allan in "Cigars of the Pharaoh" and Piotr Skut in "The Red Sea Sharks"), when it was the first time they had met in the book version. On these occasions Tintin had already interacted with these characters in the TV series, as stories were shown in a sequence different from the books.

Haddock's penchant for whiskey posed a problem for audience sensitivities. While the original books did not promote alcohol, they featured it heavily, with much humor based around it and the results of drinking. In many countries where the producers hoped to sell the series, alcoholism was a sensitive issue. Therefore, international versions of the series had some alterations. Specifically, Haddock is often seen drinking, but not as heavily as in the books. "The Crab with the Golden Claws" is the only adventure where Haddock's drunken state is not downplayed. In "Tintin in Tibet", Haddock is seen taking a sip from a whiskey flask in order to set up a scene in which Snowy is tempted to lap up some spilled whiskey and subsequently falls over a cliff. In "Tintin and the Picaros", Haddock is the only person taking wine with dinner, foreshadowing the use of Calculus' tablets to cure the drunken Picaros. Haddock is also seen drinking in "The Calculus Affair" and in "Explorers on the Moon", setting up the scene where he leaves the rocket in a drunken state. Despite of this, he keeps the bottle in the refrigerator (instead of hiding it in an astronomy book, like he did in the book), making it less obvious for young viewers that it is alcohol.

Tintin in America, The Shooting Star and Red Rackham's Treasure are the only stories to be told in one part instead of two. In the second part of the stories, Tintin narrates some of the events of the first part at the beginning.

Throughout the books, Snowy is frequently seen to be "talking". It is understood that his voice is only heard through the "fourth wall", but this verbal commentary is completely absent in the television series.

Most of the newspaper parts which are in the books were replaced with either the news from the radio or television.

Stories not adapted

Three of the Tintin books were not included in the animated series. These were the first two Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (due to its unflattering portrayal of Russians) and Tintin in the Congo (due to issues around animal abuse and its racist colonial attitude towards the native Congolese) and the final Tintin and Alph-Art (due to it being incomplete).

Music

The underscore music and the main title theme for the series were written by composers Ray Parker and Tom Szczesniak. The music was recorded by engineer James Morgan. Excerpts from the score were released by Lé Studio Ellipse on CD and cassette in conjunction with Universal Music Group, on the StudioCanal label. It is now out of print in both formats.

Hergé's cameo appearances

Hergé, the creator of Tintin, makes a number of Hitchcock-like cameo appearances in the cartoon series—as he often did in the original books. Most of the time he is just a passing figure in the street, such as when he is checking his watch in The Blue Lotus or a reporter (The Broken Ear) or a technician (Explorers on the Moon). These brief appearances, however, are not sporadic as he is featured in all of the TV episodes. His letter box can even be seen next to Tintin's in The Crab with the Golden Claws. Other cameos are less flattering: he is a gangster in Tintin in America and an inmate at the lunatic asylum in Cigars of the Pharaoh, along with his fellow artist and collaborator Edgar P. Jacobs.[5]

Releases

Online platforms

The series is now available on Amazon Prime and Netflix (in certain territories) having been remastered into 1080p widescreen high definition.

Home video

Main article: Tintin home video releases

Voice artists

English

French

German

Dutch

Italian

Spanish (Spain)

Portuguese (Brazil)

Danish

Swedish

Finnish

Norwegian

Episodes

Running order of the TV series as per original broadcast schedule.

Season 1

  1. "The Crab with the Golden Claws": Part 1
  2. "The Crab with the Golden Claws": Part 2
  3. "The Secret of the Unicorn": Part 1
  4. "The Secret of the Unicorn": Part 2
  5. "Red Rackham's Treasure"
  6. "Cigars of the Pharaoh": Part 1
  7. "Cigars of the Pharaoh": Part 2
  8. "The Blue Lotus": Part 1
  9. "The Blue Lotus": Part 2
  10. "The Black Island": Part 1
  11. "The Black Island": Part 2
  12. "The Calculus Affair": Part 1
  13. "The Calculus Affair": Part 2

Season 2

  1. "The Shooting Star"
  2. "The Broken Ear": Part 1
  3. "The Broken Ear": Part 2
  4. "King Ottokar's Sceptre": Part 1
  5. "King Ottokar's Sceptre": Part 2
  6. "Tintin in Tibet": Part 1
  7. "Tintin in Tibet": Part 2
  8. "Tintin and the Picaros": Part 1
  9. "Tintin and the Picaros": Part 2
  10. "Land of Black Gold": Part 1
  11. "Land of Black Gold": Part 2
  12. "Flight 714": Part 1
  13. "Flight 714": Part 2

Season 3

  1. "The Red Sea Sharks": Part 1
  2. "The Red Sea Sharks": Part 2
  3. "The Seven Crystal Balls": Part 1
  4. "The Seven Crystal Balls": Part 2
  5. "Prisoners of the Sun": Part 1
  6. "Prisoners of the Sun": Part 2
  7. "The Castafiore Emerald": Part 1
  8. "The Castafiore Emerald": Part 2
  9. "Destination Moon": Part 1
  10. "Destination Moon": Part 2
  11. "Explorers on the Moon": Part 1
  12. "Explorers on the Moon": Part 2
  13. "Tintin in America"

Reception

Along with fans, critics have praised the series for being "generally faithful" to the originals, with compositions having been actually taken directly from the panels in the original comic books.[6]

Broadcasts

See also

References

  1. ^ Elsworth, Peter C. T. (24 December 1991). "Tintin Searches for a U.S. Audience". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 428–429. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ "Popular Belgian comic-strip character 'Tintin' to get mega-boost on U.S. cable TV". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 851–852. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  5. ^ "Hergé's cameo appearances". Tintinologist.org. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  6. ^ Lofficier & Lofficier 2002, p. 90.

Further reading