The Adventures of Tin Tin (Steven Spielberg, 2011): USA/New Zealand
Reviewed by Kathleen Amboy. Viewed at Fairview Twin, Goleta, CA.
Although The Adventures of Tin Tin began as a pre-WWII comic strip in Europe, many today may remember the popular, and highly entertaining Canadian cartoon from the early 1990′s, produced by Nelvana.
Spielberg’s version of The Adventures of Tin Tin closely follows the original character of Tin Tin (Jamie Bell of Billy Elliott) and his dog Snowy, but in 3D with motion capture; with real movements and gestures by the actors, translated digitally into animation.
The adventure begins when the newshound/quasi-agent and his dog, acquire a model ship at a local flea market. Unbeknownst to Tin Tin, the model contains a secret parchment message which falls under the furniture, just within reach of Snowy’s nose, and minutes before their flat is tossed and pillaged.
Tin Tin and Snowy are soon shanghaied aboard the S.S. Karaboudjan, by the villainous Ivan Sakharine (Daniel Craig), but partner up with the ship’s heavily plastered, Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), a descendant of Sir Francis Haddock (a Sir Francis Drake type character).
The three manage to escape on the high seas in a lifeboat and end up in the Moroccan desert, where Haddock literally dries up, and hallucinates important clues leading to hidden treasure.
Having been a fan of the television cartoon series, I eagerly anticipated a great family film and was not disappointed. Filled with slapstick humor, sophisticated nostalgia, and the best motion capture to date – some scenes were vividly real – this animated film was far more adventurous than the asinine Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
The Adventures of Tin Tin was co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, with Jackson set to direct the sequel.
I opted out on the 3D ticket and fully enjoyed the digital effects in 2D.