When I first saw the trailers for The Adventures of Tintin showing off the globe-trotting action sequences and touting a story of mystery and lost treasures, my mind immediately went to the Indiana Jones series, and with good reason: Steven Spielberg was involved in the production of both. But even without Spielberg’s involvement, Tintin would still have come across as Indiana Jones-esque. The stories, developed independently of each other by different authors, share many common traits. In fact, Spielberg was introduced to the character of Tintin when he read, in a French review of one of the Indiana Jones films, how much the story was reminiscent of a Tintin adventure!
As much as they share a thirst for global adventure, the similarities between the leading characters of Tintin and Indy end right there. While Indiana Jones brings a sense of humor to his role as the flawed but loveable adventurer, Tintin is a driven, straight-laced reporter… and that’s about all there is to him. For this story, though, it’s enough. Tintin’s role is to take us through the journey, while the other characters bring in the complexity and humor necessary to keep us engaged and entertained.
The Adventures of Tintin is a fun film that moves along at a steady pace. There is plenty of adventure and daring-do, with a healthy dose of slapstick-style comic relief sprinkled throughout. The film is a bit more violent that standard kiddie-fare. There is plenty of gunfire, and Tintin does carry and use a gun. The flash-back pirate battle scene is pretty intense. But if you’ve already introduced your kids to Star Wars or something similar, then they should be able to handle Tintin. There is a lesson tucked into the film, too, about dealing with feelings of failure and the value of persistence.
With four kids and a tight budget, going to the theater as a family is not something that happens often, so we passed on this movie when it was first released. Now that The Adventures of Tintin is out on Bluray/DVD, I’m looking forward to watching it with the kids. I think they’ll enjoy the action, and I’ll appreciate the break from talking cars, princesses, and Star Wars.