The Adventures of Tintin
Spielberg’s first venture into animation is, well, a sight to see. He turns the Belgian comic character of Tintin into a full blown adventure film hero. This movie is a lot of fun and is also great to look at. Speilberg seems to be going back to his roots here, although working with a whole new medium.
Lets talk about the animation first. I was really impressed with the visual style of this film and the details in the sets, background and props. It really creates a feast for the eyes while creating a very Tintin worthy world. The people in the story are also masterfully designed. They’re cartoony yet realistic at the same time, especially with the eyes and mouths which are usually the big obstacles towards realistic motion capture animatics. The characters here manage to climb their way up from the other side of the uncanny valley.
The story is a pretty solid story used to maintain a mystery adventure film. There is a real ‘treasure hunt’ feeling to the movie, with secret clues and coeds, and the like. Not only is this perfect for a Tintin movie, but its really refreshing to see a classic treasure hunt plot. Filling up this story of Tintin, his dog Snowy, and their new companion Captain Haddock finding the secret of an old pirate ship, are many absurd and unrealistic action sequences (complete with a crane fight!). But somehow it doesn’t matter that these scenes are wildly exaggerated and unbelievable because: a) its an animated film, which inherently allows us to suspend more belief than usual, and b) these scenes are so well directed and so imaginative that you really don’t care about reality and just want to go along for the ride.
There are problems with Tintin which mostly have to do with the bookends of the movie. The story is pretty poorly set up at the beginning and Tintin’s initial motivation is not well explained. The ending is also rather weak and I was actually expecting at least a scene or two more. However, everything in between the middle and the end makes for one great time at the movies.
Now, I saw Tintin in 3D, but this was not by choice. There was no 2D option at the theater, so if I wanted to see it I had to watch in 3D. Grrr. Why does Hollywood seem to be forcing 3D down our throats? From what I can tell, the majority of the movie-going public is really not wowed by 3D and would prefer to see a movie as is. But now we’re not even getting the option of seeing it in 2D. It really feels to me like studio heads and marketers are refusing to accept that movie audiences don’t want 3D.
Am I wrong? Is 3D as popular as they think? are audiences demanding more 3D? Or are movie studios just pretending that we are demanding it so that they can charge more and hope to eventually convince us that this is what we want?