Created by: Herge
Voice Actors (English): Colin O’Meara, Susan Roman, David Fox, Wayne Robson, Dan Hennessey, John Stocker
Synopsis: In 1991, Herge’s Tintin graphic novels were adapted into an animated TV series that adhered quite closely to the source material. 21 of these novels were adapted into half an hour segments, with many stories being split over two episodes. These have recently been made available on Blu-Ray, the format in which the series is here reviewed.
There is always a certain element of dander in revisiting something you enjoyed as a child. I have fond memories of this cartoon series from those days, and it was in a very excited fit of joy that I purchased my copy of the complete series on Blu-Ray. Fortunately however, Tintin has stood the test of time. I am making no claims that I enjoyed every adventure on offer to the full extent that I once would have, but for me the end result was many nights of fond nostalgia.
One of the problems I had with the Blu-Ray set has nothing to do with the actual series itself. In Australia, the set has been compiled in the order which the original Tintin graphic novels were released, as opposed to the order in which they aired. I can see a logic to this, but in the end there are distinct differences between the two versions, and in a couple of instances we had characters appearing in stories in this set before the episodes in which they were introduced, leading to a very disjointed affair. To make matters worse, it takes a long time before we get introduced to series favourites Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus. The adventures of Tintin without his regular sidekicks do have entertainment value, but after these two were introduced, the show takes full flight. If the episodes had been arranged in order, we would have met Captain Haddock in the first episode, and the enjoyment factor would have immediately been higher.
Apart from this though, the set contains many fascinating and interesting adventures. As mentioned earlier, not all are winners, but there are at least just as many awe-inspiring stories as there are slightly more ho-hum ones. The plot developments are an interesting mixed bag. These are stories that often have quite mature and convoluted twists and revelations, some which may escape younger viewers, yet there is enough comedy there to satisfy a wide variety of ages. The parts that kids will love are anything with Snowy, and the slapstick of Thomson and Thompson. For older audiences, it is possible to enjoy a game of “Spot Herge”, the author being famous for animating himself into background moments of the original comic, a trend which was carried over to this series.
It is also almost necessary to mention the opening credits and the score. The Tintin theme is an infectious tune, mixing sounds akin to a printing press to emphasise Tintin’s occupation as a journalist, whilst rolling it in with a measure of suspense, jeopardy, and excitement. I often found myself humming it during the day between evening viewings, and am still considering it as my new ring tone.
As far as comparisons go, I think I will always consider this MY Tintin. Spielberg did a great job with his recent stab at the franchise, especially given that there is a certain element of Indiana Jones to Tintin in the first place. As I mentioned in my review for that film though, the thing that sets the television series apart is a certain element of innocence that partially borders on naivety. This gives the series an almost child-like wonder and hope, which I can’t help but believe is perfect for its true target audience.
4 stars out of 5