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Pino Van Lamsweerde
I readily concede The Adventures of Tintin by Herge in book form ("graphic novels," now?) remain peerless. Even animation has its limits trying to capture what the young reader's mind is readily inspired to supply. I know of but have seen only one episode of the Franco-Canadian animated adaptation of the graphic images, but even so I cringe at the news of feature-length live-action film adaptations.
The Belgian animated series was reportedly disavowed by the artist-creator, but understand that to many in my generation Stateside the Belgian animated series dubbed into American English and broadcast in the mid-1960s was in fact the true introduction to Tintin and Snowy, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Thomson and Thompson, and many other memorable characters as well as their predicaments. "The Calculus Affair" remains the adaptation that I'd remembered most vividly. IT IS NOT the version I'd recently found on all-region DVD, dubbed into English and Hindi and paired with "The Broken Ear."
When broadcast Stateside the English-dubbed "Affair" from the original Belgian animated series differed in its voice characterizations from the other episodes in that series, with a hard-edged, straight-on, and dryly humorous style. I got the distinct impression the adapters knew what it was about very well indeed. Yet my brother and I still quote lines from it, especially the prison camp ("I thought you liked hot chocolate." "There will be a slight change in the menu tonight." "I am a patient manbut this is too much!").
(UPDATE: Some years after this posting I located this episode as an hour-long "animated movie in remastered version" on NTSC DVD. I agree with most of the user reviews for "L'affaire Tournesol" (1964), and if I didn't hear the aforesaid lines quite as I had recalled I thought I could blame a later re-dubbing into English, including one character's reference to Niki Lauda, a motor racing World Champion from the late Seventies. All the same it was good to see it again.)
Suffice it to say I accepted the invitation from the original animated series to view and read more by Herge. I do so to this day with fondness and respect for an artist's timeless style, stories, and attention to detail.
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