The Adventures of Tintin (2011) Poster


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The painter at the beginning bears the likeness of Hergé, creator of the 'Tintin' comics. Furthermore, he draws Tintin's portrait in Herge's style. Using Hergé's likeness is an homage to the artist's own private joke of incorporating the likenesses of friends and family in his Tintin works.
Steven Spielberg has been an avid fan of 'The Adventures of Tintin' comic books since 1981, when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) to Tintin. His secretary bought him French-language editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them: he immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, 'Tintin' creator Hergé became a fan of Spielberg (reports say he "thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice.")
Since the Tintin comic book series is virtually unknown in the United States, the movie was first released in Europe, hoping that favorable reviews would warm American audiences to the movie. Despite a favorable 77 million dollar box office in the USA, this is a relatively rare example of a movie produced in the USA that was considerably more successful overseas (296 million dollar).
This film combines the Tintin tales 'The Crab with the Golden Claws' (Tintin befriends Captain Haddock whose ship has been hijacked by smugglers) and the two-parter 'The Secret of the Unicorn' and 'Red Rackham's Treasure' (Tintin and Haddock search for pirate treasure).
The film was released on the 30th anniversary of Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Originally, Steven Spielberg was going to do a live-action adaptation of Tintin, and called Peter Jackson to ask if his VFX company Weta Digital would work on the film, in particular creating a CGI Snowy. Jackson, as it turned out, was a longtime fan of Tintin, and convinced Spielberg that live action would not do justice to the comic books, and that motion capture was the best way of representing Hergé's world of Tintin. However, Snowy would still be CGI.
The first animated film directed by Steven Spielberg.
At the beginning of the movie, when Tintin is having his likeness drawn, the other likenesses posted in the background are of characters featured in various Tintin books and as shown in the inside covers of every Tintin book.
The first non-Pixar movie to win the "Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Picture" since the category was first introduced.
To prepare for his role as Captain Haddock, Andy Serkis read the majority of the "Tintin" comics. He later commented that they had a surreal quality, similar to the Monty Python films.
Steven Spielberg enjoyed working with the virtual camera so much, he did a lot of his own camera work in the movie.
This is the first PG-rated film Steven Spielberg has directed since Hook (1991).
When the film was in development in 1984, Steven Spielberg wanted Jack Nicholson to play Captain Haddock.
Steven Spielberg is the first Oscar-winning director to direct a Nickelodeon film. Peter Jackson (the sequel's director) will be the second.
While their plane is falling from the sky, Haddock and Snowy drink blobs of floating alcohol while in zero gravity. This is a reference to a similar scene in the Tintin comic Explorers on the Moon.
In the German dub, during the motorcycle chase when Haddock reaches out for the three pieces of paper flying over the canal, he calls the pieces "Mein Schatz". This is a nod to the English dub, where Haddock is voiced by Andy Serkis. Serkis played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and in the German version, Gollum's "My Precious" is translated to "Mein Schatz".
After Simon Pegg had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008), Steven Spielberg invited him to the film's set and offered him the role of Thomson.
According to Steven Spielberg, when shooting he always keeps one eye closed when framing a shot, so that he can visualize the film in 2D ("the way viewers would"). But on this film he had both of his eyes open, as it was 3D and he wanted to treat the film like live-action.
Steven Spielberg's cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was brought on to act as a lighting consultant for Weta, as Jackson wanted the film to look "film noir-ish, and very atmospheric."
This is Nickelodeon's first involvement with Tintin in 20 years. The Nickelodeon channel originally aired The Adventures of Tintin (1991).
Steven Spielberg described working on this film as "feeling artistic and painterly". The movie fittingly starts with a closeup of a painter's palette.
Screenwriter Steven Moffat claims he was "love-bombed" by Steven Spielberg into writing the script for this film, with Spielberg promising to shield him from studio interference with his writing.
During filming, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Daldry and David Fincher paid a visit to the set.
The framed newspapers on the walls of Tintin's apartment feature headlines and photos that recall his other adventures. The headline "Tintin Breaks Up Crime Ring," with a picture of several Egyptian mummy cases, refers to 'Cigars of the Pharaoh' and the headline "Tintin Recovers Valuable Sceptre" refers to 'King Ottokar's Sceptre'. The headline "Tintin retrieves national artifact" refers to "The Broken Ear". "Tintin finds Fang Hsi-ying" to "The blue Lotus". "Forgers found on mystery isle" to "The Black Island". "Reporter Tintin unmasks tribe of gangsters" to "Tintin in the Congo".
In the opening credits, there is a scene where a flip sign at a train station shows various destinations. Those are the places where Tintin has his adventures in the comic books (i.e. Syldavia, Tibet, Black Island, Djakarta, etc...).
Steven Moffat finished a draft of the script, but could not polish it because of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and afterwards becoming executive producer of Doctor Who (2005). Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson amiably allowed him to leave and fulfill his duty to the series (Jackson being a fan of the Doctor), and brought in Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish to rewrite Moffat's draft.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster was originally set to play the titular character, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie Bell, who had worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong (2005), then came aboard to play Tintin.
This is Steven Spielberg's first comic-book adaptation. He had earlier been considered to do Superman (1978).
This is Andy Serkis's third collaboration with Peter Jackson, as well as his fourth motion-capture role (he had earlier played the creatures Gollum and King Kong (2005) in features directed by Jackson and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)). Sometime after being cast, Serkis joked that he was worried Peter Jackson would cast him as Tintin's dog Snowy.
Steven Spielberg shot his portion of the film in 31 days (taking up March 2009). Peter Jackson was present for the first week of filming, and supervised the rest of the shoot via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson's voice would "be coming over the Tannoy like God."
Michael Kahn has collaborated with Steven Spielberg as an editor for over 30 years, having cut his movies on a Moviola and KEM when working with Spielberg. This is his first movie that he cut digitally with Spielberg, using Avid (though he has cut movies digitally before, such as Twister (1996)).
During the final dock scene, a bunch of cans with a crab symbol falls from a crate. A similar logo was seen at Ben Salaad's palace. These are the same canned crabs that serve as a McGuffin in the original "Crab with the Golden Claws" album.
The first 3D movie directed by Steven Spielberg.
When Bianca the Milanese Nightingale meets Omar Ben Salaad, she introduces Sakharine as "Monsieur Sugar Additive" with a rolling accent, a nod to his name sounding like saccharine.
When Captain Haddock first gets woken up by Tintin and Snowy, he yells, "A giant rat of Sumatra!" This is a reference to a Sherlock Holmes adventure mentioned by Watson but never related in the Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. It is also a reference to the Peter Jackson film Dead Alive (1992), in which a (fictional) Sumatran Rat Monkey, whose bite infected the victim into becoming a zombie, is transported on a cargo ship.
In the early 1980s, Steven Spielberg hired E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) writer Melissa Mathison to write a draft of the script. Her script featured a battle in Africa between Tintin and ivory poachers.
Steven Spielberg has always shot his films traditionally, but since he was going to film what he saw was an animated film he didn't mind shooting it digitally.
Meryl Streep was considered for Bianca Castafiore.
The ship in the bottle and the Unicorn are based upon the "Soleil Royal", a large French ship of the line that was launched in 1669.
When Tintin shoots down the seaplane, he fires his pistol in a peculiar stance where he steadies the gun on his elbow. This is a reference to the Tintin comic Land of Black Gold where Tintin fires a pistol using this stance.
The red Jeep used by Sakharine and his henchmen is a clear reference to the Tintin comic Land of Black Gold
Tintin creator Hergé has an animated cameo a little over four minutes into the movie as a man painting. This is played up when the painter asks Tintin if he's drawn him before with an answer of "occasionally." The cameo is voiced by actor Nathan Meister.
Claude Berri and Roman Polanski were interested in directing.
Daniel Craig (Red Rackham) had collaborated with Toby Jones in Infamous (2006) and Jamie Bell in Defiance (2008), and appeared in the Steven Spielberg film Munich (2005).
When Snowy is in pursuit of kidnapped Tintin, he passes a "Docks" sign in front of E. Cutts Butcher shop. In the comics, the phone at Marlinspike Hall often receives wrong calls for Cutts the Butcher and outgoing calls sometimes gets connected to Cutts as well.
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The poster showcasing "The Milanese Nightingale" in Bagghar has an emerald in place of the "o" of Bianca Castafiore's name. This is a nod to volume twenty-one of the Tintin comics titled "The Castafiore Emerald" which also depicts the title in the same way.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The coordinates on the parchments point to Marlinspike Hall as the treasure's location, which is hidden inside a statue of a globe. The Tintin comic "Red Rackham's Treasure" gives a more elaborate explanation: The coordinates lead them to the Island off which the real Unicorn sank, and following a diving expedition a box was found in the sunken ship which had an old document stating that Marlinespike hall was owned by Haddock's family, and after acquiring the Hall through an auction they went into the cellar where Tintin picks clues and presses the location of the island on the globe statue to reveal the treasure.
When Barnaby is shot, he leaves a clue by marking in blood letters on a newspaper headline. The newspaper Barnaby points to is Le Petit Vingtième ("The Little Twentieth"), the real-life newspaper in which Tintin's adventures were first published from 1928-1940. Le Petit Vingtième was the youth supplement to Le Vingtième Siècle ("The Twentieth Century"), a Belgian newspaper published by the Catholic Church. Both papers ceased operation when the Germans occupied Belgium in 1940, but Tintin's later adventures were published in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir ("The Evening"), and in Tintin's own magazine, Le journal de Tintin.
In the Tintin comic "The Secret of the Unicorn", Professor Ivan Ivanovich Sakharine starts off as a suspected villain, but turns out to be a mere art collector. In the film, he is combined with several other characters by being made the main antagonist and Red Rackham's descendant.

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