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The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin (TV).jpg
The Adventures of Tintin title card .
Format Animated Series
Adventure
Mystery
Created by Hergé (characters)
Starring (English version)
Colin O'Meara
David Fox
Wayne Robson
John Stocker
Dan Hennessey
Susan Roman
Country of origin  France
 Canada
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39
Production
Running time 25 minutes (approx. per episode)
Production company(s) Ellipse Programmé
Nelvana
Broadcast
Original channel HBO (USA)
Family (Canada)
Global TV (Canada)
Original run 1991 – 1992

The Adventures of Tintin is an animated television series based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of books by Hergé. It debuted in 1991, and 39 half-hour episodes were produced over the course of three seasons. It is the most well known adaptation of the books.

Contents

History

The television series was co-directed by Stephen Bernasconi, unit directed by Peter Hudecki, and produced by Ellipse (France), and Nelvana (Canada), on behalf of the Hergé Foundation. It was the first television adaptation of Hergé's books for over twenty years (previously, the Belgian animation company Belvision had been responsible for their loose adaptations). Philippe Goddin, an expert in Hergé and Tintin acted as consultant to the producers. Writers for the series included Toby Mullally, Eric Rondeaux, Martin Brossolet, Amelie Aubert, Denise Fordham and Alex Boon.

Production

Traditional animation techniques were used on the series. The books were closely adhered to during all stages of production, with some frames from the original albums being transposed directly to screen. In the episodes Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon, 3D animation was used for the Moon rocket - an unusual step in 1989. The rocket was animated in 3D, each frame of the animation was then printed and recopied onto celluloid and hand painted in gouache, and laid onto a painted background. The rocket seen in the title sequence is animated using 3D techniques.

Artistically, the series chose a constant look, unlike the books (drawn over a course of 47 years, Hergé's style developed throughout from early works like The Blue Lotus and later ones such as Tintin and the Picaros). However, later televised episodes such as the Moon story and Tintin in America clearly demonstrate the artists' development during the course of the series. The series was filmed in English, with all visuals (road signs, posters and settings) remain in French.

Changes from the books

Inevitably, certain areas of the stories posed difficulties for the producers, who had to adapt features of the books to a more modern young audience. But it must be said that this series was far more faithful to the books than Hergé's Adventures of Tintin, which had been made from 1958 to 1962.

The most obvious change was that the books Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo and Tintin and Alph-Art were not adapted at all. While Soviets and Alph-Art were left out for obvious reasons (the first was in an original black and white state and offensive for Russia, and the second was unfinished), Congo is a part of the French canon, but due to its unavailability in English at the time and questionable content, it was dropped from the series. Also, the high amount of violence, death and the use of firearms were toned down or removed completely. Haddock's penchant for whisky posed a problem for audience sensitivities. While the original books did not promote alcohol, they featured it heavily, with much humor based around it and the results of drinking. However, in many countries where the producers hoped to sell the series, alcoholism is a sensitive issue. Therefore, international versions of the series had some alterations. Haddock is seen drinking, but not as heavily as in the books. The Crab with the Golden Claws is the only adventure where Haddock's drunken state is not reduced. In Tintin in Tibet, Haddock is seen taking a nip from a flask of whisky in order to set up a scene in which Snowy is tempted to lap up some split whisky and subsequently falls over a cliff. In Tintin and the Picaros, Haddock is the only person taking wine with dinner, foreshadowing the use of Calculus' tablets to "cure" the drunken Picaros. Haddock is also seen drinking in The Calculus Affair and in Explorers on the Moon, setting up the scene where he leaves the rocket in a drunken state. It should be noted that he does not hide the bottle in a book of Astronomy, like he did in the book, but keeps the bottle in the refrigerator, making it less obvious for young viewers that it's alcohol.

Throughout the books, Snowy is frequently seen to be "talking". It is understood that his voice is only heard through the "fourth wall", but this verbal commentary is completely absent in the television series.

Smaller changes were made due to the necessity for simplification or audience requirements. In The Calculus Affair, the Syldavian group who tries to snatch Professor Calculus from the Bordurians in the original book is removed for simplicity. Also, in the original book, Calculus was kidnapped earlier in the story. It's not clear why they made that change.

In The Red Sea Sharks, the original book dealt with the topic of modern slavery, but in the television episode was centered around smuggling of refugees. Surprisingly, they are Arabs instead of Africans. They weren't meant to be sold, but killed after handing over all their money. Furthermore, while the Africans in the book volunteered to be simply stokers for the ship that Captain Haddock has command of, the television version makes a point of having the characters doing more sophisticated work on the ship. Also, Piotr Skut has already known Tintin and Captain Haddock when they saved him while they haven't met each other in the original story. Also, the scene in which the Mosquitos bomb the armored cars has been rewritten - in the book, Muller is safely inside the command quarters and talks to the General via telephone, whereas in the TV version, Muller is in one of the vehicles and communicates via walkie-talkie.

In Tintin and the Picaros, Hergé presents a less naive Tintin who refuses to go with Haddock and Calculus to rescue Castafiore and the detectives, knowing it's a setup. He only joins them later, after his conscience gets the better of him. Many fans felt it was out of character for Tintin to refuse to go to South America. In the series however, Tintin is all for rescuing his friends and goes with Haddock and Calculus early in the adventure. In the original comic, Tintin wore jeans throughout the book, which was in contrast with the plus-fours he had always worn previously. In the episode, his plus fours have returned.

Tintin in America was the most altered episode, amounting to almost a completely new story. The Native American aspect was completely removed, and the gangster element given the main focus. Bobby Smiles, in the book the head of a rival gang to Al Capone, becomes an "employee" of Capone's in the televised episode. Artistically, the episode was produced to the same standard as the others, with backgrounds having greater detail and more cinematic shots.

In King Ottokar's Sceptre, the impostor of the professor smokes while the latter doesn't; the reverse is true in the book.

In The Secret of the Unicorn, the Bird brothers' Great Dane, Brutus, is not shown.

In Red Rackham's Treasure, the changes are made solely for time such as the only consequence of the press exposure is their meeting with Calculus. In addition, Tintin has a smooth voyage in the shark submarine as opposed to the book where Tintin is in peril when the vehicle is snarled with seaweed. Furthermore, the treasure hunters never return to the island to dig around a large wooden cross on a mistaken idea of where the treasure could be.

In The Black Island, the gorilla Ranko crushes the rock Tintin throws at him, something he didn't do in the book. Also, the counterfeiting gang based in the castle is only consisted of Puschov, Dr. Muller, and Ivan, whereas in the book, it was made of two more anonymous members.

In Cigars of the Pharaoh, the mental hospital cell is a padded cell; in the book it has a bed. Also, Dr. Finney is a member of the gang so he wrote a letter saying that Tintin was mad. In the book, the fakir copied the doctor's handwriting and wrote the letter. An unnamed Japanese person is a member of the gang. In the series, the unnamed Japanese is replaced by Allan Thompson, which Tintin recognizes, though, chronologically, he had never seen him until The Crab with the Golden Claws. There could exist the possibility that in the series Tintin had briefly seen Allan when he was inside the sarcophagus, in Allan's boat, though in the book he's uncounsicious all along. In the TV episode when Thompson and Thomson come into Tintin's cabin Tintin already knows them; in the book he does not. Tintin is not recaptured by the asylum; instead the maharajah's son finds him.

In "Tintin and the Broken Ear", Tortilla is completely missing from the plot, and is replaced by Walker's aide, Lopez (who is not mentioned as a half-caste). Further, Colonel-turned-Corporal Diaz is completely absent from the story, as are the numerous assassination attempts perpetrated by himself and R.W. Trickler. The entire subplot involving the rivalling petroleum companies is removed, and accordingly, Tintin never falls out of favour with General Alcazar, and Alonzo and Ramon never find Tintin in the Amazon. Also in the book, Tintin disguises himself as a blackfaced African to spy on Ramon and Alonzo, while in the episode, Tintin's disguise is that of a steward wearing a false moustache, glasses, and a black wig. While in the book, Tintin walks back to Sanfacion, Nuevo Rico, alone, after being caught by Alonzo and Ramon, he is instead escorted (off screen) by Walker and the Arumbayas to San Theodoros. At the end of the episode, Tintin saves Ramon and Alonzo, whereas in the book they drown and disappear into Hell.

Music

The music for the series was written by three composers. Ray Parker, Jr. did the music for the opening/end credits, while Jim Morgan and Tom Szczesniak wrote the underscore. Excerpts from the score were released by Ellipse on CD and cassette in conjunction with Universal, on the StudioCanal label. It is no longer available.

Hergé's Cameo Appearances

Hergé, the creator of Tintin, makes a number of Hitchcock-like cameo appearances in the cartoon series — as he often did in the original books. Most of the time he is just a passing figure in the street, such as when he is checking his watch in The Blue Lotus or a reporter (The Broken Ear) or a technician (Explorers on the Moon). His letter box can even be seen next to Tintin's in The Crab with the Golden Claws. Other cameos are less flattering: he is a gangster in Tintin in America and an inmate at the lunatic asylum in Cigars of the Pharaoh, along with his fellow artist and collaborator Edgar P. Jacobs.[1]

Broadcasts and releases

Broadcasts

In Canada, the series originally aired on The Family Channel and Global Television Network, and on Radio-Canada in Quebec. with reruns subsequently aired on YTV and Teletoon.

In the United States, the series originally aired on HBO with reruns subsequently aired on Nickelodeon.

In the United Kingdom, the series originally aired on Channel Four on terrestrial television, and Family Channel, a channel based on CBN's Family Channel available through the original Sky system. It was later broadcast on Sky One until the series was purchased by Five.

In Israel, the series was dubbed into Hebrew by Elrom Studios, and broadcasted on Israel TV Channel 1 during the Zaa'p L'arishon Children and Teenagers devoted shows. Tintin became very popular among kids and adults in Israel. The show was aired for several years, rerunning many times.

In Australia, the series was broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as part of their ABC Kids programming block as well as on the ABC2 digital channel. It has been shown in its complete run at least twice, leading to screenings of the Belvision Tintin films.

In New Zealand, the series was originally aired on TV2 (New Zealand) of Television New Zealand. It continued to re-run on TV2 for a few years afterwards. It then featured on Cartoon Network.

In India, the series was broadcast by Cartoon Network in the summer of 2000. The original run was followed by many reruns. Zee Alpha Bangla also showed the series with Bengali dubbings.

It has also aired in Arabic in several networks broadcast from Arabic speaking regions.

In Bulgaria, it premiered on July 18, 2005 on Kanal 1 and aired every Monday to Friday at 16:20. Reruns started on December 24, 2005 every Saturday and Sunday at 08:10 and ending on April 30, 2006 and later once more during the summer of 2006.

In Indonesia, it is aired at December 2005 in the now defunct Lativi Channel.

In Southeast Asia, the series was aired in Cartoon Network up to about 2004.

The series is currently aired globally in over 50 countries.

Video and DVD releases

The full series has been available three times on video, with individual episodes released by Lumiere in 1994 and Mollin Video in 2000, while Anchor Bay released a series of five videos, containing four episodes on each (and five on the last one) in 2002–2003.

The series has also been released twice on Region 2 DVD by Anchor Bay, but unfortunately with no subtitles or extra features. The first was as an exclusive 5-disc DVD release for HMV with soundtracks in English, French and Spanish. The second was a general 10-disc release but with the soundtrack only in English. The 10-disc set is in the canonical order, although the limited edition 5-disc set places The Blue Lotus first (presumably from looking at the back of one of the books).

In France, the full series has been available for years on video, produced by Citel. At the beginning of 2006, Citel also released the series on Region 2 DVD. The DVDs are packaged in two ways. In one packaging, there are 21 DVDs with one episode per DVD and audio in French and English but no subtitles. A full set was issued in a wooden box. The second packaging has two episodes on each DVD (3 on one). These have audio in French, English and Spanish and subtitles in the same three languages plus French for the hard of hearing. Some of them also have subtitles in Portuguese. Recently the series was issued as a partwork by Éditions Atlas in France, with an accompanying booklet featuring information about the episode and behind-the-scenes artwork.

In Canada, the series has been released on Region 1 DVD on two 5-disc box sets (with all discs individually available), with French and English language tracks with subtitles. Each DVD contains two episodes, arranged in two boxed sets of ten episodes each. Tintin in America is not planned for release. Except for the episodes which, joined together, form story arcs (The Seven Crystal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun, Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon and The Secret of the Unicorn/Red Rackham's Treasure), the episodes have no specific order on the discs. It is more French than English; for on-screen text, English subtitles automatically appear. The Canadian editions were released in the US on August 18, 2009.

In Australia, a 6-disc DVD box set of the series was released by Madman Entertainment in 2004, in the order in which the comics were released. The first three discs had four episodes, the last three had three episodes. Each disc comes with information on the comic books, character profiles, and no subtitles.

In India, the series has been released on both DVD and VCD by Moser Baer Home Entertainment.

In Brazil, the series has been released on DVD in July 2008. Each season has been released separately on 3 box-sets. There's also a special deluxe collector's edition box-set with all 39 episodes on 9 discs. The series has been released by Log On Multimedia and the region-free DVDs contains audio in English and Portuguese and subtitles in Portuguese.

Voice artists

English

French

  • Thierry Wermuth - Tintin
  • Susan Roman - Milou
  • Christian Pelissier - Capitaine Haddock
  • Henri Labussiere - Professeur Tournesol
  • Yves Barsacq - Détective Dupont
  • Jean-Pierre Moulin - Détective Dupond

Dutch

  • Michael Pas - Kuifje
  • Luk De Koninck - Kapitein Haddock
  • Bert Struys - Professor Zonnebloem
  • David Davidse - Jansen
  • Paul Codde - Janssen

Portuguese

  • Carla Carreiro
  • Carlos Macedo
  • Frederico Trancoso
  • Luís Barros
  • Paulo Simões
  • Rui de Sá
  • Vitor Emanuel

Brazilian Portuguese

  • Oberdan Júnior - Tintin
  • Isaac Bardavid - Capitão Haddock
  • Orlando Drummond - Professor Girassol
  • Darcy Pedrosa - Detetive Dupond
  • Márcio Simões - Detetive Dupont
  • Paulo Flores - Rastapopoulos
  • Selma Lopes - Bianca Castafiore

Swedish

  • Mats Quiström - Tintin
  • Kenneth Milldoff - Kapten Haddock, Rastapopoulos
  • Dan Bratt - Professor Kalkyl
  • Håkan Mohede - Dupond & Dupont, Nestor
  • Anja Schmidt - Bianca Castafiore

Finnish

  • Jarkko Tamminen - Tintti
  • Aarne Tenkanen - Kapteeni Haddock
  • Antti Pääkkönen - Professori Teophilus Tuhatkauno
  • Veikko Honkanen - Dupond & Dupont
  • Rauno Ahonen - Rastapopoulos

Episodes

Running order of the TV Series as per original broadcast schedule

Season 1

  1. The Crab with the Golden Claws Part 1
  2. The Crab with the Golden Claws Part 2
  3. The Secret of the Unicorn Part 1
  4. The Secret of the Unicorn Part 2
  5. Red Rackham's Treasure
  6. Cigars of the Pharaoh Part 1
  7. Cigars of the Pharaoh Part 2
  8. The Blue Lotus Part 1
  9. The Blue Lotus Part 2
  10. The Black Island Part 1
  11. The Black Island Part 2
  12. The Calculus Affair Part 1
  13. The Calculus Affair Part 2

Season 2

  1. The Shooting Star
  2. The Broken Ear Part 1
  3. The Broken Ear Part 2
  4. King Ottokar's Sceptre Part 1
  5. King Ottokar's Sceptre Part 2
  6. Tintin in Tibet Part 1
  7. Tintin in Tibet Part 2
  8. Tintin and the Picaros Part 1
  9. Tintin and the Picaros Part 2
  10. Land of Black Gold Part 1
  11. Land of Black Gold Part 2
  12. Flight 714 Part 1
  13. Flight 714 Part 2

Season 3

  1. The Red Sea Sharks Part 1
  2. The Red Sea Sharks Part 2
  3. The Seven Crystal Balls Part 1
  4. The Seven Crystal Balls Part 2
  5. Prisoners of the Sun Part 1
  6. Prisoners of the Sun Part 2
  7. The Castafiore Emerald Part 1
  8. The Castafiore Emerald Part 2
  9. Destination Moon Part 1
  10. Destination Moon Part 2
  11. Explorers on the Moon Part 1
  12. Explorers on the Moon Part 2
  13. Tintin in America

Trivia

  • In The Calculus Affair, there are posters saying "Amaïh Plekszy-Gladz". Viewers should know that this is the French name of Kurvi-Tasch.

References

  • Les Aventures de Tintin en DVD (2003) : issues 1,2,5,6
  • The Adventures of Tintin - 5-disc DVD set (2003)
  • Lofficier, Jean-Marc & Randy (2002) The Pocket Essential Tintin - ISBN 1-904048-17-X
  • Citel Video

External links








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