Nov 10

Cartoon of the Week – The Adventures of Tintin

He'll outrun that spotlight one day

With Tintin making his first theatrical appearance in Secret of the Unicorn, now seems as good a time as any to go back and talk about the cartoons. Airing at the start of the 90s, Hergé’s books made the transition to the animated medium pretty flawlessly, capturing his art-style and his stories, so read on to discover what’re you missing (unless you’ve already seen Tintin, in which case, carry on).

Spanning 39 episodes, the series focuses on the titular character, Tintin, a young reporter, and his canine companion, Snowy, and later on makes lifelong friends with Captain Haddock, a cynical and bitter sea captain, Thomson and Thompson, a duo of blundering Interpol detectives, and Professor Calculus, a super-intelligent yet super-deaf scientist. These, combined with an entertaining cast of recurring villains and other sidekicks, make for an extremely likeable cast of characters, even if Tintin himself is rather undeveloped by comparison.

All the stories themselves are based upon their literature counterparts, and all of them (except the finale) are covered over 2 episodes, allowing the rich plots to be fully realised on the screen. The simplistic, clean art-style works and stands the test of time, the voice actors match the characters perfectly, and the aforementioned plots keep you watching until the end, especially as things rarely go Tintin’s way. You never feel like he’s a superhero, more an honest kid getting caught up in adventures way beyond him as he searches for the story behind it all.

But whether you decide to watch or read Tintin (either’s fine, as they’re both excellent), its well worth delving into the world Hergé created. The enjoyable cast, well-researched and thought out plots and uncomplicated art style combine to make an end experience that was a large part of my, and many other’s, childhoods. And I saw the entire series boxset for £15 in HMV last week, so you’ve no excuse not to go out and enjoy this, and discover why millions of people the world over love Tintin.

Know of a cartoon from the western world you think deserves a place here? Send us an e-mail at anicomhivemind@gmail.com with the subject “Cartoon of the Week”, along with roughly 300 to 500 words describing said cartoon, or just talk to me (Sean) in person and this could be your favourite series up here. Thanks muchly.