The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
|The Adventures of Tintin (known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn outside North America) is a 2011 American 3D epic motion capture computer-animated adventure film based on The Adventures of Tintin, the series of comic albums created by Belgian artist Hergé. Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is based on three of Hergé’s albums: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham’s Treasure (1944). It is the first-ever animated film for both Spielberg and his longtime collaborator, composer John Williams.
Spielberg acquired rights to produce a film based upon the Adventures of Tintin series following Hergé’s death in 1983, and following their subsequent lapse, re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but release was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the film. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been originally cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose company Weta Digital provided the computer animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film.
The world première took place on October 22, 2011 in Brussels. The film was released in the UK and some other European countries on October 26, 2011, and in the USA on December 21, 2011, in Digital 3D and IMAX.
The Adventures of Tintin received generally positive reviews from critics, and became a box office success with a worldwide gross of over $373 million. It also won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 69th Golden Globe Awards. Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. It was also nominated for six Saturn Awards, including Best Animated Film, Best Director for Spielberg and Best Music for Williams. This is currently the highest grossing Nickelodeon animated film.
Tintin (Jamie Bell), a young journalist, and his dog Snowy are browsing in an outdoor market in a European town. Tintin buys a model of a three-masted sailing ship, the Unicorn, but is then immediately accosted by the sinister Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (Daniel Craig), and the mysterious figure of Barnaby (Joe Starr), who both try to buy the model from Tintin, without success. Tintin takes the ship home, but it is broken during a fight between Snowy and a neighbour’s cat. As it breaks, a parchment scroll slips out of the ship’s mast and rolls under the desk. Snowy spots it but is unable to alert Tintin. Meanwhile, incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg) are on the trail of a pickpocket, Aristides Silk (Toby Jones). After Tintin returns home, he finds the Unicorn has been stolen.Tintin,then searches for the ship but in vain.While searching,Snowy drags him to the desk and he finds a scroll and after reading an important message,he pockets it in his wallet.Tintin visits Sakharine in Marlinspike Hall and accuses him of the theft when he sees the Unicorn. But when he notices that Sakharine’s Unicorn is not broken, he realizes that there are two model ships. Tintin puts the scroll in his wallet, only to have his wallet stolen by Silk.
Later, Tintin is shot at, then abducted by accomplices of Sakharine, and imprisoned on the SS Karaboudjan. On board, Tintin escapes and meets the ship’s nominal captain, Haddock (Andy Serkis). Haddock has been supplied with whisky by first mate Allan (Daniel Mays), who is working for Sakharine, and thus is permanently drunk, and unaware of the happenings on board his ship. Tintin, Haddock, and Snowy eventually escape from the Karaboudjan in a lifeboat. Sakharine sends a seaplane to find them, which the trio seize and use to fly towards the (fictitious) Moroccan port of Bagghar, but they crash in the desert.
Dehydrated in the heat, and suffering from a sudden lack of alcohol, Haddock hallucinates, and starts to remember stories about his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock (Andy Serkis), who was captain of the Unicorn during the 17th century. Sir Francis’ treasure-laden ship was attacked by a pirate ship, led by the masked Red Rackham (Daniel Craig), and, after a fierce battle and eventual surrender, Sir Francis chose to sink the Unicorn, and most of the treasure, rather than allow it to fall into Rackham’s hands. It transpires that there were three models of the Unicorn, each containing a scroll. Together, the scrolls will reveal the location of the sunken Unicorn, and its treasure.
The third model ship is in Bagghar, in the possession of the wealthy Omar Ben Salaad (Gad Elmaleh), but it is encased in a bullet-proof glass display case. Sakharine’s plan is to stage a concert involving famous diva Bianca Castafiore (Kim Stengel), the “Milanese nightingale”, whose penetrating singing voice will be able to shatter the glass case, allowing Sakharine’s trained hawk to fly down and steal the third scroll. After a chase down to the harbour, pursued by Tintin and Haddock, Sakharine finally escapes with all three scrolls. Tintin chases him back to Europe and arranges a police reception for him on the dockside. Haddock and Sakharine, who is revealed to be the descendant of Red Rackham, replay their ancestors’ swashbuckling sword fight, using dockside cranes, swords, and even bottles of whisky. Haddock is eventually victorious and Sakharine is promptly arrested by Thomson and Thompson.
With the three scrolls in their possession, Tintin and Haddock find that the indicated location is Marlinspike Hall, and that the hall had been built originally by Sir Francis Haddock. There, in the cellar, they find some of the treasure, and a clue to the location of the sunken Unicorn. Both men agree to continue the adventure.