The Adventures of Tintin (Blu-ray Review)

With their powers combined, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have sought to bring Herge’s beloved classic journalist Tintin to the big screen in an ambitious motion capture project entitled The Adventures of Tintin. Using the latest in performance capture technology, along with Jackson acting as producer with Spielberg directing, they were to bring the character from the books to the screen in the first of a 3-part adaptation. We all know how that goes with regards to adapting beloved children’s books into films and we also know how it goes when they’re filmed in performance capture. It can go either way. With box-office heavyweight champions of the world behind the project the odds are actually in our favor, but we shall see how it goes nonetheless. Let’s take a look at The Adventures of Tintin on Blu-ray!  



It’s only been a thousand years (I’m kidding) since Tintin was created by Belgium born artist-writer, Herge,  to the delight of millions worldwide including yours truly. I will admit that I was a late starter in devouring the adventures of Tintin graphic novels, but when I did, I jumped into the deep end of the pool. More about that later.

Fast forward it to present day and we have Steven Spielberg teaming up with Peter Jackson to bring The Adventures of Tintin to the big screen and now this Blu-ray. Tintin is the story of a precocious journalist – slash – investigator – slash – adventurer – Tintin. Tintin is always accompanied by his pet and partner, Snowy. The film is a mash up of three of the stories told by Herge many years earlier. In this first installment of the proposed three-part series we follow Tintin as he tries to discover why he’s being targeted for execution over the purchase of a model ship that he wasn’t supposed to purchase in the first place. The game is on.

Along the way Tintin encounters the strong arms of the law Thomson and Thompson (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg) who are on the case of a wallet snatcher, but have run-ins with Tintin and Snowy here and there. The villainous Ivan Ivanovitch (Daniel Craig) will have that ship by any means necessary and Tintin will team up with the permanently drunk Captain Haddock to fumble Ivanovitch’s evil plan. What’s the secret of the ship? All this and more will be answered as you hop on board and let The Adventure of Tintin whisk you away to faraway lands of danger and splendor.

Okay, so my first exposure to the Tintin comics was a just a few years ago when, on a limb, I imported the Tout Tintin collection from Amazon Canada. In French. They’re in French, but complete. It’s all that mattered to me. I devoured the collection in a couple of days and I was sold. The Tintin adventures have enough comedy, social commentary, political overtones to satisfy even the most serious of people who are looking for a bit more in their graphic novel-to-film-of-a-classic-comic-character than the usual stuff.

The Adventures of Tintin is an awesome effort realized, but not a perfect one. Its faults lie in the running time of the film which is 106 minutes not including the credits. The film collects three volumes of stories from the book and compresses them into such a short film. If the running time had been extended by at least another 3o-minutes then all would have been perfect, in my estimation. I think the very last 10 minutes just slow it to a crawl which is kind of bad since the end should have ended with a bang.

This being Speilberg’s first totally animated film he came through with certain action set pieces that looked bloody brilliant! Peter Jackson was on board as Producer and Second Unit Director, so the collaboration of the two was great. Another thing that may or may not bother parents or sensitive types will be the portrayal of Haddock (Andy Serkis). He is a drunk to highest the power. There are plenty of alcohol related gags that might puzzle the young ones, but left me chuckling, because alcohol gags are funny to me, so I leave that as a warning to you. The film is rated PG, so if you’re okay with Hugo, then you should be okay with Tintin.

The good news is: everything else! The Adventures of Tintin looks amazing considering it’s another performance capture flick. It’s not creepy looking like the Polar Express, so rest easy on that. Spielberg filmed it with a bit of a noir-ish eye to detail. There are lots of low-lit sequences smothered with danger and mystery that put you there next to Tintin and Snowy. It’s a pretty engrossing film since it’s not typical fluff per-se. The adventure-action scenes also rocked and I found the slapstick stuff easy to handle and I don’t like slapstick that much unless it’s Chaplin, Keaton, or The Three Stooges. I’m picky like that.

I give The Adventures of Tintin a hearty recommendation and hope that when the other films hit theaters that they can come back and raise the score of this first film up a bit.





The Adventures of Tintin is presented in 1080p – 2.40:1 – widescreen. Yeah, it’s ALMOST perfect, but that’s the keyword, right? The bad is that in some scenes there’s occasional aliasing and spots of contrast boosting and haziness. Yes, I am aware of possible environmental conditions like mist and fog, but when it’s inherent to the source, I kind of question if it’s really supposed to be there or not.  Whether it was used for aesthetic choices is open to debate. It’s not intrusive by any means, it just looks like the contrast level has been tinkered with. As for the good, well, that would be everything else. Colors have a wonderful 3D pop to them, and never band, bleed, or pixelate – not even the reds. Black levels are deep, dark, and inky, but the real winner is the grain level. This was shot on digital, but as I was watching the film I thought I was watching an old school 35mm print. It’s superb!




The Adventures of Tintin is presented in DTS-HD MA 7.1. I’ve got three words for ya: DEMO DEMO DEMO! Yep, you read correctly. Tintin rocks the sonics with an amazing soundtrack that will give your home theater an awesome workout. Dialogue is clear and crisp, bullets whiz by from all directions, the LFE channel gets it rumbling without distorting, and the explosions fill the sound field with realism. Honestly, if you take nothing from the film itself, you will be hard pressed to forget the lossless audio track. Fact.




Yeah, there’s only one extra on this Blu-ray and it’s a 90 documentary on the making of The Adventures of Tintin which is broken up into segments focusing on various aspects of the production. It’s nice, but that’s all you get.


  • Journey Inside the world of Tintin




Not anywhere near a masterpiece like Hugo, but a different beast altogether. I would say that The Adventures of Tintin can’t be completely judged on this one film. We’ve still got two films left to tell. I hope that when the next chapters are released that this installment will have a bit more to it or that it gets elevated a bit more The technical specifications are top notch with near reference video and reference audio. The making-of featurette was very interesting, but there should have been more to it, at least from Peter Jackson, because Spielberg doesn’t do commentaries. I have no doubt that when the final boxed set containing all three films is released that it will be stacked to the brim. I do give The Adventures of Tintin a solid recommendation, but it may not be for everyone especially if you’re not familiar with Herge’s Tintin from the book.






Order The Adventures of Tintin on Blu-ray!


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

5 Responses to “The Adventures of Tintin (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Well put Gerard and I agree, the film peaks a bit early, but is still a pretty good delight to watch.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    I enjoyed it, but wish there was more. The tech specs are outstanding, though!

  3. Brian White

    I want to see!
    When does this come out?

  4. Gerard Iribe

    March 13th, Brian.

  5. Gman

    This is the first time I have heard that there will be two more films produced for this comic book icon. That is something good to look forward to. I also liked the 7.1 Surround Sound on the Blu-ray, which I always request from my Blockbuster @Home account. Ever since my employer, DISH, purchased Blockbuster, they kept the Blu-ray and games in the deal, then added streaming, only kept the price at ten bucks a month. That makes it nice for consuming more media in my household, like Tintin, which I LOVED, and so did my kids.