Tintin the Monstrous

Lainey Posted by Lainey at May 18, 2011 08:31:43 May 18, 2011 08:31:43

Written by Sarah

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me talking about the 3D nightmare mo-cap monsters of The Adventures of Tintin, the adaptation of the mid-century Herge comics (does anyone even know who/what Tintin is these days, and do they really care if they do?) being brought to “life” on film by directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson (they co-directed via video conferencing because that’s totally not going to backfire). I say “life” because while the point of motion-capture animation is to render photo-realistic cartoons, what mo-cap actually does is suck the soul out of a person and leave him a cold, empty shell, devoid of all humanity and free will.

When the robots rise against us and starting harvesting our organs for energy, we’re going to look like mo-cap monsters.

The visuals in the first Tintin trailer are stunning. They really are. Mo-cap has come a long way in the last decade. It’s beautiful to look at…until you get a clear shot of Tintin’s dead, soulless eyes. Mo-cap can do a lot of things, most notably realize humanoid movement in non-human entities, like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. What mo-cap can’t do, still, is create a non-terrifying human being. Show me a mo-cap “actor” and I will show you a creature that needs to be killed with fire till it’s dead.

I question the point of a Tintin movie on several levels. I think modern audiences are too cynical for the kind of whimsical adventures Tintin and his dog, Milou, share. I’m not convinced there’s a significant body of people demanding a Tintin movie (at least in America—there’s a good chance this performs well overseas). I certainly don’t think Tintin: Monsters in Fantasyland with Ships and Stuff will justify its eleventy-billion dollar budget. Also, I hate 3D. It serves no purpose. I have yet to see a movie that incorporates 3D in a way that makes it integral to the narrative and not just a visual gimmick that distracts from what is a likely and otherwise sh*t movie (I’m looking at you, Tron: Legacy).

Tintin: The Movie Nobody Asked For is bringing its mo-cap monsters and 3D nightmarescape to theaters just in time for the holidays. So bring your family to the theater for a good old fashioned fright fest starring What Jamie Bell Would Look Like If He Sacrificed His Soul And Was Doomed To Wander The Earth For All Time.


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