Today, we get our first look at the upcoming 3D CGI mo-cap film, and it’s a little freaky.
The trailer gives us a glimpse at the story, and a brief look at Tintin himself. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is about Tintin and his friends who find a map to spot where a famous treasure ship sank in the ocean. In typical Tintin fashion, they have to go through a bunch of crazy stuff to find what they are looking for.
The trailer shows off a lot of neat CGI stuff, and some pretty talented motion capture.
Also, since it’s fully CGI, the 3d is likely going to be very impressive.
The decision that worries me, and sort-of creeps me out, is that Tintin’s face actually looks like the face of Jamie Bell, the actor chosen to perform Tintin’s motion capture.
In the comics and animations, Tintin is a simplified character. Everyone else in the world is sketched in a quasi-realistic fashion, but Tintin himself is abnormally plain-featured. This lend strength to his everyman symbolism, and probably cuts down on work for the artists.
In this case, however, as we get to see at the end of the trailer, Tintin is getting a real person’s face. Of course his head is still a strange shape, and he looks ridiculous.
Likely it’s just a case of surprise. I’m so used to Tintin being so blank, that seeing a real face where his dull one should be is too much. Perhaps if they hadn’t hid Tintin’s face, and forced me to imagine the comic book Tintin for a full minute before revealing the Bell Tintin, I wouldn’t have let myself be so shocked.
I’ll watch it on repeat for awhile and see if that helps. Every adaptation has some issues like this, of course, and it likely wont be a problem for audience members who haven't spent much time with the Tintin books.
With Speilberg and Jackson at the helm, I do expect greatness, and if it's successfull, I expect Paramount and Nickolodeon to turn this into a franchise.
A release date has not yet been announced.