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The Adventures of Tintin

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The Adventures of Tintin (TV series)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin title screen
Format Animated series
Run time approx. 0:25 per episode
Creator Herg辿 (characters)
Starring Colin O'Meara
David Fox
Wayne Robson
John Stocker
Dan Hennessey
Susan Roman
Country USA
Network HBO
Original run 1991��992
No. of episodes 39

The Adventures of Tintin is an animated television series based on the Tintin series of books by Herg辿. It d辿buted in 1990, and 39 half-hour episodes were produced over the course of three seasons.


The series was directed by St辿phane Bernasconi, and produced by Ellipse (France), and Nelvana (Canada), on behalf of La Foundation Herg辿. It was the first television adaptation of Herg辿's books for over twenty years (previously, the Belgian animation company Belvision had been responsible for their remarkably loose adaptations). It was essential from the start to produce a series that was faithful to Herg辿's work, and so Philippe Goddin, an eminent expert in Herg辿 and Tintin acted as consultant to the producers. Writers for the series included Toby Mullally, Eric Rondeaux, Martin Brossolet, Amelie Aubert, Denise Fordham and Alex Boon.

The Moon rocket from Explorers on the Moon, animated using 3D techniques
The Moon rocket from Explorers on the Moon, animated using 3D techniques

Traditional animation techniques were used on the series. The books were closely adhered to during all stages of production, with some frames from the original albums being transposed directly to screen. In the episodes Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon, 3D animation was used for the Moon rocket - an unusual step in 1989. The rocket was animated in 3D, each frame of the animation was then printed and recopied onto celluloid and hand painted in gouache, and laid onto a painted background. The rocket seen in the title sequence is animated using 3D techniques.

Artistically, the series chose a 'constant' look, unlike the books (drawn over a course of 47 years, Herg辿's style developed throughout from early works like The Blue Lotus and later ones such as Tintin and the Picaros). However, later televised episodes such as the Moon story and Tintin in America clearly demonstrate the artists' development during the course of the series. The quality of animation is good, yet it should be remembered that the series is over ten years old and produced on a television budget.

Interestingly, considering the origins of the original books, the series was filmed in English, with the animation timed to fit the English soundtrack. This has raised comments from many French speaking viewers who find the French voices seem 'rushed' to fit the English timing. Purists have also complained that French should have been the first language due to Herg辿's books having been written in French. They should be pleased, however, that all visuals (road signs, posters and settings) remain in French and with French wordage.

The series is generally seen by fans as being a faithful adaptation of Herg辿's books. The changes that occurred have been accepted due to the potential audience, and in some cases (most notably Tintin in America) have improved on some aspects of the original books. Some feel uncomfortable with the Canadian accent given to Tintin, but it is a small quibble for what results in a highly faithful, enjoyable adaptation of Tintin's adventures which introduced many fans to the original books, as did the Belvision episodes generations earlier.

Changes from the comics

Inevitably, certain areas of the stories posed difficulties for the producers, who had to adapt features of the books to a more modern audience. The most obvious change was that the books Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo and Tintin and Alph-Art were not adapted at all. Whilst Soviets and Alph-Art were left for obvious reasons, Congo is a part of the French canon, but due to its unavailability in English and questionable content was dropped from the series.

Smaller changes were made due to the necessity for simplification or audience requirements. In The Calculus Affair, the Syldavian group who tries to snatch Calculus from the Bordurians in the original book is removed for simplicity.
Screenshot from Tintin in America showing a scene not in the original book
Screenshot from Tintin in America showing a scene not in the original book

For audience sensitivities, Haddock's penchant for whisky posed a problem. Whilst the original books did not promote alcohol, they featured it heavily, with much humour based around it and the results of drinking, whilst in many countries where the producers hoped to sell the series, alcohol is frowned upon. Therefore, international versions of the series make some alterations (including Haddock drinking lemonade in Explorers on the Moon, and his drunken state being caused by 'space sickness'!). In The Red Sea Sharks, the original book dealt with the topic of modern slavery, but in the television episode was centred around illegal immigration.

Tintin in America was the most altered episode, amounting to almost a completely new story. The Native American aspect was completely removed, and the gangster element given the main focus. Bobby Smiles, in the book the head of a rival gang to Al Capone becomes an 'employee' of Capone's in the televised episode. Artistically, the episode was produced to the same standard as the others, with backgrounds having greater detail and more interestingly filmed shots.


The score for the series was composed by Ray Parker, Jim Morgan and Tom Szczesniak. It is generally regarded as being an excellent score, fitting with the series well and providing enjoyable listening in its own right. Excerpts from the score were released by Ellipse on CD and cassette in conjunction with Universal, on the StudioCanal label. It is no longer available.

Broadcasts and releases
Region 1 DVD release
Region 1 DVD release

In the UK, the series originally aired on Channel Four on terrestrial television, and Family Channel, a Canadian channel available through the original Sky system. It was later broadcast on Sky One until the series was purchased by five. It has since been shown in its complete run a couple of times, leading to screenings of the Belvision Tintin films.

The full series has been available three times on video, with individual episodes released by Lumiere in 1994 and Mollin Video in 2000, whilst Anchor Bay released a series of five videos, containing four episodes on each (and five on the last one) in 2002-2003. The series has also been released twice on DVD by Anchor Bay, as an exclusive 5-disc R2 release for HMV and a general 10-disc release, both with soundtracks in English, French and Spanish, but unfortunately no subtitles or extra features. The 10-disc set is in the canonical order, although the limited edition 5-disc set places The Blue Lotus first (presumably from looking at the back of one of the books).
Region 2 DVD release
Region 2 DVD release

In France, the full series has been available for years on video, produced by Citel, and recently on DVD, with two episodes on each, released by the same company. A full set was issued in a wooden box, but recently UK imports have become the most popular due to the price and the convenience. The French DVD releases featured subtitles in five languages. Recently the series was issued as a partwork by �ditions Atlas in France, with an accompanying booklet featuring information about the episode and behind-the-scenes artwork.

In Canada, episodes of the series have been released on Region 1 DVD, with French and English language tracks with subtitles. Each DVD contains two episodes, and a boxed-set has been released containing the first five volumes. The second set is planned for release in September 2005. For some unknown reason, Tintin in America is not planned for release, although this may change before the second boxed-set is produced. The episodes have no specific order on the discs.

In North America, the series aired on HBO. A special limited edition of Ellipse-Nelvana's The Adventures of Tintin TV cartoon series with 21 full-length episodes in 7 volumes were scheduled for release on VHS and DVD in North America by Universal Studios Home Video around 2006.

The series is currently aired globally in over fifty countries.

Voice artists


* Colin O'Meara - Tintin
* Susan Roman - Snowy
* David Fox - Captain Haddock
* Wayne Robson - Professor Calculus
* Dan Hennessey - Detective Thomson
* John Stocker - Detective Thompson
* Vernon Chapman - Nestor
* Maureen Forrester - Bianca Castafiore
* Peter Meech - Radio Announcer


* Thierry Wermuth - Tintin
* Susan Roman - Milou
* Christian Pelissier - Capitaine Haddock
* Henri Labussiere - Professeur Tournesol
* Yves Barsacq - D辿tective Dupont
* Jean-Pierre Moulin - D辿tective Dupond


Season 1

1. The Crab with the Golden Claws (part one)
2. The Crab with the Golden Claws (part two)
3. The Secret of the Unicorn (part one)
4. The Secret of the Unicorn (part two)
5. Red Rackham's Treasure
6. Cigars of the Pharaoh (part one)
7. Cigars of the Pharaoh (part two)
8. The Blue Lotus (part one)
9. The Blue Lotus (part two)
10. The Black Island (part one)
11. The Black Island (part two)
12. The Calculus Affair (part one)
13. The Calculus Affair (part two)

Season 2

1. The Shooting Star
2. The Broken Ear (part one)
3. The Broken Ear (part two)
4. King Ottokar's Sceptre (part one)
5. King Ottokar's Sceptre (part two)
6. Tintin in Tibet (part one)
7. Tintin in Tibet (part two)
8. Tintin and the Picaros (part one)
9. Tintin and the Picaros (part two)
10. Land of Black Gold (part one)
11. Land of Black Gold (part two)
12. Flight 714 (part one)
13. Flight 714 (part two)

Season 3

1. The Red Sea Sharks (part one)
2. The Red Sea Sharks (part two)
3. The Seven Crystal Balls (part one)
4. The Seven Crystal Balls (part two)
5. Prisoners of the Sun (part one)
6. Prisoners of the Sun (part two)
7. The Castafiore Emerald (part one)
8. The Castafiore Emerald (part two)
9. Destination Moon (part one)
10. Destination Moon (part two)
11. Explorers on the Moon (part one)
12. Explorers on the Moon (part two)
13. Tintin in America


* Les Aventures de Tintin en DVD (2003) : issues 1,2,5,6
* The Adventures of Tintin - 5-disc DVD set (2003)
* Lofficer, Jean-Marc & Randy (2002) The Pocket Essential Tintin - ISBN 190404817X

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:
The Adventures of Tintin (TV series)

External links

* The Adventures of Tintin at the Internet Movie Database
* Theme from The Adventures of Tintin (WAV file)


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