The Adventures of Tintin (TV series)
|The Adventures of Tintin|
|Created by||Hergé (characters)|
|Developed by||Stéphane Bernasconi|
|Voices of||(English version)|
|Theme music composer||Ray Parker |
|Country of origin||France|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||39|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael Hirsh|
Clive A. Smith
|Running time||22 minutes (approx. per episode)|
|Production company(s)||Nelvana Limited|
|Original network||FR3/France 3 (France)|
Global Television Network (Canada)
|Original release||October 2, 1991 –|
September 28, 1992
The Adventures of Tintin is a 1991/1992 animated TV show co-produced, written and animated in France by Ellipse Animation and in Canada by Nelvana International, based on The Adventures of Tintin by Belgian comic artist Georges Prosper Remi, more commonly known by his pen name Hergé ([ɛʁʒe]). Thirty-nine half-hour episodes were produced over the course of its three seasons.
The television series was directed by French director Stephen Bernasconi, with Peter Hudecki as the Canadian unit director. Hudecki was the primary director, but could not be credited as such due to co-production restrictions. It was produced by Ellipse (France) and Nelvana (Canada) on behalf of the Hergé Foundation. It was the first television adaptation of Hergé's books since the Belgian animation company Belvision was responsible for Hergé's Adventures of Tintin twenty years earlier. Philippe Goddin, an expert on Hergé and Tintin, acted as a consultant to the producers. The series' writers included: Toby Mullally, Eric Rondeaux, Martin Brossolet, Amelie Aubert, Dennise Fordham, and Alex Boon.
The series used traditional animation techniques and adhered closely to the original books, going so far as to transpose some frames from the original books 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. Each frame of the animation was then printed and recopied onto celluloid, hand painted in gouache, and then laid onto a painted background. The rocket seen in the title sequence is animated using the same 3D techniques.
Artistically, the series chose a constant style, unlike in the books. In the books, the images had been drawn over the course of 47 years, during which Hergé's style developed considerably. However, later televised episodes, such as the "Moon Story" and "Tintin in America", clearly demonstrated the artists' development during the course of the production of the television series. The series' original production language was English, but all visuals (road signs, posters, and settings) remained in French.
Changes from the books
Certain aspects of the stories posed difficulties for the producers, who had to adapt features of the books for a younger audience. Nevertheless, this series was far more faithful to the books than the earlier Hergé's Adventures of Tintin, which was made from 1959 to 1963.
Some examples of these changes included toning down the high amount of violence, death, and the use of firearms in many adventures. Tintin's role was slightly downplayed and he scolded his dog Snowy less often than he did in the books. Twice in the series, Tintin is portrayed as knowing various characters already (Thomson and Thompson and Allan in "Cigars of the Pharaoh" and Piotr Skut in "The Red Sea Sharks"), when it was the first time they had met in the book version. On these occasions Tintin had already interacted with these characters in the TV series, as stories were shown in a sequence different from the books.
Haddock's penchant for whiskey posed a problem for audience sensitivities. While the original books did not promote alcohol, they featured it heavily, with much humor based around it and the results of drinking. In many countries where the producers hoped to sell the series, alcoholism was a sensitive issue. Therefore, international versions of the series had some alterations. Specifically, Haddock is often seen drinking, but not as heavily as in the books. "The Crab with the Golden Claws" is the only adventure where Haddock's drunken state is not downplayed. In "Tintin in Tibet", Haddock is seen taking a sip from a whiskey flask in order to set up a scene in which Snowy is tempted to lap up some spilled whiskey and subsequently falls over a cliff. In "Tintin and the Picaros", Haddock is the only person taking wine with dinner, foreshadowing the use of Calculus' tablets to cure the drunken Picaros. Haddock is also seen drinking in "The Calculus Affair" and in "Explorers on the Moon", setting up the scene where he leaves the rocket in a drunken state. Despite of this, he keeps the bottle in the refrigerator (instead of hiding it in an astronomy book, like he did in the book), making it less obvious for young viewers that it is alcohol.
Tintin in America, The Shooting Star and Red Rackham's Treasure are the only stories to be told in one part instead of two. In the second part of the stories, Tintin narrates some of the events of the first part at the beginning.
Throughout the books, Snowy is frequently seen to be "talking". It is understood that his voice is only heard through the "fourth wall", but this verbal commentary is completely absent in the television series.
Stories not adapted
Three of the Tintin books were not included in the animated series. These were the first two Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (due to its unflattering portrayal of Russians) and Tintin in the Congo (due to issues around animal abuse and its racist colonial attitude towards the native Congolese) and the final Tintin and Alph-Art (due to it being incomplete).
The underscore music and the main title theme for the series were written by composers Ray Parker and Tom Szczesniak. The music was recorded by engineer James Morgan. Excerpts from the score were released by Lé Studio Ellipse on CD and cassette in conjunction with Universal Music Group, on the StudioCanal label. It is now out of print in both formats.
Hergé's cameo appearances
Hergé, the creator of Tintin, makes a number of Hitchcock-like cameo appearances in the cartoon series—as he often did in the original books. Most of the time he is just a passing figure in the street, such as when he is checking his watch in The Blue Lotus or a reporter (The Broken Ear) or a technician (Explorers on the Moon). These brief appearances, however, are not sporadic as he is featured in all of the TV episodes. His letter box can even be seen next to Tintin's in The Crab with the Golden Claws. Other cameos are less flattering: he is a gangster in Tintin in America and an inmate at the lunatic asylum in Cigars of the Pharaoh, along with his fellow artist and collaborator Edgar P. Jacobs.
- Colin O'Meara – Tintin, Aurora radio operator, Harbour Master, Lieutenant Kavitch
- Susan Roman – Snowy
- David Fox – Captain Haddock, Sir Francis Haddock
- Wayne Robson – Professor Cuthbert Calculus
- Dan Hennessey – Thomson
- John Stocker – Thompson
- Maureen Forrester – Bianca Castafiore
- Vernon Chapman - Nestor
- Yank Azman – additional voices
- Paul Haddad – additional voices
- Don Francks - additional voices
- Marvin Ishmael - additional voices
- Keith Knight – Gustav Bird
- Graham Halley – additional voices
- Denis Akiyama – Mitsuhirato, Bunji Kuraki, Tharkey
- Ho Chow – Mr. Lee, Cheng Li-Kin
- Peter Meech – Radio Announcer
- Chris Wiggins – Wang Chen-Yee
- Peter Wildman – Hector and Alfred Alembick
- Harvey Atkin - Mohammed Emir Ben Kalish Ezab
- Thierry Wermuth – Tintin
- Susan Roman – Milou
- Christian Pelissier – Capitaine Haddock
- Henri Labussiere – Professeur Tournesol
- Yves Barsacq – Détective Dupont
- Jean-Pierre Moulin – Détective Dupond
- Lutz Schnell – Tim
- Ben Hecker – Kapitän Haddock
- Manfred Steffen – Professor Bienlein
- Henry Kielmann – Schulz und Schultze
- Marek Harloff – Tschang Tschong-Jen
- Klaus Dittmann – Rastapopoulos
- Helgo Liebig – Dr. Müller
- Hans Sievers – General Alcazar
- Annemarie Kielmann – Bianca Castafiore
- Michael Pas – Kuifje
- Luk De Koninck – Kapitein Haddock
- Bert Struys – Professor Zonnebloem
- David Davidse – Jansen
- Paul Codde – Janssen
- Stefano Onofri – Tintin
- Giorgio Gusso – Haddock
- Giorgio Lopez – Girasole
- Isa Di Marzio - Bianca Castafiore
- Juan d'Ors – Tintín
- José Ángel Juanes – Capitán Haddock
- Eduardo Moreno – Professor Silvestre Tornasol
- Francisco Andrés Valdivia – Hernández
- Miguel Ángel Varela – Fernández
- María Romero – Bianca Castafiore
- Raquel Cubillo – Bianca Castafiore (when singing)
- Pedro Sempson – Néstor
- Ángel Amorós – General Alcázar
- Oberdan Júnior - Tintim
- Isaac Bardavid - Capitão Haddock
- Orlando Drummond Cardoso - Professor Trifólio Girassol
- Darcy Pedrosa - Dupont
- Márcio Simões, after Luiz Feier Motta (4 last episodes) - Dupond
- Elza Martins, after Geisa Vidal - Bianca Castafiore
- Søren Sætter-Lassen - Tintin
- Kjeld Nørgaard - Kaptajn Haddock
- Henrik Koefoed - Professor Tournesol
- Lars Thiesgaard - Dupont / Dupond
- Kjeld Nørgaard - Rastapopoulus
- Vibeke Dueholm - Bianca Castafiore
- Kjeld Nørgaard - Dr. J.W. Müller
- Mats Qviström - Tintin
- Kenneth Milldoff - Kapten Haddock, Rastapopolus, General Alcazar, Jorgen
- Håkan Mohede - Dupont, Dupond, Nestor, Zorrino
- Dan Bratt - Professor Calcus, Tchang
- Anja Schmidt - Bianca Castafiore
- Jarkko Tamminen - Tintti
- Pekka Lehtosaari - Kapteeni Haddock, Allan (some episodes), Roberto Rastapopoulos (some episodes), J. W. Müller (one episode), eversti Sponsz (one episode), additional voices
- Veikko Honkanen - Dupont, Dupond, Dawson (one episode), Lazslo Carreidas, additional voices
- Antti Pääkkönen - Professori Tuhatkauno (Calcus), Allan (some episodes), Oliveira da Figueira, Mitsuhirato, Ben Kalish Ezab (one episode), Dawson (one episode), Mik Esdanitov, kenraali Tapioca, additional voices
- Rauno Ahonen - Roberto Rastapopoulos (some episodes), Frank Wolff, Ben Kalish Ezab (one episode), additional voices
- Jukka Rasila - J. W. Müller (two episodes), Bobby Smiles, tohtori Krospell, additional voices
- Johanna Matila - Bianca Castafiore, additional voices
- Teuvo Matala - kenraali Alcazar, Pjotr Pahk, Tsang Tsong-Jen (one episode), additional voices
- Ralf Öhberg - Nestor, additional voices
- Kari Tamminen - eversti Jorgen, eversti Sponsz (one episode), additional voices
- Oskari Tamminen - Zorrino, additional voices
- Annamari Metsävainio - additional voices
- Åsleik Engmark - Tintin
- Harald Mæle - Kaptein Haddock
- Helge Winther-Larsen - Dupond og Dupont, Herbert Dawes
- Trond Brænne - Professor Tournesol, Allan (episode 3), Radio host
- Hallvard Lydvo - Rastapopolous, Bunji Kuraki, Allan (Episode 1-2)
- Inger Teien - Bianca Castiafore
Running order of the TV series as per original broadcast schedule.
- "The Crab with the Golden Claws": Part 1
- "The Crab with the Golden Claws": Part 2
- "The Secret of the Unicorn": Part 1
- "The Secret of the Unicorn": Part 2
- "Red Rackham's Treasure"
- "Cigars of the Pharaoh": Part 1
- "Cigars of the Pharaoh": Part 2
- "The Blue Lotus": Part 1
- "The Blue Lotus": Part 2
- "The Black Island": Part 1
- "The Black Island": Part 2
- "The Calculus Affair": Part 1
- "The Calculus Affair": Part 2
- "The Shooting Star"
- "The Broken Ear": Part 1
- "The Broken Ear": Part 2
- "King Ottokar's Sceptre": Part 1
- "King Ottokar's Sceptre": Part 2
- "Tintin in Tibet": Part 1
- "Tintin in Tibet": Part 2
- "Tintin and the Picaros": Part 1
- "Tintin and the Picaros": Part 2
- "Land of Black Gold": Part 1
- "Land of Black Gold": Part 2
- "Flight 714": Part 1
- "Flight 714": Part 2
- "The Red Sea Sharks": Part 1
- "The Red Sea Sharks": Part 2
- "The Seven Crystal Balls": Part 1
- "The Seven Crystal Balls": Part 2
- "Prisoners of the Sun": Part 1
- "Prisoners of the Sun": Part 2
- "The Castafiore Emerald": Part 1
- "The Castafiore Emerald": Part 2
- "Destination Moon": Part 1
- "Destination Moon": Part 2
- "Explorers on the Moon": Part 1
- "Explorers on the Moon": Part 2
- "Tintin in America"
Along with fans, critics have praised the series for being "generally faithful" to the originals, with compositions having been actually taken directly from the panels in the original comic books.
- List of French animated television series
- The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
- Blake and Mortimer
- Elsworth, Peter C. T. (24 December 1991). "Tintin Searches for a U.S. Audience". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 428–429. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- "Popular Belgian comic-strip character 'Tintin' to get mega-boost on U.S. cable TV". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 851–852. ISBN 978-1476665993.
- "Hergé's cameo appearances". Tintinologist.org. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- Lofficier & Lofficier 2002, p. 90. sfn error: no target: CITEREFLofficierLofficier2002 (help)