DVD Review: The Adventures of Tintin (Season Three)

Viewers were promised three big screen CGI adaptations of Tintin by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. The first film did extremely well at the box office so fans thought the next two would hit the theaters in short order. This plan was derailed when Peter Jackson announced he needed to direct his three Hobbit movies first. How is a fan of Tintin supposed to get more of the series without resorting to reading the original comic books? Turns out that The Adventures of Tintin were adapted to a traditional animation series back in the early ’90s. The show ran on HBO and covered a majority of the original comics created by Herge. Unlike the CGI movie, the animated series is rather faithful to the original adventures and the artwork. The Adventures of Tintin: Season Three contains the final 13 episodes about a cub reporter and his pup.

“The Red Sea Sharks” bites into the world of human trafficking. Tintin travels to the Arabic country of Khemed with Captain Haddock. They encounter their old enemy Rastapopoulos plotting to overthrow the Emir. Can they stop all the evil schemes? Seven explorers to the tomb of the Inca, Rascar Capac meet an untimely death in “The Seven Crystal Balls.” Each body is found with a broken crystal ball nearby. Tintin looks for the killer with the help of Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus. All three of them have the same dream of a mummy. This leads them to South America for “Prisoners of the Sun.” They get the answers to the mummy and broken crystal balls as they hunt for Rascar Capac’s tomb.

“The Castafiore Emerald” isn’t a globetrotting adventure. Captain Haddock is rumored to be the future husband of the world famous opera star. The only problem is that he can’t stand her. “Destination Moon” puts Professor Calculus in charge of making a rocket. Tintin, Captain Haddock and Snowy have a shot of being blasted into space. Enemies want to prevent the flight and Haddock isn’t happy about trip either. “Explorers on the Moon” puts the group on the lunar surface. Snowy has his own spacesuit. Taken in one sitting, the four moon episodes play like a complete movie.

“Tintin in America” is the most controversial of the adventures since it dares to show how Tintin took on Al Capone. The reporter and his dog arrive in Chicago to do a series of reports on how gangsters have taken over chicago. Scarface doesn’t like a snooping European reporter on his turf. He orders the kid and his dog rubbed out by his goons. At no point during this adventure does Eliot Ness and his Untouchables bail him out. The comic started running in 1931 when Capone had just been busted by Ness. The American version of the comic book wasn’t released until 1973. Probably to make sure Capone didn’t have Herge rubbed out. The episode cuts out the subplot about an Indian tribe and oil on their land to focus on gangsters.

The Adventures of Tintin: Season Three wraps up an exciting animated series that brings the proper pacing and tone to Herge’s original comics. Why didn’t they animate the three Tintin comics to finish off all 24 titles available at bookstores? Tintin in the Land of the Soviets was an anti-communist piece that Herge didn’t like. Tintin in the Congo is noted for being racist in the depiction of the locals. Tintin and Alph-Art was left unfinished after Herge died in 1983. The 21 comic books brought to motion were the one that truly mattered. Now you can watch them all several times as you wait for Peter Jackson to announce a release date for his Tintin sequel.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The animation looks fine for its age. The characters and background resemble what’s found in the comic books. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. There’s also a Spanish dub track. The episodes are Closed Captioned.

There are no bonus features.

The Adventures of Tintin: Season Three wraps up a great animated series. The 13 episodes take Tintin and Snowy to Chicago, Inca Tombs and the Moon. This is the best way to enjoy the comic book character while you wait for Peter Jackson to find time to make the next movie.

Shout! Factory presents The Adventures of Tintin: Season Three. Starring: Colin O’Meara, David Fox, Wayne Robson and Susan Roman. Boxset Contents: 13 episodes on 2 DVDs. Released: August 21, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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