Tintin in America

December 21, 2011 at 10:00 am


I’ve been a fan since I found Tintin as a child in my local library in Noblesville, IN. I used to check them out over and over again, and I can still remember the torn pages of a book that’s been on the shelf way too long. I’ve been able to pass on the joy of reading Tintin to my 7 year old – who loves the adventure, laughs at the well timed slapstick humor – and mimics the Captain’s endearing outbursts.

And now, after being dubbed “The Mickey Mouse of Europe” he’s coming to America in a big way. Armed with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson – he’s in 3D and in a movie theater near you starting this week.

To begin, if you’re not a fan – he started in Belgium back in 1929. Hergé, the man behind Tintin has quite a story, and has multiple documentaries surrounding his life. But unlike someone like Walt Disney, he was content with creating new adventures (24 1/2 in all) – and never branched out into theme parks, toys, etc… Although now the estate has a museum, product line, and a large assortment of high-end collectibles (which I have many of – and are just now available on amazon!).

I even have had friends bring me back Tintin in different languages – which there are 88 in all…

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With his American debut, we get video games – Console, PC and Mobile. And some collectables, with tie-ins at World Market, Gowalla, and new movie tie-in books at places like Barnes & Noble.

The games are actually really good, which can’t always be said for movie tie-ins. My 7 year old played through the Xbox game, and we’re now working on the secondary co-op campaigns. The game has a mix of genres – some platforming, free-roaming, climbing, flying, driving, and sword fighting (my son’s favorite). Even my two year old enjoyed watching him play.

The iOS version is the same story from the movie and Xbox game, but totally different play, and again my son loved it and played it all the way through. It was another one of those “wow, can’t believe this is on an iPad” kind of games, it looks great.

The movie has been out now for months in Europe, debuting in Belgium – and so far, before opening in the U.S. has made over $230 million. But will American viewers go? I hope so. There is something about the books, and I now see it in my 7 year old. The adventure, the characters, the humor… It’s just that perfect mix that most people can’t get right.

If you want to learn a litte more neatorama has a good post up today that goes into some detail around the history of tintin.

Even if you haven’t read a single book in the series, the movie won’t really spoil anything – this is a combination of a couple books, but has the first meeting of Tintin and the Captain – which make for a good pairing.

So, order a book. Play the game. Go see the movie. It’s sure to be a grand adventure. And while my son enjoys Tintin on our iPad, we’ll be enjoying it together this week in IMAX 3D, who would have thought?