A man and his dog can take on the world. Herge brings this idea to life in his stories of Tintin, which have been popularized throughout the world. Now, season one of the animated series is presented on DVD for all enjoyment.
The Adventures of Tintin follow the story of a young reporter and his intrepid friends as they go on various escapades together. In the series, the major character is Tintin, who acts as the upright example in these works. He seems to be honorable, if a bit bland, and focuses on his intelligence to show what an intrepid person can do when he puts his mind to it. He seems to be brilliant, knowing many skills and languages that are impressive in themselves. This is added to impressive physical abilities, such as fighting, to make Tintin to seem like a superhero. Throughout his adventures, Tintin is joined by a variety of friends. Snowy, his white fox terrier, is his constant companion on all of his adventures. In The Adventures of Tintin, Snowy acts as both the rescuer and the comic relief. He is loyal to a fault, constantly coming to the aid, or following Tintin when he is captured; which not surprisingly happens a lot. Usually, Snowy is the one who gets Tintin out of the predicament, and lets him solve the crime. Snowy exemplifies a lot of intelligence, understanding human speech and reactions quite well, while providing a bit of the humor that is missing from Tintin.
In The Adventures of Tintin, there are also a vast majority of recurring characters that deserve a mention. Firstly, is Captain Haddock. He provides another type of comic relief throughout the adventures. Haddock is a surly, morose sailor, who ends up getting animated about the most random of things. Throughout the season, Haddock provides a more worldly, sarcastic outlook that is quite missing from the more uptight Tintin. Another recurring character in The Adventures of Tintin, is Professor Calculus. He is an inventor, who is hard of hearing and easily distracted. Through the professor's misinterpretations of conversations and lack of street smarts, there adds another level of humor to the escapades. In the episodes where the professor is present, he is usually bumbling around while creating little quips that can't help but elicit a laugh. The last two notable characters, are the Thompson and Thomson twins. These men are bumbling detectives, who constantly end up making fools of themselves on the cases. Also, they provide the slapstick element that is necessary in livening the mood in a number of situations.
Season one of The Adventures of Tintin is set in time long past. This being said, it creates a nostalgia that is missing from many of the older comics or shows. Tintin and his friends go on many undertakings throughout the series, and in these travels usually come into contact with historical entities. For example, in one part of the episode entitled Crab with the Golden Claws, Tintin and Captain Haddock are stranded in the desert of the middle east where they come across a British man who is in charge of the military camp. While this does date the show, and takes the risk of losing a number of the younger viewers, it is also a way of showing history and keeping these facts alive. This means that even though The Adventures of Tintin are not as likely to be considered current by many people; the historical aspects and implications of this series creates a timelessness for it. After watching some of the episodes I wanted to do research to understand the history presented in the cartoon, such as the example of Tintin talking about the Japanese invading China to keep peace after something horrid occurs.
In this season of The Adventures of Tintin there are 13 episodes of Tintin adventures. Many of these episodes are two-part sagas that span over two “sections of time. While on television, this creates a bit of an annoyance, the DVD allows the amazing depth of the plots to come out. Many of the episodes build upon one another, bringing in recurring characters or ideas. This creates a better sense of depth and connectivity than is usually present in cartoons.
While these in depth multi-episode story lines are appreciated, the recaps and opening scenes get to be a bit monotonous. There is no option in the menu to remove these scenes, as is common in a number of other shows. However, that is a minor criticism that is easily overlooked with the use of a fast forward button, yet shows the apparent laziness of the reviewer. That being said, the rest of the menu and technical features in The Adventures of Tintin are easily navigable and well designed. The presentation of the menus were crisp, clean and more than expected for a twenty year old show. Unfortunately, since the show is so old, there is not much the producers could do when converting it to DVD. While there is no graininess in the scenes, there are sometimes slight discolorations in a number of the pictures. This is also common in a number of scenes, such at Thompson and Thomson bumping heads, being reused. Issues such as this, along with the basic style of animation in the series, do not detract from the entertainment value of The Adventures of Tintin.
The major problem, or detraction, in The Adventures of Tintin comes in the special features. This is evident in the fact that there are none. The only items present on The Adventures of Tintin season one are the the episodes in season one. With a little effort, there are many options that could have existed in the realm of special features that would have truly made this DVD collection shine. Without the inclusion of any features, it makes the DVD feel like it is missing something to be complete.
After watching The Adventures of Tintin season one, there is a lot of beneficial things that could be said about the show. Firstly, it is entertaining while being intuitive, and a bit pro-educational. This show hearkens back to a long gone era, reviving it and bringing new vibrancy to it. I would recommend it to people who love history, cartoons or just a good time. It is not rated, but that is because it is a children's cartoon show, and unlike some others, there is really no worry of inappropriate suggestions being made. That being said, there is still enough intelligence and wit to make The Adventures of Tintin enjoyable for a more aged and mature audience.