The Adventures of Tintin

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Adventures of Tintin Movie Poster Image
Whirlwind animated adventure is a visual treat for tweens.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 107 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 44 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 87 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Tintin proves that one person -- a young one at that -- can make a huge difference.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tintin is courageous, industrious, and incredibly smart. Though young, he lives independently, with only Snowy to keep him company. He single-handedly figures out a mystery and is intrepid about discovering the truth. And even in the face of danger, he helps others, like Captain Haddock.

Violence

Quite a bit of action violence, particularly the sequences featuring the pirates. Characters use guns, and there are also explosions, swords, razors, and fires that Tintin, Snowy, and Captain Haddock must try to evade. People are shot, chased, and threatened several times throughout the adventure. Much of the action is portrayed as humorous, especially the scenes with the bumbling inspectors. One secondary character dies by gunshot, and there's a bit of blood.

Sex
Language

One "damned," plus mild exclamations and insults like "dolt," "great snakes," "blooming barnacles," and "poofed up ginger."

Consumerism

The movie is based on the popular Tintin comic books and has spawned many tie-ins, such as a video game and figurines.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Captain Haddock is drunk or drinking through most of the movie; his drink of choice is whisky, and he often slurs his words and acts tipsy. Other characters disapprove, and he eventually reforms. There are also drinks at a fancy reception.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation of Herge's classic Tintin comic books is sure to delight adventure-loving tweens. The action is virtually nonstop and includes swashbuckling pirate violence, explosions, kidnapping, and gun shots. Some of the scenes might be too peril-filled for younger elementary-aged viewers, but kids who like Indiana Jones-style fun will be entertained. Of more concern to some parents may be the fact that one of the main characters is perpetually drunk or looking for his next shot of whisky throughout much of the movie; others disapprove of his behavior, but it's a big part of the film. That aside, with its teen hero and a suspenseful plot full of high-seas intrigue, The Adventures of Tintin is an ideal animated adventure for middle-graders and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygrinned December 22, 2011

Awesome adventure movie, hands down.

My 8 y/o daughter has been a huge Tintin fan for a long time. She has read all the books, seen all the cartoons, and dressed up as Tintin for Halloween. We have... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 9 year old Written byCMmom December 22, 2011

This movie should be rated pg-13

This movie should be rated PG-13. It is violent including the main character being shot at with a machine gun. The other main character is a drunk. Toward the e... Continue reading
Kid, 6 years old December 26, 2011

Terrific movie, and was fine for our younger kids

We run a pretty conservative household, and I took my 4-year old daughter and 6-year old son. Bear in mind we have almost no computer time yet for them and ver... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 23, 2014

Really impressive visuals and great movie

Violence- 3 (Lots of action violence, a man is shot dead with some blood) Drinking, Drugs and Smoking- 3 (Captain Haddock is drunk near;y the whole movie)

What's the story?

Despite his youth, Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) is a renowned investigative reporter whose best friend is his intrepid dog, Snowy. After he buys a replica of a legendary pirate ship called the Unicorn at an outdoor market, Tintin is immediately approached by an aggressive interested buyer named Mr. Sakharine (Daniel Craig). The sinister Sakharine kidnaps Tintin (and stowaway Snowy) and places them aboard a cargo ship, but the duo escapes and frees the captive (and usually drunk) Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) from his mutinous crew. Tintin realizes that Sakharine and his goons are after hidden scrolls that will lead to a sunken treasure buried by Haddock's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. It's a race between Tintin and Haddock and their nemesis to see who can find the final scroll -- and the treasure -- first.

Is it any good?

Director Steven Spielberg's name evokes a level of cinematic genius that in this case might work against the legendary filmmaker. Audiences expecting an epic on the scale of Raiders of the Lost Ark might be slightly disappointed, but such is the problem of combining three Tintin tales into one two-hour movie. There isn't enough time to truly get to know Tintin (although a quick sweep of his European flat explains that he's solved many a mystery that winds up on the cover of international publications). The breakneck speed of the action is dizzying -- and, while not confusing, it's still a lot to take in for moviegoers who don't have the back story of Tintin's fame or reputation.
 

Visually, the animation far surpasses that of previous motion-capture films and is an excellent example of top-notch animated cinematography and artistry. The action sequences -- particularly those on the Unicorn -- are impressively rendered, with bodies swinging and shooting and jumping all over the screen. With his young, peppy voice, Bell hits the right note of optimism and self-confidence as the nervy Tintin. English comedians Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are perfectly cast as the bumbling look-alike Inspectors Thompson and Thomson, and Craig is appropriately evil-sounding as Sakharine and Red Rackham. And Serkis, who wowed critics as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, continues his streak as the world's most renowned motion-capture actor. Adventure-loving tweens and Tintin fans will likely adore this globe-trotting adventure, but the rest might prefer their child heroes a little more thoroughly fleshed out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Adventures of Tintin's action violence. Is all of it necessary to the story? Is it OK for movies aimed at kids to have violence? Parents should remember that even the most family-friendly movies can contain surprisingly scary elements.

  • How does the movie portray drinking? Are there consequences for it? Are they realistic? Is it appropriate for a character in a kids' movie to drink as often as the Captain does?

  • For those familiar with the comic books -- how does the movie compare? Are the characters depicted as you expected from following Tintin's adventures in print?

Movie details

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