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 been looking forward to the movie since the announcement that it was being made almost two years ago. We watched all the trailers, and I became a little bit anxious about the animation style. I'm not really a big fan of the motion capture animation style. My fears about the animation were settled in the first few minutes of the movie, and I thought it was immensely satisfying to see that the very first character with a full frontal shot is none other than Hergé (he used to draw a cameo of himself in a crowd shot in every book).
The movie itself blew all of my expectations out of the water. It was fun, exciting, and a wonderful adventure story. Though it was not a word for word reproduction of the books, it stayed true to the feeling of the stories. It was a lot like watching an Indiana Jones movie, with the style of action involved and the pace, and the fight scenes are well choreographed, and there was nothing overly bloody about any of them. There is one scene where someone gets shot, and there is a small amount of blood on his hand (it's pretty integral to the plot), but it's a cartoon, and it has about the same effect as red paint. This movie is not gory in any sense of the word.
That being said, this is a Tintin movie. Yes, Captain Haddock is drunk most of the time. He loves his Whiskey, just as he did in the books. It is, however, constantly getting him in trouble. My personal opinion is that most kids have seen an adult drink on occasion. I think they get a really positive message from watching Haddock. Although he acts really silly and bumbles around, even kids can tell that he really has a problem. The movie does not glamorize his drinking, and in fact it almost gets them both killed. Personally, I think it's great because it shows them that although drunk people can seem really silly (and let's face it we all knew and laughed at the drunk mice in Looney Toons), his drinking has very serious consequences, because he doesn't make the best decisions. Everyone around him treats him with a mixture of exasperation and pity, which is very real, because although he drinks, he is also a very good person at the core, and it really shines through. Tintin never once drinks a drop, and he helps Haddock through to sobriety. Sounds heavy, but it's a very well handled sub-plot in a fantastic kids movie. Haddock even comes back at the end to deliver a speech to Tintin about not giving up.
To sum up, my daughter is 8 and she LOVED it, my son is 10 and he did as well. They both laughed their booties off, and are very excited to go see it again in IMAX!