Tintin: The Prisoners of the Sun

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Tintin: The Prisoners of the Sun Movie Poster Image
Another exciting Tintin tale, but some dated stereotyping.
  • NR
  • 1969
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While an exciting slice of 1960's animated adventure, there isn't much in the way of positive messages, and some questionable (and definitely dated) portrayals of indigenous people.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tintin bravely and heroically faces down every challenge that comes his way, but he's a fairly flat character.


Lots of '60s cartoonish violence. A car swerves out of control and crashes after its driver is hit with a crystal bullet filled with a strong sleeping potion. Characters jump off ships and bridges from high altitudes. Characters shoot guns; the bad guys wield rifles, spears, and knives. Tintin falls from a rope tied across two cliffs into raging rapids, and he even gets in a fight with a condor. Characters fall down mountains, and contend with avalanches. Bad guys are hit in the head with the butt of a rifle.


Captain Haddock is fond of saying "Blistering barnacles!" but that's as wild as it gets.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Captain Haddock drinks from a flask and mentions his love of drink on several occasions. When the Captain is found frozen in the snow, the others warm him up with the alcoholic drink Pisco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tintin: The Prisoners of the Sun is a fun adventure, but includes some dated elements, including stereotypical depictions of indigenous people. Also, the gags revolving around Captain Haddock's boozing habits feel dated and problematic. Besides this, there is cartoonish violence throughout -- fighting with rifles, knives, and fists, and falling from cliffs, mountains, and ships. Still, like the other Tintin adventures, the twisting and engaging storyline is still quite enjoyable, four decades later.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybigmoviefan2020 November 25, 2020

Darker film is yet better than the 1st film

PG-13: intense violence and drug maturity usgaes
Parent of an infant and 1-year-old Written byMommaOfTwoo November 20, 2012

Tin again!

Some cartoon violence, and depictions of alcohol use. I find all of the Tin Tin movies to be enjoyable even now!

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What's the story?

Tintin, the Thompsons, Captain Haddock, and Snowy must go to Peru, where Professor Calculus and other professors have been taken prisoner. They try to rescue him from a ship, but learn that he is in the "Temple of the Sun," where he is to be executed for wearing an Incan artifact as a bracelet. It is up to Tintin and his friends to find the Temple of the Sun, and endure a series of battles with the weather, the mountains, crocodiles, and a condor, before the final battle and the last chance to save Calculus and the other professors from seemingly certain doom.

Is it any good?

TINTIN: THE PRISONERS OF THE SUN is a fun installment of the popular animated series and the classic Herge children's books. That is, as long as you can somehow overlook some of the more egregious stereotyping going on with the Incans. In terms of both animation quality and storytelling, this is firmly rooted in the mid-20th century, and if you can enjoy that on its own terms, it's quite enjoyable.

The trials and tribulations Tintin and his friends must endure in order to rescue Professor Calculus are unrelenting. And like most animation from that time, the fact that none of it is particularly realistic makes it that much more enjoyable. We know Tintin -- like James Bond -- is going to get out of these seemingly inescapable scrapes -- but how he does it is where the entertainment lies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about when this movie was made. How does this 1969 movie compare to animated stories from today?

  • What do you think is the general appeal of Tintin, all these years later?

  • How are Incans portrayed in this movie? What stereotypes of indigenous people are depicted here? How have the way certain people are portrayed changed over time?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love book characters

Themes & Topics

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