The World Of Tintin

World traveler; boy wonder; Tintin hits theaters next week in Steven Spielberg’s big production. We’ll crack open the classic Adventures of Tintin.

(c) Hergé/Moulinsart 2011

(c) Hergé/Moulinsart 2011

If you wanted quick adventure in 1930s Belgium or France – and soon, around the world – there was nothing better than boy hero, boy reporter, world traveler, mystery solver Tintin.  His thick comic book adventures – with his funny tuft of hair, his little dog Snowy, Captain Haddock and “blue, blistering barnacles” – took a wide-eyed generation under the sea, to the moon, to Tibet.

Steven Spielberg bought the film rights way back in Indiana Jones days.  Next week, the film arrives.

This hour  On Point:  the story behind the story of the amazing, intrepid Tintin.

-Tom Ashbrook


Michael Farr,  Tintinologist and author of Tintin: The Complete Companion.

Robert Guichard, Franco-American childhood fan of Tintin.


Tintin Trailer

From Tom’s Reading List

L.A. Times “”The Adventures of Tintin,” which Spielberg directed and Jackson produced, is stretching the very definition of animation. The story of a boy adventurer created by the Belgian artist Hergé, “Tintin” makes the leap to the big screen via motion capture, with Jamie Bell as Tintin and Andy Serkis as his sidekick Capt. Haddock. Snowy, Tintin’s canine companion, is a wholly animated character.”

Smithsonian “For many Americans—young and old—the appearance of the Belgian comic book hero on the silver screen will be a first encounter because Tintin never caught fire in the U.S. the way he did everywhere else. Since his adventures first appeared in a Belgian newspaper in 1929, books based on the strip have sold 250 million copies, translated into 100 languages (most recently, Yiddish). But America had its own indigenous cartoon tradition, featuring heroes like Superman and Catwoman, so when Tintin‘s creator Hergé approached Disney in 1948, he was turned down flat.”

HuffingtonPost “Tintin has hobnobbed with Emirs, cruised the Caribbean seafloor in a shark-shaped submersible and been waylaid by Tibetan snows. An inveterate wanderer, Herge’s creation narrowly edges out Waldo and Mr. Peabody for the title of world’s most traveled drawing. As comfortable among Arabian dunes as in Shanghai’s back alleys, Tintin is the explorer of a world that is exotic yet neat, rendered in sharp colors lassoed by ligne claire strokes — a geography equal parts childish fantasy and imperial vision.”


“The Adventure Continues” from The Adventures Of Tintin (2011, John Williams and London Music Works)

Theme from The Adventures of Tintin (TV) (1991, Ray Parker Jr, Jim Morgan and Tom Szczesniak)

“Aboriginal Sacrificial Dance” from King Kong (1933, William T. Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Composed by Max Steiner)

“The Pagoda of Pillagi” from Around the World in 80 Days (1956, Victor Young and his Orchestra)

Prologue from Casablanca (1942, Composed by Max Steiner)

“Finale” from The Adventures Of Tintin (2011, John Williams and London Music Works)

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