Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Adventures of Tintin - The Secret of The Unicorn

With the half-term holiday upon us in the UK (and, for the first time, no writing deadlines during school hols) and three children off for the week, entertaining them comes first as writing takes a very definite backseat. First up on the list of events was a Saturday morning trip to the cinema to see the Tintin film. The Odeon cinemas run a Kids Club, usually at weekends but also during the week in school holidays, which means reruns of films for the price of £2.50 a child and accompanying adults free.

Now, my seven year old son is a bit of an enigma. He isn't really 'into' anything, not since he grew out of his Thomas the Tank Engine obsession. So when he saw a trailer for Tintin and announced he'd like to see it, I was surprised. He's never really been that interested in films. As soon as I found out it was the half-term film for the Kids Club, I grabbed the chance to go. I watched Tintin cartoons as a youngster, but wasn't a fan as such, so I was interested to see how the film would go myself. We went with friends - another 7yo boy and his mum - and my nine year old daughter who strangely insisted she wanted to go.

The start of the film does drag a little for the younger ones. Son's best friend announced loudly at one point "Oh, come on, hurry up!" but once the major action scenes kicked off, they loved it. There quite a bit of humour in it which had the whole theatre laughing. There's also a fair bit of violence (including one man shot by machine gun, although this is done behind a closed door so nothing much is seen) but it was carefully done and I certainly had no qualms about my children seeing it. At times you could almost forget it was animation, although in this day and age we do expect any CGI to be brilliant. The story is generally fast-paced - none of it dragged for me - and there's some great touches, like a fight between cranes (the mechanical kind, not the birds) and an Indiana Jones-style chase involving a tank, hotel, motorbike with sidecar, an eagle, a dog and a car - the best bit in my opinion. I was a little worried that Snowy, Tintin's dog, would be portrayed as an almost Scooby Doo-like character, but his 'performance' in the film was believable of a dog without venturing into making him some kind of canine caricature of a human.

All in all, for the fact that both adults and children enjoyed this, I have to give it an A. And at least now I have something to put on seven year old son's present list. :)

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