Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Here's a link to a story over at Newsarama.com about a Tintin movie that's in the works, with Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg directing and producing. Sounded interesting until I got to the part about the movie being done completely in computer animation. Ugh. I am most definitely not a fan of computer animated cartoon films--every character and object ends up looking like a shiny plastic/vinyl toy--which was entirely appropriate and successful in Toy Story, but just ended up looking weird in other movies. While I've enjoyed other Pixar and Pixar-like movies(I loved The Incredibles), I always felt like they were done as computer animated films just because someone could do them that way, and not that they should have been done that way. The Tintin people claim they want to use 3-D computer animation to retain the feel and look of the comic...Does that sound a little contradictory to anyone but me? It'll work if they use computer animation the way they do in small doses on Futurama, or in the bizarrely repulsive yet fascinating The Drinky Crow Show that just aired last weekend on Adult Swim which is entirely computer-generated. On these two TV series the animation still retains a hand-drawn look. If the Tintin people go for a typical Pixar-ish look for their film, it most definitely won't retain the feel of the series. Frankly, if they're not going to animate it traditionally and retain the look of Herge's drawings, then they may as well just hire actors and film it. After all, Christopher Reeve's Superman looked nothing like a Curt Swan drawing, and the movie Batmen bear no resemblance to their printed counterparts, yet Superman worked fine in film, and some of the Batman movies were okay(I'm not talking about the writing here--just the look of the world and characters when translated to live-action film).

Rant over. Captain Negative signing off!


1 comment:

Neil Hill said...

I think computer animation, like any non-traditional interpretation method for what started as hand drawn/hand crafted artwork, can come across as lifeless and robotic. In fact, much of it ends up looking like slightly better versions of Rollie-Pollie Ollie to my eyes. However, for ever RPO, you get something like Incredibles, Monsters Inc, or Finding Nemo. All movies that, admittedly, didn't start out as a beloved comic/book series like Tin-Tin, but still could have ended up as disasterous in the wrong hands.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is this. In the right hands, regardless of animation method chosen, the end result can potentially be a thing of true beauty. The wrong interpretation by the wrong people can equal in level of failure. It will all really come down to how S.S. and P.J. decide to do it. If Steven goes Shrek with it, I'm out, but if they instead create a nice hybrid hand drawn/computer look, coupled with a great story, it could be freaking fantastic!

As always, I remain cautiously optomistic.