The Adventures of Tintin, known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn outside North America, is a 2011 3Dmotion capture computer-animated mystery adventure comedy film based on The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is based on three of Hergé’s albums: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham’s Treasure (1944). The cast includes Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Spielberg acquired rights to produce a film based on The Adventures of Tintin series following Hergé’s death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but release was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the film. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been originally cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose company Weta Digital provided the computer animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film. The world première took place on 22 October 2011 in Brussels. The film was released in the UK and other European countries on 26 October 2011, and in the USA on 21 December 2011, in Digital 3D and IMAX.
The Adventures of Tintin grossed over $373 million, and received positive reviews from critics, being compared to Spielberg’s previous work Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was the first non-Pixar animated film to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. It was nominated for six Saturn Awards, including Best Animated Film, Best Director for Spielberg and Best Music for Williams.
Young journalist Tintin and his dog Snowy are browsing in an outdoor market in Brussels, Belgium. Tintin buys a miniature model of a ship, the Unicorn, but is accosted by an Interpol officer, Barnaby, and a dreadful ship collector, Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine, who both unsuccessfully tried to buy the model from Tintin. Tintin takes the ship home, but it is accidentally broken in an incident between Snowy and a cat. A parchment scroll slips out, and rolls under a piece of furniture. Meanwhile, bumbling police detectives Thomson and Thompson are on the trail of a pickpocket, Aristides Silk.
After visiting Maritime Library to uncover the history surrounding the Unicorn, Tintin returns to find that the Unicorn has been stolen, suspecting Sakharine. He visits Marlinspike Hall and accuses him of the theft. After arguing, Tintin begins to notice that Sakharine’s model is not broken, realizing that there are two Unicorn models. After returning home once again, Tintin found out that his apartment had been ransacked. Nevertheless, Snowy shows him the scroll. After reading an old message written on it, they are interrupted by the arrival of Barnaby, who is then assasinatated while attempting to recover the Unicorn. Tintin places the scroll in his wallet, but it is stolen by Silk the next morning, after a scuffle with the police detectives.
Later, Tintin is abducted by accomplices of Sakharine, and imprisoned on the SS Karaboudjan. He learns that Sakharine formed an alliance with the ship’s staff and led a mutiny to take over control. On board, Tintin meets Captain Haddock, the ship’s captain. Haddock is permanently drunk and thus unaware of the happenings on board his ship. Tintin, Haddock, and Snowy eventually outrun the crew, and escape from the Karaboudjan in a lifeboat. The ship fails to ram their boat, because they instead rammed an empty lifeboat the captain accidentally released during his escape. Presuming them to have survived by the number of lifeboats, Sakharine sends a seaplane to find and capture them. The trio seize the plane, and use it to fly towards the fictitious Moroccan port of Bagghar. However, the seaplane crashes in the desert due to low fuel.
While trekking through the desert, Haddock hallucinates, and remembers facts about an ancestor of his, Sir Francis Haddock, who was a 17th-century captain of the Unicorn. Sir Francis’ treasure-laden ship was attacked by the crew of a pirate ship, led by Red Rackham and after his eventual surrender, Sir Francis sank the Unicorn, and most of the treasure, to prevent it from falling into Rackham’s hands. It implies that there were three Unicorn models, each containing a scroll; together, the scrolls can reveal coordinates of location of the sunken Unicorn and its treasure.
The third model is in Bagghar, possessed by Omar ben Salaad. Sakharine causes a distraction in a Bianca Castafiore concert that results in him successfully stealing the third scroll. After a chase through the city, he gains all the scrolls by having his men toss Captain Haddock and Snowy in the water, to force Tintin to go after them instead of saving the scrolls. After the boat leaves, Tintin is ready to give up, but is persuaded by Haddock to continue. With help from officers Thompson and Thomson, Tintin and Haddock track Sakharine down, who is revealed to be a descendant of Red Rackham. They head back to port and set up a trap, but Sakharine uses his pistol to resist arrest. When his men fail to save him, Sakharine challenges Haddock to a final showdown. Sakharine and Haddock sword-duel with cranes and swords eventually resulting in Sakharine being defeated and pushed overboard by Haddock. When climbing ashore, Sakharine is arrested by Thomson and Thompson.
Guided by the three scrolls indicating the location of Marlinspike Hall, Tintin and Haddock find there some of the treasure and a clue to the Unicorn‘s location. Both men agree on setting up an expedition to find the shipwreck.