The Adventures of Tintin is a 2011 American 3D motion capture computer-animated adventure film based on The Adventures of Tintin comics by 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 October 22, 2011 in Brussels. The film was released in the UK and other European countries on October 26, 2011, and in the USA on December 21, 2011, in Digital 3D and IMAX. The Adventures of Tintin received positive reviews from critics, and grossed over $373 million. It won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 69th Golden Globe Awards. 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. As of 2012, it is the highest grossing Nickelodeon film.


Tintin (Bell), a young journalist, 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 then accosted by Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (Craig) and Barnaby (Joe Starr), who both unsuccessfully try to buy the model from Tintin. Tintin takes the ship home, but it is accidentally broken, resulting in a parchment scroll slipping out of the model and rolling under a piece of furniture. Meanwhile, detectives Thomson and Thompson (Frost and Pegg) are on the trail of a pickpocket, Aristides Silk (Toby Jones). Tintin finds that the Unicorn has been stolen. Snowy shows him the scroll and after reading a message written on it, Tintin pockets it in his wallet. He then visits Sakharine in Marlinspike Hall and accuses him of the theft when he sees a miniature model of the Unicorn, but when he notices that Sakharine's model is not broken, he realizes that there are two Unicorn models. Tintin puts the scroll in his wallet, but the latter is stolen by Silk. 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 the ship's nominal captain, Haddock (Serkis). Haddock is permanently drunk and thus unaware of the happenings on board his ship. Tintin, Haddock, and Snowy eventually escape from the Karaboudjan in a lifeboat but the ship's crew tries to ram the lifeboat. This fails because they instead notice an empty lifeboat that the Captain accidentally released before the escape and ram it instead. Presuming them to have survived by the number of lifeboats; Sakharine sends a seaplane to find them, which the trio seize and use to fly towards the fictitious Moroccan port of Bagghar, but the seaplane crashes in the desert. Haddock hallucinates and remembers facts about an ancestor of his, Sir Francis Haddock (Serkis), 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 (Craig) and after his eventual surrender, Sir Francis sank the Unicorn, and most of the treasure, to prevent it from falling into Rackham's possession. It transpires that there were three Unicorn models, each containing a scroll; together, the scrolls can reveal the location of the sunken Unicorn and its treasure. The third model is in Bagghar, possessed by Omar Ben Salaad (Gad Elmaleh). Sakharine steals the third scroll and escapes with all three scrolls to Europe. Tintin and Haddock track Sakharine down, who is revealed to be a descendant of Red Rackham; 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. The film ends with both men agreeing to continue their search of the shipwreck.


  • Jamie Bell as Tintin, the film's main protagonist. Bell replaced Thomas Sangster, who dropped out when filming was delayed in October 2008. Jackson suggested Bell take on the role, having cast him as Jimmy in his King Kong remake.
  • Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock and Sir Francis Haddock. Spielberg suggested Serkis, given that he played Gollum in Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and King Kong in the 2005 remake, which were both roles requiring motion capture, and also because he considered Serkis a "great and funny actor". Serkis joked he was concerned that Jackson wanted him to play Tintin's dog Snowy, who was animated traditionally, i.e., without motion capture. Serkis remarked upon reading the comics again for the role that they had a surreal Pythonesque quality. The actor researched about seamen, and gave Haddock a Scottish accent as he felt the character had "a rawness, an emotional availability, a more Celtic kind of feel".
  • Daniel Craig as Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine and Red Rackham, Sakharine being the descendant of Red Rackham, the pirate who attacked the Unicorn, the ship captained by Sir Francis Haddock. Spielberg described Sakharine as a "champagne villain, cruel when he has to be but with a certain elegance to him." Jackson and Spielberg decided to promote Sakharine from a relatively minor character to the main antagonist, and while considering an "interesting actor" to portray him Spielberg came up with Craig, with whom he had worked on Munich. Craig joked that he followed "the English tradition of playing bad guys".
  • Nick Frost and Simon Pegg as Thomson and Thompson, bumbling detectives who are almost identical. The duo was invited out of necessity to have a comedy team that could also act identical. Spielberg invited Pegg to the set and offered him the role after he had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. Pegg had previously starred alongside Serkis in John Landis' Burke & Hare, in 2010.
  • Enn Reitel as Nestor, Captain Haddock's butler.
  • Tony Curran as Lieutenant Delcourt, an ally of Tintin.
  • Toby Jones plays Aristides Silk, a pickpocket.
  • Gad Elmaleh as Omar Ben Salaad, an Arab merchant. Elmaleh stated that his accent was "the childhood coming back".
  • Daniel Mays as Allan, Captain Haddock's first mate.
  • Mackenzie Crook as Tom, a crew member on the Karaboudjan.
  • Kim Stengel as Bianca Castafiore, a comical opera singer. While Castafiore was absent from the three stories, Jackson stated was added for its status as an "iconic character" and on how she would be a fun element of the plot.
  • Joe Starr as Barnaby Dawes, an Interpol agent who tries to warn Tintin about purchasing the Unicorn and winds up shot by Sakharine's thugs on Tintin's doorstep.
  • Sonje Fortag as Mrs Finch, Tintin's landlady.
  • Cary Elwes and Phillip Rhys as seaplane pilots.
  • Ron Bottitta as Unicorn Lookout.
  • Mark Ivanir as Afgar Outpost Soldier/Secretary.
  • Sebastian Roché as Pedro/1st Mate.
  • Nathan Meister as a market artist who resembles Hergé.
  • Sana Etoile as Press Reporter.
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