Spielberg’s “Tintin” and the State of Animation


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Animation writer and historian Amid Amidi, editor at the fantastic site Cartoon Brew, takes a critical look at the “photorealistic cartooning” used in Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic Hergé character.

“Animation is evolving so rapidly before our eyes that we can barely keep pace with these changes. We desperately try to apply old labels and definitions and find them insufficient. Still, ‘Tintin’ at its core is pure animation created frame by frame. True, it was augmented by other processes, but the end result was achieved distinctly through frame-by-frame techniques. And if the mark of a true piece of animation art is the director’s control over every element within the frame, then never has this been truer than in ‘Tintin.’”

It’s an interesting perspective on the current artistry in animation, which is still undergoing massive change thanks to the advent of computer graphics. Amidi’s take is that the film is an important milestone if not wholly successful, and that it is instructive in many ways for the future of the craft. I haven’t seen “Tintin” yet, but I’m very eager to see how successful the techniques that Spielberg (and producer Peter Jackson) used are in conveying both its narrative and in doing justice to the character’s roots. Read the full post here.