Captain Haddock: "Since I inherited Paparanic's ship - the Golden Fleece - we've been living in a shooting gallery, and we're the pigeons!"
Y'know, I'm actually quite encouraged that BBC2 even showed this at 10:50am this bank holiday morning. It's over fifty years old, dubbed, and features alcohol consumption (Tintin may not drink but Snowy does), a knife fight, and Haddock smoking a substance from which he almost passes out, aye-aye.
Not to mention, though probably just on this airing, much of the time this dubbed movie is almost a second out of sync. Well that happens to movies a lot in this modern digital age. (eg. The Aristocats here and Bicycle Thieves here) Hey, remember analogue - back when sync issues were such a rarity? Boy, I'm so glad those careless days are over…
Yes, mostly speaking, I found this to be a truly enchanting and charmingly bonkers trip back in time. Back to when the currency of Turkey was something called the "Turkish Pound", all dogs were super-intelligent, and the whole world looked like Eastmacolor. Really, all this perpetually bright July sunshine makes for location work that is absolutely stunning. As if they need to showcase the stock even further, in one scene they even manage to fit in a big colourful parrot:
The characters are each introduced… well, no they're not. They first come into frame with all the presence of a preceding movie that I haven't seen, which is quite impressive given how this is not a sequel. I guess we're expected to already know who everyone is from the famous comic strips that inspired this at the time brand-new adventure. Not being familiar with the source material, I decided to just view this as some sort of sequel to the recent 2011 movie, however given how I had almost completely forgotten that, I quickly gave up and just accepted this on its own merits.
While I found the style gorgeous, and the pace of the travelogue refreshing, the story did leave me increasingly mixed up. Professor Calculus' pendulum (which like his Super-Cuthbertoleum somewhat jars with the script's promotion of Tintin's use of his brain) would surely have given away the gold's location a lot earlier in their voyage. Why do the bad guys try to shoot Tintin instead of drowning him with Captain Haddock and his ship? And as for Tintin himself surviving the shooting, getting all the way back to the 'copter before his enemies, remaining unseen and taking over as its pilot all off camera… well, okay then. He can do that I suppose. After all, he is Tintin.
Apparently this adventure has a sequel - Tintin and the Blue Oranges.
I certainly look forward to seeing that in Eastmacolor.
(available, if you have enough Turkish Pounds, here)