The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn was a delightful watch. I loved it more during my second watch largely because my first watch was in a poor theater and couldn't really follow all the dialogues clearly. Steven Spielberg's first animation film is indeed different from all the other animation pictures that I had seen. The experience is different because even as the film is animation, Spielberg seems to have treated it just like a live action picture at times especially with his shot divisions that captures the actions so seamlessly.
I haven't completely read the comics of Tin Tin by Herge but whatever I had read and the animation adaptions I had caught up with on television, I was certain that it had scope for a great movie. Spielberg has utilized that advantage to the fullest in making an engaging adventure film. Having Peter Jackson also on board to be the second unit director should definitely have helped the film a good deal.
Besides the shot division, the lighting of the film also plays a crucial role in making it distinct from other animated films. The influence of Janusz Kaminski in making the frames so real is simply mind blowing.
I'm not a huge fan of animated films. I also don't really like the idea of making an animated film photo realistic in look. Then why the hell are live action films for? But in the case of Tin Tin, I guess I don't find the idea all that offensive. I don't think things would have looked so much like the comics if it was shot as a live action film. And the adventures of tin tin aren't exactly about realism but its got a fantasy and surreal quality as well somewhere.
However, I still don't feel that the motion capture technology has grown well enough to capture the human reactions, especially the facial ones even with the hundreds of spots that the visual effects people have all over the actor's face.
I still haven't figured out exactly how this whole film might have been made. It's not that I know exactly how every other film gets made, but I'm very uncertain about how this picture is made to a great extent. I'm also super curious to know how each phase of a film of this sort evolved.
I saw the film in stereoscopic 3D. It seemed there wasn't much of a play with the depends in the overall movie. But, there indeed were a few and few neat ones. Beyond the projection of the images out of the screen, the thing that really amazed me was the supreme excellence in the transition from one scene to another and also the brilliantly planned and executed uninterrupted long take in the film near the climax. Maybe these things where thought and worked out so well since the film was an animated one.
Now that the first part is over, I wonder what all fun Peter Jackson is going to bring with the second installment of Tintin.