Before you hurl Loch Lomond bottles at me and shout, "Billions of blue blistering barnacles, what a troglodyte!" hear me out.
We all know some people get offended with alcohol (and smoking I guess) when they are featured in movies/TV shows/books children may read/watch. That's fair enough. They're very impressionable and don't have all the skills early on to discern such things but they're far from stupid. There's nothing wrong with that but what is wrong, in my opinion, is when they try to put their modern politically correct sensibilities about these things into removing all trace of them from existing history, specifically in media.
I've recently been involved in an interesting discussion on Internet Movie Database about alcoholism as humour. The original creator of thread seemed at least to know the basics of the adventures and yet they had concern about whether Captain Haddock should be drinking in a family movie, especially at a time when addiction was not something at which to laugh (when has it ever?).
In the US the movie has been rated PG for 'adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking' (it sums up the Captain pretty well - haha!) so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
That said, the albums the movie is based on are from the early to mid 1940's so what did they expect from the characters?
If you're interested, the thread can be found here.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0983193/board/thread/190561780
Here were my replies to the original posters concerns:The first Tintin album to feature Captain Haddock is 'The Crab with the Golden Claws'. The reader is introduced to a miserable alcoholic and his first appearance is a memorable yet frightening one. Yes, humour comes out of the Captain's angry rants and intolerance for many things/people due (in large part) to his drinking but I don't believe Herge was downplaying the role of alcohol and how it can be incredibly destructive to the person and those around. They are too very different things. Also, Captain Haddock wasn't created to be a role-model (that was Tintin) but to show the flawed humanity of us all. Someone to identify with in many ways - no one is as good and pure as Tintin but we can all relate to a man who gets really angry and upset at times but tries to do the right thing. If they removed the Captain's alcoholism from the movie, that would prove unfortunate and unforgivable. It's such a large part of his character. Not one to emulate for sure, but one that exists all the same.
I've been a Tintin fan for most of my life, I've enjoyed Captain Haddock's character immensely and have never felt the need to get drunk. Herge was flawed in many ways (as we all are) but I don't believe he was an alcoholic either. One must have flawed creations to create interest and understanding in fiction.
If the environment a child grows up in promotes drinking in moderation and they see that example set by the adults in their life, they're much more likely to be sensible drinkers later on. ...he (Captain Haddock) probably saw it as normal adult behaviour and grew up to do the same. We wield enormous influence, let's be mindful of that.
The Captain is definitely a tragic figure in The Crab with the Golden Claws, his behaviour even frightening. His alcoholism is not taken lightly. I imagine they changed the bit where he knocks Tintin unconscious while the young reporter is flying the plane. They changed that part in the animated series and it always disappointed me. Sure it doesn't help us sympathize with the Captain, but it's much more interesting and disturbing and shows the dangers that can come with irresponsible drinking.
I suppose I could've mentioned the instances in the TV series where they removed pretty much all mention of alcohol (and smoking) resulting in the dumbing down of his character and the obvious contrast between Tintin, as the straight man and the Captain as someone easily relatable but not someone who was a 'boy scout'. I'm not saying he was his flaws but they did attribute to his character. One could also argue that the Captain's drunken tantrums constantly get them/him into trouble or prove dangerous.
I don't believe this topic has ever been discussed on the forum, I could be wrong but I did a search. What are your thoughts on alcoholism as humour in regards to the wonderful Captain Haddock?