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Ellipse-Nelvana: "Shooting Star" - director of San Theodoros Bank?

#1 · Posted: 10 Sep 2004 21:44
[Thread moved from 'Tintin Books' forum by Admin. Note to tintinmob: read the description for each forum to help you choose the most appropriate forum for your post.]

I was just watching The Shooting Star on DVD, and it occured to me that they never say the who the director of the bank is that funds the Perry.

He kind of looks like Rastapopulus but I don’t think he is – so who is he?
#2 · Posted: 10 Sep 2004 21:59
I don't think his name is ever mentioned in the cartoon. In the Book though, he's referred to as Bohlwinkel. I don't think he's given a first name, though I'm not entirely sure.
#3 · Posted: 10 Sep 2004 23:03
Perhaps Nelvana were minded to avoid the problems which the names used for this character in the books (originally Blumenstein, changed to Bohlwinkel - but both seemingly linking the character to a stereotype of Jewish bankers being userous), by leaving him nameless? Just a thought.
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#4 · Posted: 10 Sep 2004 23:19
By the way, Bohlwinkel is actually based in the fictional South American state of Sao Rico, rather than San Theodoros. He was originally from the States but it was changed in 1954. Is it the same in the cartoon - changed to San Theodoros or just not mentioned?

#5 · Posted: 11 Sep 2004 02:36
How different is the Belvison version of The Shooting Star?
The Nelvana one is good, but its only 22 mins longer (opposed to the 44 mins other episodes) and it leaves a fair bit out.
#6 · Posted: 11 Sep 2004 09:21
I just sat down and watched it, and he is named “Bohlwinkel” in the cover blurb of the DVD, but doesn’t get named on screen. Confusingly, the news reporter voice-over at the end seems to say, “the director of the San Rico Bank” in English, but “Sao Rico” in French…

I think it is odd, both in the book and on the screen, that having worried over the name being anti-Semitic, that nothing is done to make the Director look less like a cruel stereotype of a Jewish banker…
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#7 · Posted: 11 Sep 2004 11:36 · Edited by: tintinuk
[An answer to Tintinrulz' question regarding the Belvision version of The Shooting Star.]

The Belvision version ... Well, don't expect anything amazing, after all, it's Belvision. It's very different from both the book, and the Ellipse-Nelvana version. First of all, it's Professor Calculus, and not Professor Phostle who discovers the arrival of the metorite. The 'end-of-the-world' scene is pretty much the same as the book - for a Belvision cartoon, anyway - but after that there are quite a few changes. The style of the cartoon is very much like the Belvision versions of Unicorn / Rackham, featuring many pointless sequences, for example, Tintin spends minutes running away from the spider, while Calculus shouts "Tintin ... don't forget the giant 'schpider' ".

The Thompsons also somehow get involved near the beginning with a chase around the rooftops of the dock area. Captain Haddock also has a bit of an enlarged status, and of course, Calculus is added.

(40 mins.)
#8 · Posted: 12 Sep 2004 00:58
Crazyness! Why does the Professor have to get a German accent? It so does not suit him.
#9 · Posted: 12 Sep 2004 10:02 · Edited by: jock123
Tintinrulz asked
Why does the Professor have to get a German accent?

This is sliding waaaay off topic, as the thread is about Bohlwinkel and the Nelvana cartoon, but I liked the question, so I have started a fresh thread about it
#10 · Posted: 14 Sep 2004 04:48
jock123: I think it is odd, both in the book and on the screen, that having worried over the name being anti-Semitic, that nothing is done to make the Director look less like a cruel stereotype of a Jewish banker…

I'm a Jewish Tintin fan, and while I don't believe any systemic bias on Hergé's part (and have never believed him to be a Nazi sympathizer as he's periodically accused of), I have to admit that the Bohlwinkel character always bugged me a bit, at least from the age where I was able to identify what he stood for.

In changing the name from Blumenstein to Bohlwinkel, I know Hergé was trying to get away from it, but precisely as Jock123 says, there'd have been a far easier way to do this. (Several authors have noted that "Bohlwinkel" is also a Jewish name, but it's not a particularly common one, and only thought of as "Jewish" because most any German name that means something <i.e. not just names like Brahms or Schulz> can be Ashkenazic... "Blumenstein," by contrast, is most definitely Jewish).

Hergé uses stereotypes for a variety of peoples, from gun-toting, sombrero-wearing South Americans like Pablo, to short-tempered Arabs like Bab el Ehr to heartless, profiteering Americans like Trickler. But both because of my own ethnicity and in light of the historical damage wrought by this perception of Jews, I've always been particularly bothered by this example, even if the intentions weren't racist.

And I do believe that was the image that Hergé was playing with when he came up with "Blumenstein," if only because he had done it once before (see the shopkeeper in The Broken Ear, although he is only a visual stereotype, not evil or conspiratorial in any way). His depiction of the Jewish boss in the original Land of Black Gold was also playing strongly on visual stereotype.

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