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“Unicorn” Movie: Your preferred adaptation of the story?

#1 · Posted: 3 Feb 2012 03:37 · Edited by: Moderator
I just saw Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn, and now I'm starting to compare it to the old ones that used to show on television. I just can't see which one is better.
Which one do you like better?

Moderator Note: It’s helpful title your thread so that it indicates what aspect of the many and various areas of Tintinology it covers. This one was originally called “The old, the improved, or both?”, which could be about many different things.
This is why, for example, in the “Books” section we put a mention of the book title first, followed by a colon and a short topic, often a question, so that it’s clear what the discussion is about (e.g. “Black Island: Is Ranko a gorilla?”).
For threads about the film, we have been using ““Unicorn” Movie: XYZ?” as the format, which means that people interested in it have a quick indication of the subject, and those doing a forum search can look on that topic.
It’s not an exact science – this thread might have been called “Ellipse-Nelvana: Better adaptations than the new film?” – but it s more helpful than a general title.

The All-for-clarifying-things Tintinologist Team
#2 · Posted: 3 Feb 2012 04:38
Personally, I am utterly torn on whether I prefer the movie to the Nelvana 90s series, as well; I saw the Nelvana series as a child, before reading the actual books, so whenever I read the books now, my mind reads along with the voices of Colin O'Meara, David Fox, Wayne Robson, et al. I grew up hearing those voices, and they are the first ones I think of.

The movie, however, was an incredible re-imagining of the Crab/Unicorn stories. I love the additions, and the spectacle of the movie is on such a grand scale. New angles and sides were added to several characters, with several roles expanded--changes that I actually loved and adored.

It's truly a toss-up between the nostalgia of Nelvana and the sheer amazing-ness of the movie. There are days when I prefer one over the other, but that changes with my daily mood.

And since there will be a sequel that is based further down the story timeline, it's bound to get even more conflicting for me when it happens.
#3 · Posted: 5 Feb 2012 14:09
The Ellipse-Nelvana series was a lot more faithful to the original book, but don't forget there were the Belvision versions too - not only of "Unicorn' but also "Red Rackham's Treasure", and "Crab with the Golden Claws!"

And the black and white stop motion version of "Crab" from the 1940s which was almost identical to the book!

As much as I love Belvision for getting me into Tintin, and though they are fun - a cliffhanger every 2 minutes! - I don't watch them as much as I do the Nelvana versions.

Also, writing now, I'm thinking how well Moffatt and co managed to mesh the two stories into a coherent whole - while staying faithful to the original books. For example (trying my best to be spoiler-free, but apologies just in case) Barnaby's cryptic clue of the identity of his attackers in the film is the equally mysterious word left by Dawes in "Crab".

Also Tintin getting kidnapped happened in both books- the means being inspired by "Unicorn", only where he ends up is the setting of "Crab."

What I believe the film did put across better than either Belvision, or the Nelvana series (to an extent) was the Captain's alcoholism.

In the Belvision version he already knew Tintin but had been 'drugged' by his crew.

Though the Nelvana episode did have him drunk at the very start - Tintin giving the great "think about your mother" speech - after that he is no longer the antagonist that Tintin has to deal with in comparison to the original book.
There the Captain's alcoholism puts himself - and Tintin-into dangerous situations many times, and the spirit of that (pun unintended!) features a lot in the film.

The film may not feature the drug-smuggling plot of "Crab" (which in a sense, had already been done with Cigars of the Pharaoh/ Blue Lotus) but instead brings the story of Haddock to the fore, from being pathetic washed up alcoholic, to someone Tintin can count on, and a tribute to his ancestor.

Overall I don't think I have a favourite between the Nelvana series and the film, but I do appreciate the essence of the story that the film was putting across.

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