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“Unicorn” Movie: The vehicles…?

#1 · Posted: 25 Sep 2012 19:01
Having seen the movie Secret of the Unicorn, I was quite impressed.

Thank goodness Spielberg waited for the technology to keep Tintin in the realms of a cartoon character, rather than earlier film efforts which endeavored to bring the characters into the real world.

While through computer graphics enabling the whole movie with a certain realism. There were things that were altered, of course, such as Saccharine (a collector and bit part in the original story) becoming the villain of the piece. As I say overall I was impressed and praise has to go to the creators.

However while the film begins in Brussels and has the atmosphere of the 1930s/40s (illustrated and reinforced by the inclusion of vehicles from that era) we notice that by the end of the film Tintin and the Captain are in a 1960s Frog-eye Sprite convertible sports car racing back towards Marlinspike.

I am wondering, why the lack of coherence?

Was this an effort by the film makers to try and capture the ageless character of the books and the way in which Herge included the world around him in any current adventure or was it a hint as to a possible "more up to date" sequel, one which spans another twenty years?
#2 · Posted: 25 Sep 2012 20:35
I am wondering, why the lack of coherence?

You’ve answered your own question, really: the whole film is set in no specific time, to evoke an atmosphere of the periods during which the bulk of the books were written, and to make the ambience sort of timeless.

The range is actually broader than you suggest, as the designers concentrated on the Forties into the Fifties, but were not hide-bound by it as they were conjuring up an entirely fantasy world, and so elements from both the Thirties and Sixties appear if the look fitted what they wanted to do. This goes far beyond just the vehicles, as they had to make virtual models of everything that is in the film, and so all the “set dressing” was carefully thought out.

If you want all the background on their thinking, and the development of look of the film, try and get a hold of The Art of the Adventures of Tintin, which sets out the whole process in great detail, and with plenty pf examples.
#3 · Posted: 27 Dec 2012 17:46
try and get a hold of The Art of the Adventures of Tintin, which sets out the whole process in great detail

I second that! I have the book - and I can highly recommend it. There are a few mistakes in it though, but they are corrected on Weta's website.
#4 · Posted: 10 Jun 2013 19:26
The sports car in the film was actually a Triumph TR2 which was introduced around 1952. With this, I think the period of the film accurately captures the early 1950s period perfectly with the Citroen Traction Avants and other French cars in the streets plus older pre-war models. The 3D models were beautifully done.
#5 · Posted: 15 Jun 2013 18:10
I liked the ambiguous dating of the film. I spend too much time analyzing cars on a film to an obscene level of scrutiny as that kind of lack of detail is enough to ruin a film for me! Asides from my pedantic nature, the detailing to a specific period (actually in my preferred Tintin period), adds to the feel and atmosphere of the film, and offers that detail of realism. There could be the undercurrents of the cold war in the film which may not be evident when you first watch it.

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