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Favourite/ Least Favourite Tintin Moment?

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#31 · Posted: 4 Feb 2005 12:54 · Edited by: jock123
Karaboudjan kommented:
The whole notion of aliens in the firmly reality-based Tintinverse is absurd

I’ve seen this complaint levelled at 714 before, possibly even by myself; however, on reflection, the whole canon is littered with the supernatural and fantastical: Calculus’s pendulum can apparently dowse, which is bunk; the Inca can control the explorers using dummies with pins in, and release them by burning the dolls; the clairvoyant lady at the music-hall is actually psychic; and, in Tibet, the old monk really levitates; and is the yeti any more rooted in the rational than alien life?

Add to this the non-supernatural, but still unrealistic physical impossibilities (e.g. Haddock doesn’t become a bloody pulp when rolling down a mountain, but instead is transformed into a giant snow-ball; Tintin can do a drop from a trestle bridge, which would have made a Hollywood stunt-man faint, in the worst possible posture, and while carrying a fox-terrier, and survive unscratched etc.), and the Tintiniverse is pretty improbable.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head - there are undoubtedly more...

Addition: Tintin produces an old man disguise out of nowhere; teaches himself to speak elephant; kills a rhino with a brace and bit and eplosives...
Harrock n roll
#32 · Posted: 5 Feb 2005 17:11
These are just a few examples off the top of my head - there are undoubtedly more...

Well observed Jock. I think that when we add the imaginary countries like Syldavia, Borduria, San Theodoras, etc, to the equation we have to accept that the “Tintinverse” is one which is only just barely similar to the real world, a kind of *parallel universe*...

With this in mind it turns many of the “errors” which we often accuse Hergé of making as complete possibilities. Maroon taxis in Dehli? Embassies in Rolle? Why not...? ;)
#33 · Posted: 5 Feb 2005 20:21
Jock and Harrock, absolutely correct. Herge's excellence at accuracy aside, the books are still works of fiction where anything is possible...
#34 · Posted: 13 Feb 2005 17:28
Something about the other instances of supernaturality makes me suspend my disbelief, something about them being firmly rooted on Earth, but with aliens I could just never do that.

Probably not allowed to include it, but I really love the sequence at the beginning of The Valley of the Cobras with the Maharaja of Gopal (the rest of that book was slightly disappointing); it's really very funny.

From actual Tintin books it would have to be something with the Captain or the Thompsons in.
For instance: the bit where Thompson picks up his stick instead of his phone.
The Thompsons' outfits.
The Captain's whiskey-drinking in space.
The Poison of Madness, though it was slightly depressing in some other ways.

and anything else that was funny and unjustly left out; there is lots more Captain stuff......
Duck Billed Platypus
#35 · Posted: 15 Feb 2005 09:40
My favourite moments from purely a comedic perspective are:

1) Haddock swallowing the Cork in Destination Moon. That makes me cry with laughter sometimes...you know when you have to actually put the book down and wipe your eyes?

2) Haddock getting head-butted in The Castafiore Emerald. The whole mounting tension between the Captian and that Parrot just erupts at that point....the picture of Haddock raging in the background, unable to move, while Tintin averts distaster is priceless.

3) Abdullah throwing the sand in Haddock's face and yelling 'Bluebeard!' in Land of Black Gold. I dunno why that makes me laugh, but it slays me every time...

#36 · Posted: 19 Feb 2005 10:08 · Edited by: Frankymole
Something about the other instances of supernaturality makes me suspend my disbelief, something about them being firmly rooted on Earth, but with aliens I could just never do that.

Well, they are rooted on Earth. There are the ancient, but astronaut-like, South American statues which are based on real ones (albeit not as big) - Herge researched these well. Then there have been numerous myths of earth-based races linked with "flying saucers" - is it actually stated the saucer occupants are aliens? Couldn't they be something like this instead? Who knows? There are even some old theories which link Tibetan "miracles" as seen in Tintin in Tibet with the network of tunnels and races supposed to inhabit the same region UFOs come from...
#37 · Posted: 21 Feb 2005 04:29
Hard to say about the best Tintin moment, but I really did not like the scene in "Explorers on the Moon" where Tintin and his friends simply faint because of lack of oxygen...I think that that scene is only redemption-worthy because of Captain Haddock suddenly jumping when hearing about whiskey...otherwise, Tintin and his friends are going through needless suffering (why is nothing on the rocket to refresh oxygen? Herge was a very creative artist).
#38 · Posted: 10 May 2005 01:22
In answer to Snafu's question (and I could be mistaken) air scrubbers for use on submarines and spacecraft weren't around in 1950 when Destination Moon was written. Of course, you could argue that there weren't rockets with atomic engines back then too, but... ;)

Also, I just realized that the oxygen-delivery system on the rocket probably wouldn't work anyway-- even with delivery of oxygen, the atmosphere would soon be "dirty" with CO-2. Maybe there is a technical problem with the story, then. Of course, I am open to correction by any scientist or Tintinologist more learned than I.

Some of my favorite moments are:
1) Tintin's brilliant discovery in front of a Klow toy-shop of the thieves' trick in getting King Ottokar's sceptre out of the Regalia Room in Kropow Castle, and then testing his theory. The artwork is so colorful and detailed, everything is beautiful.

2) Tintin's clever "borrowing" of the light plane in "Cigars" by pretending that Snowy is rabid, and then the air combat scene on the following pages. (On a side note, Herge's ticked-off commanding officers are all pretty entertaining: Cigars, Lotus, Broken Ear, Black Gold, Calculus Affair, and Sharks all feature variations on this theme.)

3) The subplot in "Unicorn" of wallet thefts, with the Thom(p)sons losing heavily, and the monomania of their "collector."

4) The rising tension of Flight 714: all the mysterious clues, Tintin growing suspicious, the Captain whiling away the minutes in a futile game of "Battleships"....

5) Every scene in the basement of Marlinspike Hall during or shortly after the period when it was owned by the Bird Brothers: what a fascinating collection of objects! Beautiful artwork by Herge.

My least favorite moment is probably the levitation in "Tibet," I've never been interested in eastern mysticism....
#39 · Posted: 10 May 2005 04:51
My least favourite scene is where Tintin doesn't go with Captain Haddock immediately in Picaros. Tintin is meant to be the boy of adventure and he seems so unadventerous! Not true to the spirit of Tintin and is therefore my least favourite Tintin.
#40 · Posted: 10 May 2005 05:05
It's interesting that many of us seem to not like the Tintin moments that weren't "believable" (aliens, the levitation, Tintin staying home, etc.).
In those cases, however, the plot was being pushed. For example, in the case regarding the flying priest, I initially thought that that was way too much - although we Chinese generally tolerated Tibetan Buddhism and began to be heavily exposed to it while the Government was in Chungking during the 1937-1945 Sino-Japanese War, we generally considered that form of Buddhism to be too mystical. I grew up in a more traditional Chinese household, but I now recognize this as one of Hergé's creative ways for Tintin to find Chang, and can't see how else the story could work...
The only exception is when Tintin refuses to follow the Captain in "Tintin and the Picaros". That one was a puzzler, and this, along with the low oxygen on the moon journey, are among what I regard as Tintin's low points...

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