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Tintin & Friends: How old are they?

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JJohannes
Member
#151 · Posted: 2 Feb 2021 02:07
Tintin: Although Tintin was supposed to be 15 (I think because of Palle Huld, a Danish boy scout who travelled around the world when he was 15) I consider him to be 17-20 in his early adventures, 21-22 during the Unicorn case, 23-24 by the time he travels to the moon and nearly 30 by the time of the Picarot adventure. Maybe the Soviet adventure is his "Palle Huld moment" and he manages to become a reporter without a degree just because he visited the Soviet Union as a 17-year old boy and wrote a striking report about it.

Haddock: The Captain is around 50 years old. He is a seasoned sea captain, but still has many adventures ahead of him and he is physically very robust, despite the constant whisky drinking. He retires soon after the Unicorn adventure but that is just because of his newly found wealth.

Calculus: I think the Professor is about the same age as Haddock, maybe a bit older, 50+ years old. He seems to be very active in the scientific community and even though he dresses in an old-fashioned way, he doesn't look that old.

Thompsons: I think they are 40. They are senior detectives (albeit very incompetent ones) but they are still sent to field missions around the world.

Castafiore: A bit younger than the Captain, let's say 45. She is clearly a fading star but still manages to score some important opera roles due to her reputation.

Rastapopoulos: 45-50. He just carries himself that way.

Alan: 35. I think you have to be around that age to become a First Mate in a large cargo vessel?

General Alcazar: 40. In a "banana republic", 40-year-old generals/"generals" are common. His eternal struggle against Tapioca doesn't seem to be that eternal anyway, they probably switch places every year.

Nestor: 45. A bit younger than the Captain, although as a butler he is an old soul.

Oliveira de Figueira: 40. Moved to the North Africa/Middle East to escape Estado Novo.

Dr. Krollspel: Has to be around 50, because he was in the concentration camps.
OliBEL80
Member
#152 · Posted: 29 Mar 2021 13:58
Makes sense to me, especially General Alcazar: he's clearly an active, healthy adult, and still has a lot of energy in him, that wouldn't be there on a 50 year old man in the 1950s-60s.
pilferingparakeet
Member
#153 · Posted: 11 Oct 2021 13:07
I have yet to catch up on and analyse all the books, so I'm going to go based on the books I have read and the banger 2011 movie. Before anyone says anything, I know it was a dumb move to join a forum full of dedicated Tintinologists as a surface-level fan, but for some reason my ADHD and its stupid hyperfocus glitch have latched onto this franchise. Latched hard. So here we go.

I personally headcanon Tintin between 15-18 years old, but I cannot see him as any older than 18. It just weirds me out. Part of the eccentric-ness of his character is that he's essentially a baby running around with a gun. Once you reach 18, you're no longer a baby. Now you're a weird adult running around with a gun, and that's far less impressive.

For cartoon Tintin specifically, I'd say 15 or 16, 17 at the very oldest. I like 15, because it's right in that Venn Diagram shared oval of 'oh my hell that's a child where are your parents' and 'he's very mature for his age, he even has the work ethic of an adult'. I also think it makes the fact that he can body anyone instantaneously with a single punch hilarious. Imagine getting taken out by a 15-year-old as an adult. That's peak comedy and nobody can convince me otherwise. Plus, it explains why he's extremely chaotic. Teenage boys are a whole different breed.

For 2011 weirdly attractive movie Tintin, I am firm at my headcanon of 17. This is simply because he looks old enough to pass for a baby-faced young adult. He's intelligent and mature enough to act convincingly adult-like. But, and I'm not sure how to explain this coherently, he just has the same vibe my 17-year-old brother does. Yes, you could kick my ass, but you are a baby and you will always be a baby. Does that make sense?

Side note: Tintin being 17 in the movie is canon. The source I found this from cited no source of its own so I cannot verify, but if you check the iMDB facts page, Tintin was born in 1938 and the movie takes place in 1955. So, at least according to the movie's creators, he's 17.
Literalman
Member
#154 · Posted: 11 Oct 2021 17:39
You don't have to be an expert to make a good estimation of Tintin's age. I think your estimates are good. I would call him a kid, not a baby, but my baby sister is turning 55, so OK, "baby" could fit. As for what teenagers can do, there were plenty of teenagers fighting in World War 2. I knew that one of my uncles was in the navy in World War 2, but only at his funeral, when I learned his age and did the math, did I realize that he joined the navy at age 17 in 1945. So I could picture Tintin having his adventures at age 17 or even younger.
jock123
Moderator
#155 · Posted: 11 Oct 2021 23:47
pilferingparakeet:
Side note: Tintin being 17 in the movie is canon.

It's a guess by someone, but it's not specified, so not really canonical.
pilferingparakeet:
the movie takes place in 1955

Sadly this is actually wrong, and it's verifiably so; in the The Art of The Adventures of Tintin book produced to record the production of the film, Kim Sinclair - the Weta Digital VFX Art Director - states on p.95 that it was decided that the film is set in 1949. The desire to allow for the inclusion of the Citroen 2CV and other cars meant that a little artistic license was at play, but an "absolute cut-off point" for objects and vehicles was 1953, after which year nothing later was allowed or used.
So definitely not 1955, and my guess is the 1938 date comes from someone deciding the Tintin of the film is 17, and working back from there.
pilferingparakeet
Member
#156 · Posted: 12 Oct 2021 03:47
jock123:
So definitely not 1955,

I mean... it might be. Wasn't there a date somewhere on the newspaper that gets bled on that suggests it was set sometime in 1955?
jock123
Moderator
#157 · Posted: 12 Oct 2021 11:30 · Edited by: jock123
pilferingparakeet:
Wasn't there a date somewhere on the newspaper that gets bled on that suggests it was set sometime in 1955?

That's really up to you to provide, and establish that it was intentional, and not simply an error, isn't it?
In the long run, I'd take the words of people involved in making it, over an un-confirmed point made by an unknown author on a web-site, wouldn't you? Looking at the page, there's another contributor listing many "errors" because they are adamant that the film is set in the "early 1930's" - a "fact" for which they offer no support, and at odds with the entry on the same page of the "fact" that it's 1955!
Therefore, it's both simpler and easier for me to think that the movie's art director is more likely to be right (and it's not the only reference in the book to period - for example, here's Keith Miller, Weta Digital Effects Supervisor on p. 98 "...there's always a unique challenge that's specific to each location you are working on, be it 1930's Manhattan, or 1940's Belgium.") than an IMDb contributor, especially when dealing with a film where *everything* has to be bespoke, made specifically for the production.
And on that point...
Your mention of the newspaper is an interesting idea, but leads us into another minefield. There's a running theme through the entire movie which plays specifically on the way that the books were presented in the international market.
While it's tempting to say that Tintin is Belgian, and he has indeed been turned into a Belgian cultural icon, almost an unofficial ambassador, Hergé took steps to reduce - rather than emphasise - the Belgian content over the years.
Early books make specific mentions of Brussels, and used landmarks in the capital to express the tie to that city; however he later decided to be more ambiguous, to increase the appeal of the series to other countries, and made efforts to make elements of older books more neutral when revising them for colour, and reducing mentions in later new books.
So he was happy for German readers to think that Haddock lived in Mühlenhof in German, Dutch readers Molensloot in Dutch, and British readers to have Marlinspike in English.
The film makers played into this amorphous locality by including multiple languages in signs, adverts, newspapers and what-have-you seen on screen - so Barnaby has a copy of Le Petit Vigtiéme paper (French), which has stories in English, but a date of "Dinsdag" (Tuesday), which is Dutch or Flemish.
Further complication comes from the fact that, as far as I can see, the full date is "Dinsdag 12 Decem 1944" (presumably Tuesday, 12th December 1944, which is the correct day for that date). It's a blink and you'll miss it appearance, but that's what I got.
My guess is that it's been sourced from an old paper and just used for "texture", rather than to convey actual information, or is an Easter egg of some sort, with significance to the creator - so perhaps it's a family birthday or wedding anniversary (I checked if it was Steven Spielberg's birthday, but he's not quite that old, and it appears to be unrelated to the publication of the original stories on which the film is based, and wasn't a significant day (as far as I can tell) in the war in Europe at the time, although it is just before the Battle of the Bulge, so it might have a meaning I have missed, or perhaps relates to an event in something like Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, or Band of Brothers).
But it's certainly before 1955! ;-)
Balthazar
Moderator
#158 · Posted: 12 Oct 2021 17:23
pilferingparakeet:
Before anyone says anything, I know it was a dumb move to join a forum full of dedicated Tintinologists as a surface-level fan

Not at all! You're very welcome, of course, as is everyone! :)

pilferingparakeet:
Part of the eccentric-ness of his character is that he's essentially a baby running around with a gun. Once you reach 18, you're no longer a baby. Now you're a weird adult running around with a gun, and that's far less impressive.

Yes! I think that's a good point, sometimes overlooked. Perhaps because there's so much realism in the books, especially as they developed into their later colour versions, people assume that realism needs to apply to Tintin, and that he must therefore be a young adult in order to be able to drive cars, have his own flat, etc. But I think you're right that the fact all these grown up things are being done unrealistically (or at least very untypically) by just a boy was a major part of the fun of the character's original creation – The Petit Vingtieme's cub reporter travelling solo on a dangerous mission to Soviet Russia to report back to the youth of Belgium when his feet barely reach the floor of the train carriage.

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