The Adventures of Tintin (TV series)

The Adventures of Tintin (TV series)

infobox television
show_name = The Adventures of Tintin

caption = Tintin and Snowy, as seen on the show's opening sequence.
format = Animated Series
runtime = 25 minutes (approx. per episode)
creator = Hergé (characters)
starring = (English version)
Colin O'Meara
David Fox
Wayne Robson
John Stocker
Dan Hennessey
Susan Roman
country = FRA
network = HBO (USA)
Family (Canada)
Global TV (Canada)
first_aired = 1991
last_aired = 1992
num_seasons = 3
num_episodes = 39
imdb_id = 0179552
tv_com_id = 19627|

"The Adventures of Tintin" is an animated television series based on "The Adventures of Tintin", a series of books by Hergé. It debuted in 1991, and 39 half-hour episodes were produced over the course of three seasons. It is the most well known adaptation of the books.


The television series was co-directed by Stéphane Bernasconi, unit directed by Peter Hudecki, and produced by Ellipse (France), and Nelvana (Canada), on behalf of the Hergé Foundation. It was the first television adaptation of Hergé's books for over twenty years (previously, the Belgian animation company Belvision had been responsible for their loose adaptations). Philippe Goddin, an expert in Hergé and Tintin acted as consultant to the producers. Writers for the series included Toby Mullally, Eric Rondeaux, Martin Brossolet, Amelie Aubert, Denise Fordham and Alex Boon.


Traditional animation techniques were used on the series. The books were closely adhered to during all stages of production, with some frames from the original albums being transposed directly to screen. In the episodes "Destination Moon" and "Explorers on the Moon", 3D animation was used for the Moon rocket - an unusual step in 1989. The rocket was animated in 3D, each frame of the animation was then printed and recopied onto celluloid and hand painted in gouache, and laid onto a painted background. The rocket seen in the title sequence is animated using 3D techniques.

Artistically, the series chose a constant look, unlike the books (drawn over a course of 47 years, Hergé's style developed throughout from early works like "The Blue Lotus" and later ones such as "Tintin and the Picaros"). However, later televised episodes such as the Moon story and "Tintin in America" clearly demonstrate the artists' development during the course of the series.

The series was filmed in English, with the animation timed to fit the English soundtrack. French-speaking viewers have found the French voices 'rushed' to fit the English timingFact|date=February 2007. Purists have also complained that French should have been the first languageFact|date=February 2007. All visuals (road signs, posters and settings) remain in French.

The series is generally seen by fans as being a faithful adaptation of Hergé's booksFact|date=February 2007. The changes that occurred have been accepted due to the potential audience. Some feel uncomfortable with the Canadian accent given to TintinFact|date=February 2007, but it is a small quibble for what results in a highly faithful adaptation of Tintin's adventures which introduced many fans to the original books, as did the Belvision episodes generations earlier.

Changes from the books

Inevitably, certain areas of the stories posed difficulties for the producers, who had to adapt features of the books to a more modern young audience. But it must be said that this series was far more faithful to the books than "Hergé's Adventures of Tintin", which had been made in the 1950s.

The most obvious change was that the books "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets", "Tintin in the Congo" and "Tintin and Alph-Art" were not adapted at all. While "Soviets" and "Alph-Art" were left for obvious reasons, (the first was in an original black and white state, and the second was unfinished), "Congo" is a part of the French canon, but due to its unavailability in English at the time and questionable content, it was dropped from the series. Also, violence and death and the use of weapons were toned down or removed completely.

Haddock's penchant for whisky posed a problem for audience sensitivities. While the original books did not promote alcohol, they featured it heavily, with much humour based around it and the results of drinking. However, in many countries where the producers hoped to sell the series, alcoholism is a sensitive issue. Therefore, international versions of the series make some alterations. Haddock is seen drinking, but not as heavily as in the books. "The Crab with the Golden Claws" is the only adventure where Haddock's drunken state is not reduced. In "Tintin in Tibet," Haddock is seen taking a nip from a flask of whiskey in order to set up a scene in which Snowy is tempted to lap up some spilt whiskey and subsequently falls over a cliff. In "Tintin and the Picaros", Haddock is the only person taking wine with dinner, foreshadowing the use of Calculus' tablets to "cure" the drunken Picaros. Haddock is also seen drinking in "The Calculus Affair" and in "Explorers on the Moon", setting up the scene where he leaves the rocket in a drunken state. It should be noted that he does not hide the bottle in a book of Astronomy, like he did in the book, but keeps the bottle in the refrigerator, making it less obvious for young viewers that it's alcohol.

Throughout the books, Snowy is frequently seen to be "talking". It is understood that his voice is only heard through the "fourth wall", but this verbal commentary is completely absent in the television series.

Smaller changes were made due to the necessity for simplification or audience requirements. In "The Calculus Affair," the Syldavian group who tries to snatch Professor Calculus from the Bordurians in the original book is removed for simplicity. Also, in the original book, Calculus was kidnapped earlier in the story. It's not clear why they made that change.

In "The Red Sea Sharks", the original book dealt with the topic of modern slavery, but in the television episode was centred around smuggling of refugees. Suprisingly, they are arabs instead of nigros. They weren't meant to be sold, but killed after handing over all their money. Furthermore, while the Africans in the book volunteered to be simply stokers for the ship that Captain Haddock has command of, the television version makes a point of having the characters doing more sophisticated work on the ship. Also, Piotr Skut has already known Tintin and Captain Haddock when they saved him while they haven't met each other in the original story.

In "Tintin and the Picaros", Hergé presents a less naive Tintin who refuses to go with Haddock and Calculus to rescue Castafiore and the detectives, knowing it's a setup. He only joins them later, after his conscience gets the better of him. Many fans felt it was out of character for Tintin to refuse to go to South America. In the series however, Tintin is all for rescuing his friends and goes with Haddock and Calculus early in the adventure. In the original comic, Tintin wore jeans throughout the book, which was in contrast with the plus-fours he had always worn previously. In the episode, his plus fours have returned.

"Tintin in America" was the most altered episode, amounting to almost a completely new story. The Native American aspect was completely removed, and the gangster element given the main focus. Bobby Smiles, in the book the head of a rival gang to Al Capone, becomes an 'employee' of Capone's in the televised episode. Artistically, the episode was produced to the same standard as the others, with backgrounds having greater detail and more interestingly filmed shots.

In "King Ottokar's Sceptre", the imposter of the professor smokes while the latter doesn't which is the reverse of the book.

In "The Secret of the Unicorn", the Bird brothers' Bullmastiff, Brutus is not shown.

In "The Black Island", the gorilla Ranko crushes the rock Tintin throws at him, something he didn't do in the book.


The music and score for the series was composed by Ray Parker, Jim Morgan and Tom Szczesniak. It is generally regarded as an excellent score, fitting with the series well and providing enjoyable listening in its own right. Excerpts from the score were released by Ellipse on CD and cassette in conjunction with Universal, on the StudioCanal label. It is no longer available.

Broadcasts and releases


In Canada, the series originally aired on The Family Channel and Global Television Network, and on Radio-Canada in Quebec. with reruns subsequently aired on YTV and Teletoon.

In the United States, the series originally aired on HBO with reruns subsequently aired on Nickelodeon.

In the United Kingdom, the series originally aired on Channel Four on terrestrial television, and Family Channel, a channel based on CBN's Family Channel available through the original Sky system. It was later broadcast on Sky One until the series was purchased by Five.

In Israel, the series was dubbed into Hebrew by [ Elrom Studios] , and broadcasted on [ Israel TV Channel 1] during the [ Zaa'p L'arishon] Children and Teenagers devoted shows. Tintin became very popular among kids and adults in Israel. The show was aired for several years, rerunning many times.

In Australia, the series was broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as part of their ABC Kids programming block as well as on the ABC2 digital channel. It has been shown in its complete run at least twice, leading to screenings of the Belvision Tintin films. It currently screens on Saturday Mornings on ABC2.

In India, the series was broadcast by Cartoon Network in the summer of 2000. The original run was followed by many reruns. Zee Alpha Bangla also showed the series with Bengali dubbings.

It has also aired in Arabic in several networks broadcast from Arabic speaking regions.

In Bulgaria, it premiered on July 18 2005 on BNT Channel 1 and aired every Monday to Friday from 16:20. Reruns were aired during 2006.

The series is currently aired globally in over 50 countries.

Video and DVD releases

The full series has been available three times on video, with individual episodes released by Lumiere in 1994 and Mollin Video in 2000, while Anchor Bay released a series of five videos, containing four episodes on each (and five on the last one) in 2002–2003.

The series has also been released twice on Region 2 DVD by Anchor Bay, but unfortunately with no subtitles or extra features. The first was as an exclusive 5-disc DVD release for HMV with soundtracks in English, French and Spanish. The second was a general 10-disc release but with the soundtrack only in English. The 10-disc set is in the canonical order, although the limited edition 5-disc set places "The Blue Lotus" first (presumably from looking at the back of one of the books).

In France, the full series has been available for years on video, produced by Citel. At the beginning of 2006, Citel also released the series on Region 2 DVD. The DVDs are packaged in two ways. In one packaging, there are 21 DVDs with one episode per DVD and audio in French and English but no subtitles. A full set was issued in a wooden box. The second packaging has two episodes on each DVD (3 on one). These have audio in French, English and Spanish and subtitles in the same three languages plus French for the hard of hearing. Some of them also have subtitles in Portuguese. Recently the series was issued as a partwork by Éditions Atlas in France, with an accompanying booklet featuring information about the episode and behind-the-scenes artwork.

In Canada, the series has been released on Region 1 DVD, with French and English language tracks with subtitles. Each DVD contains two episodes, arranged in two boxed sets of ten episodes each. For some reason, "Tintin in America" is not planned for release. The episodes have no specific order on the discs.

In Australia, a 6-disc DVD box set of the series was released by Madman Entertainment in 2004.

In India, the series has been released on both DVD and VCD by Moser Baer Home Entertainment.

In Brazil, the series has been released on DVD in July 2008. Each season has been released separately on 3 box-sets. There's also a special deluxe colector's edition box-set with all 39 episodes on 9 discs. The series has been released by Log On Multimidia and the region-free DVDs contains audio in English and Portuguese and subtitles in Portuguese.

Cameos by Hergé

In many episodes, Hergé (like Alfred Hitchcock in many of his movies) appears as an extra. Confirmed sightings are:
* "Cigars of the Pharaoh"
** An assistant on the film set.
** One of the inmates at the mental institution, wearing a paper hat and impersonating Napoleon
* "The Blue Lotus"
** Checking his watch outside Mitsuhirato's store
** Sitting in a café in Hukow
* "Tintin and the Broken Ear"
** News photographer in the Museum of Ethnography
** Standing at the bar on the S.S. Washington
* "The Black Island"
** Walking past Tintin's compartment on train
** Seated at table with several other people in dining car on train
* "King Ottokar's Sceptre"
** In the crowd on the street, after the Thompsons open up Tintins parcel
** At the Palace (when Bianca Castafiore singing), as King Muskar's Guest
* "The Crab with the Golden Claws"
** His name appears on the mailbox next to Tintin's
** A passerby who helps Tintin up after he is attacked by goons.
** His picture appears in a newspaper, Tintin is reading
** A reporter who askes Tintin, "What it's like to be a hero?"
* "The Shooting Star"
** One of the townspeople in the street, awaken by the meteor shower.
* "The Secret of the Unicorn"
** Showing a sketch he drew to a maid outside a building.
* "Red Rackham's Treasure
** Sketching in a dockside bar
* "The Seven Crystal Balls
** As a member of the orchestra at the variete
* "Prisoners of the Sun"
** Dressed in traditional Peruvian garb, waiting for a train.
** Helping Tintin off his llama.
* "Land of Black Gold"
** In the crowd on the street, watching fireworks blowing up in Dr. J.W. Müller's castle
* "Destination Moon"
** One of the people on the elevator working on the rocket
** One of the workers in Miller's lab when the XFLR-6 takes off.
* "Explorers on the Moon"
** One of the ground crew who enters the spaceship after landing
* "The Calculus Affair"
** Walking through the lobby of the Hotel Cornavin
** Part of the crowd at the Szohôd Opera House
* "The Red Sea Sharks"
** Walking through the lobby of the Hotel Excelsior
* "Tintin in Tibet"
** With a sketchbook on the street in Kathmandu
* "The Castafiore Emerald"
** As part of the TV crew filming Bianca Castafiore at Marlinspike Hall
** On Professor Calculus' "Super-Calcacolor" television
* "Flight 714"
** When captain Haddock spots Laszlo Carreidas for the first time he is on the other side of the bench.
** In the television news broadcast about Dr. Krollspell reappearing in India
* "Tintin and the Picaros"
** With a sketchbook on the streets of Tapiocapolis

Voice artists


* Colin O'Meara - Tintin
* Susan Roman - Snowy
* David Fox - Captain Haddock
* Wayne Robson - Professor Calculus
* Dan Hennessey - Detective Thomson
* John Stocker - Detective Thompson


* Thierry Wermuth - Tintin
* Susan Roman - Milou
* Christian Pelissier - Capitaine Haddock
* Henri Labussiere - Professeur Tournesol
* Yves Barsacq - Détective Dupont
* Jean-Pierre Moulin - Détective Dupond


* Carla Carreiro
* Carlos Macedo
* Frederico Trancoso
* Luís Barros
* Paulo Simões
* Rui de Sá
* Vitor Emanuel

Brazilian Portuguese

* Oberdan Júnior - Tintim
* Isaac Bardavid - Capitão Haddock
* Orlando Drummond - Professor Girassol
* Darcy Pedrosa - Detetive Dupond
* Márcio Simões - Detetive Dupont
* Paulo Flores - Rastapopoulos
* Selma Lopes - Bianca Castafiore


* Mats Quiström - Tintin
* Kenneth Milldoff - Kapten Haddock, Rastapopoulos
* Dan Bratt - Professor Kalkyl
* Håkan Mohede - Dupond & Dupont, Nestor
* Anja Schmidt - Bianca Castafiore


eason 1

# The Crab with the Golden Claws (part one)
# The Crab with the Golden Claws (part two)
# The Secret of the Unicorn (part one)
# The Secret of the Unicorn (part two)
# Red Rackham's Treasure
# Cigars of the Pharaoh (part one)
# Cigars of the Pharaoh (part two)
# The Blue Lotus (part one)
# The Blue Lotus (part two)
# The Black Island (part one)
# The Black Island (part two)
# The Calculus Affair (part one)
# The Calculus Affair (part two)

eason 2

# The Shooting Star
# The Broken Ear (part one)
# The Broken Ear (part two)
# King Ottokar's Sceptre (part one)
# King Ottokar's Sceptre (part two)
# Tintin in Tibet (part one)
# Tintin in Tibet (part two)
# Tintin and the Picaros (part one)
# Tintin and the Picaros (part two)
# Land of Black Gold (part one)
# Land of Black Gold (part two)
# Flight 714 (part one)
# Flight 714 (part two)

eason 3

# The Red Sea Sharks (part one)
# The Red Sea Sharks (part two)
# The Seven Crystal Balls (part one)
# The Seven Crystal Balls (part two)
# Prisoners of the Sun (part one)
# Prisoners of the Sun (part two)
# The Castafiore Emerald (part one)
# The Castafiore Emerald (part two)
# Destination Moon (part one)
# Destination Moon (part two)
# Explorers on the Moon (part one)
# Explorers on the Moon (part two)
# Tintin in America


* Executive Producers: Patrick Loubert, Philippe Gildas, Michael Hirsch, Pierre Bertrand-Jaume, Clive A. Smith, Simon Hart
* Producer: Robert Rea
* Director: Stephane Bernasconi
* Unit Director: Peter Hudecki
* Story Editor: Dennise Fordham
* Storyboard Supervisor: Raymond Jafelice
* Supervising Producers: Philippe Grimond, Stephen Hodgins
* Consultant: Philippe Goddin
* Assistant Directors: Marc Boreal, Jean-Claude Maitre, Tyler Baylis
* Production Managers: Nicolas Pesques, Steve Chadwick
* Production Coordinators: Jocelyn Hamilton, Isabelle Pean
* Script Coordinator: Amelie Aubert
* Voice Director: Debra Toffan
* Casting: Jessie Thomson
* Storyboard Coordinators: Cyriac Auriol, Isabelle Bacle, Carolyn Walters
* Production Secretary: Laurence Pourtal
* Production Accountant: Agnes Flauder
* Production Assistants: Jimmy Capron, Veronique Franco, Aviva Bertaux, Orlando Feliz, Fabienne Lievant-Blanchard
* Art Director: Thierry Fournier
* Assistant Art Directors: Annick Paulhac, Michael Pisson
* Color Stylists: Soazig Heaulme, Fernand Longatte
* Assistant Color Stylists: Isabelle Roussel, Heidi Packalen
* Director of Animation: Yannick Barbaud
* Designers: Valerie Hadida, Norbert Lafabrie, Jose Lemaire, Julien Grycan, Vincent Mommeja, Bruno Lamat, Fernand Wallet, Jean Michael Senasson, Olivier Le Discot, Hakim Hadad, Eric Loussaut, Philippe Leconte, Isabelle Dinh Van Chi
* Layout Supervisor: Armen Melkonian
* Assisted by: Philippe Vidal
* Layout Coordinators: Parastou Farivar, Beatrice Duroure
* Layout Artists: Francois Perreau, Eric Cazes, Augusto Zanovello, Richard Fabby, Mitzuho Sato, Karen Hjort, Olivier Franciscus, Patrick George, Didier Gourdin, Olsen Groiseau, Eric Jankowski, Benoit Le Pennec, Jean-Noel Malinge, Mathieu Venant, Gabriel Nobre, Christophe Pouchot, Herve Tormen, Gilbert Weppe, Tianxiao Zhang, Caroline Martin, Emilie Mercier, Lama Masudi, Cyril Darracq, Philippe Saunier, Philippe Lancon, Bernard Lizon, Gerald Audigier, Laurent Cardon
* Supervising Editor: Rob Kirkpatrick
* Post Production Manager: Lan Lamon
* Picture Editors: Richard Bond, Karen Saunders
* Assistant Picture Editor: John Sanders
* Supervising Sound Editor: Mac Holyoke
* Dialogue Editors: Keith Traver, Annellie Samuel, Mark Grosicki, Chris Harris
* Music Editors: Stephen Hudecki, Peter Branton, Asha Daniere
* Sound Effects Editors: John Baktis, Eric Mattar-Hurlbut, Glenn Barna
* Assembly Supervisor: Darrell MacDonald
* Assembly Editors: Shelley Mills-Hughes, Ken Hurlbut
* Breakdown: Rick Dubiel
* Transfer and Recording Technicians: Mike Reid, Richard Strobel
* Re-Recording Mixer: Tony van den Akker
* Theme Music and Score: Ray Parker, Jim Morgan, Tom Szczesniak
* Music Produced by: Acrobat Music
* Additional Production Facilities: Hanho Heung Up Co., Ltd.
* Negative Cutting Services: Catherine Rankin Productions
* Laboratory Services: The Film House Group, Command Post and Transfer Corporation, Manta Sound, Ansara Industries, International Image, Multitrack Digital, Inc.
* A France-Canada Co-production in collaboration with la Foundation Hergé
* Produced with the participation of: Telefilm Canada, Centre National de la Cinematographie
* In association with: Home Box Office, Media Participations, The Family Channel "Canada's Family Network", M6, The Global Television Network "A Member of the Canwest Global System", FR3
* The Adventures of Tintin books published by: Methuen and Little Brown
* Tintin © & ™ Herge
* Series © 1992 Ellipse Programme/Nelvana Limited.
* Music © 1992 Ellipse Programme. All Rights Reserved.


* "Les Aventures de Tintin en DVD" (2003) : issues 1,2,5,6
* "The Adventures of Tintin" - 5-disc DVD set (2003)
* Lofficier, Jean-Marc & Randy (2002) "The Pocket Essential Tintin" - ISBN 1-904048-17-X
* [ Citel Video]

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