Back in 1929, Belgian artist Georges Remi aka "Hergé", would create a comic book series titled "Les Adventures de Tintin" (The Adventures of Tintin) which was first published in the Belgian Newspaper Le XXe Siecle.
The comic book series would prove to be successful that it was made into several books, led to a Tintin magazine and also received aptations for film, radio, television and theater.
In fact, the comic book series was so popular that it appeared in many countries worldwide in more than 80 languages and over 350 million copies of the books were sold worldwide.
But for many people who were not familiar with the comic books or other adaptations, in America, many were introduced to "The Adventures of Tintin" through the animated series that aired on television back in 1991-1992. A total of 39 half-hour episodes were created and are based on the best-known stories from the book. And now the second season (episodes 14-26) of "The Adventures of Tintin" was released on DVD courtesy of Shout! Factory.
In order to appeal to a younger audience, there were some changes that needed to be made. The key change was toning down the violence, the number of deaths and also the use of firearms. Especially how the series would approach the use of alcohol, which Captain Haddock drinks a lot of. Each time that Tintin is injured, he is able to bounce back to recover fairly quickly. So, a few liberties were taken in order to appeal to children. But certain elements such as the threats on Tintin's and Snowy's lives are still intact to a certain degree.
"The Adventures of Tintin" features an adventurous Belgian reporter named Tintin who goes on adventures with his white fox terrier named Snowy. The cases he takes on are typically dangerous and is often seen saving the day. Joining Tintin is his best friend Captain Archibald Haddock, a respectable character who does things without thinking at times.
Other characters include the half-deaf Professor Calculus, who many international thieves are after his inventions. And there are the two bumbling detectives named Thomson and Thomson who are the comical relief of the series that are often after Tintin (as he is always in the middle of a crime scene in some way or form) or somehow find themselves treated as criminals.
The following is a spoiler free synopsis of each story arc:
EPISODE 14- The Shooting Star- Tintin is involved in a race to find remnants of a meteorite in the ocean.
EPISODE 15 - The Broken Ear Part 1 - When an idol from South America is stolen in the Museum of Ethnography in Brussels, Tintin investigates.
EPISODE 16 - The Broken Ear Part 2 - Tintin and friends are captured by the Rumbabas.
EPISODE 17 - King Ottokar's Sceptre Part 1 - Tintin finds a lost briefcase belonging to Professor Hector Alembick, but Tintin thinks it may be someone disguised as him.
EPISODE 18 - King Ottokar's Sceptre Part 2 - Tintin investigates the stolen scepter of King Ottokar IV.
EPISODE 19 - Tintin in Tibet Part 1 - When Tintin and Captain Haddock read about a plane crash in the Himalayas and that his friend Chang was on the plane. Tintin has a dream that his friend Chang is alive and Tintin and Captain Haddock go to find him.
EPISODE 20 - Tintin in Tibet Part 2 - Tintin's and Captain Haddock go to find Chang in the snowy mountains of Tibet. But people are afraid of the yeti.
EPISODE 21 - Tintin and the Picaros Part 1 - Tintin goes to investigate when he hears that Bianca Castafiore, her main, pianist and Thompson and Thompson have been imprisoned in San Theodoros thanks to General Tapioca.
EPISODE 22 - Tintin and the Picaros Part 2 - Thompson and Thompson are to be executed, can Tintin save them in time.
EPISODE 23 - Land of Black Gold Part 1 - Tintin is kidnapped by insurgents.
EPISODE 24 - Land of Black Gold Part 2 - Tintin reunites with familiar friends and must do all he can to stop his old enemy, Dr. J.W. Muller.
EPISODE 25 - Flight 714 Part 1 - Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus are off to Sydney and get a ride with the wealthy millionaire Laszlo Carrreidas, but the plane is hijacked.
EPISODE 26 - Flight 714 Part 2 - Can Tintin and friends are being held captive. Can they escape?
VIDEO AND AUDIO:
It's important to note that "The Adventures of Tintin" was created in the early '90s and is an older series that was never fully detailed compared to popular American animation series. But it fit the context of the comic book series quite wonderfully.
The series is presented in full frame and while the animation does show its age and looks a bit washed out, the animation still manages to hold up quite well 20-years later and is highly watchable. As one would expect on DVD, you will see some ghosting but for the most part, the DVD looks good.
As for audio, the audio is presented in English and Spanish Dolby Stereo 2.0. Dialogue is clear and understandable and didn't hear any major hissing or any audio problems while watching each episode.
There are no special features on "The Adventures of Tintin: Season Two" DVD release.
With the film version of "The Adventures of Tintin" from Steven Spielberg having been released in theaters, there was no doubt that Herge's classic was going to attract old and new fans of his work.
Before the more grown up animation that we see today, during the 1990's, many series were created to boost the sales of popular toylines such as "Transformers", "G.I. Joe" to name a few. And many animation on television were primarily targeted towards younger audiences.
While, superhero animated series such as "X-Men", "Spider-Man" and "Batman" were popular and introduced elements of mystery, what makes "The Adventures of Tintin" so accessible is that he's a normal guy. Granted, he must work for a wealthy publication that can send him to exotic locations for his research but nevertheless, he's a regular guy who goes on investigations with his terrier Snowy and his friend Captain Haddock.
Also, what makes this series different from other animated series is that he is often the target of kidnappings and even assassination attempts. Because he always covers these cases that are typically dangerous, he manages to get himself into quite a bit of trouble. Or more like, trouble finds him quite often!
He's not a superhero with any major fighting skills, he's not a detective nor does he carry a weapon. He's just a persistent journalist that happens to be successful in uncovering and solving cases. And because the stories tend to feature him in a variety of locations all over the world, "The Adventures of Tintin" is an animated series that manages to be exciting, adventurous, full of action and a lot of fun to watch!
If you are nostalgic for this series or wanting to watch the upcoming live-action film and want a bit more background on the classic adventures of Tintin, "The Adventures of Tintin: Season Two" is definitely worth watching!
With the second series which coincides with the books (with slight differences), the adventures of Tintin continues as he and his dog Snowy, Captain Haddock and even Professor Calculus get involved in quite a few adventures where their lives are constantly in danger (suffice to say, Tintin always finds trouble but he always finds a way out and help others along the way).
For the second season, the stories are a bit far out as Tintin comes across adventures that involve a meteorite, a stolen scepter, a yeti and throw in an extra-terrestrial as well. But there are a lot of action-packed episodes as Tintin and Captain Haddock find themselves in a warzone, climbing the snowy areas of Tibet in order to find a good friend that Tintin believes is a live and also in the middle of the desert as Tintin tries to find a child who was kidnapped.
Once again, you get 13 exciting episodes and it leads to the final third season of "The Adventures of Tintin".
It's important to note that although this series is animated, because of the violence, it's not a series that you may want to buy for younger children or have them in the room watching. While the death count was nothing like the first season, parents should know that this series maybe a bit too mature for children to understand and a little violent for them to watch.
Overall, if you are nostalgic of the series or have never heard of "The Adventures of Tintin" and are interested in seeing the upcoming live-action film, the animated series is accessible and for the most part, a welcome addition to the animated library from Shout! Factory.
"The Adventures of Tintin: Season Two" is recommended!