Steven Spielberg enjoyed working with the virtual camera so much, he did a lot of his own camera work in the movie.
The painter at the beginning bears the likeness of Hergé, creator of the "Tintin" comics. Furthermore, he draws Tintin's portrait in Herge's style. Using Hergé's likeness is an homage to the artist's own private joke of incorporating the likenesses of friends and family in his Tintin works.
Originally, Steven Spielberg was going to do a live-action adaptation of Tintin, and called Peter Jackson to ask if his visual effects company, Weta Digital, would work on the film, in particular, creating a CGI Snowy. Jackson, as it turned out, was a longtime fan of Tintin, and convinced Spielberg that live action would not do justice to the comic books, and that motion capture was the best way of representing Hergé's world of Tintin. However, Snowy would still be animated.
The first non-Pixar movie to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Picture since the category was first introduced. In addition, this film beat out Cars 2 (2011).
Steven Spielberg has been an avid fan of "The Adventures of Tintin" comic books since 1981, when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) to Tintin. His secretary bought him French editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them. He immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, "Tintin" creator Hergé became a fan of Spielberg (reports say he "thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice.")
While their plane is falling from the sky, Haddock (Andy Serkis) and Snowy drink blobs of floating alcohol while in zero gravity. This is a reference to a similar scene in the Tintin comic "Explorers on the Moon".
To prepare for his role as Captain Haddock, Andy Serkis read the majority of the "Tintin" comics. He later commented that they had a surreal quality, similar to the Monty Python films.
This is Andy Serkis' third collaboration with Peter Jackson, as well as his fourth motion-capture role (he had earlier played the creatures Gollum and King Kong (2005) in features directed by Jackson and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)). Sometime after being cast, Serkis joked that he was worried Peter Jackson would cast him as Tintin's dog Snowy.
This film combines the Tintin tales "The Crab with the Golden Claws" (Tintin befriends Captain Haddock, whose ship has been hijacked by smugglers) and the two-parter "The Secret of the Unicorn", and "Red Rackham's Treasure" (Tintin and Haddock search for pirate treasure).
Screenwriter Steven Moffat claims he was "love-bombed" by Steven Spielberg into writing the script for this film, with Spielberg promising to shield him from studio interference with his writing.
When Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) first gets woken up by Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Snowy, he yells, "A giant rat of Sumatra!" This is a reference to a Sherlock Holmes adventure mentioned by Dr. John Watson, but never related in the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. It is also a reference to the Peter Jackson film Dead Alive (1992), in which a (fictional) Sumatran Rat Monkey, whose bite infected the victim into becoming a zombie, is transported on a cargo ship.
In the opening credits, there is a scene where a flip sign at a train station shows various destinations. Those are the places where Tintin has his adventures in the comic books (for example, Syldavia, Tibet, Black Island, Djakarta, et cetera).
The film was released on the 30th anniversary of Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
According to Steven Spielberg, when shooting, he always keeps one eye closed when framing a shot, so that he can visualize the film in 2-D ("the way viewers would"). As the 3-D world is always viewed on a pair of 2-D monitors, by viewing only one of the two monitors, he could to treat the film like live-action, so on this film, he could keep both of his eyes open.
Hergé has an animated cameo, a little over four minutes into the movie, as a man painting. This is played up when the painter asks Tintin if he's drawn him before, with an answer of "occasionally". The cameo is voiced by Nathan Meister.
The film was disqualified for a Best Animated Feature award at the Oscars due to the usage of motion-capture performance. This rule was due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the technology. While MoCap can humanize movements to make them more physically plausible and less demanding on the animation team, assets to render into the scene still need to be constructed. Assets such as character design, backgrounds, objects, textures, (hair & fabric & paper) simulations, lighting, etc. all have to be filled in, sometimes painstakingly by hand. Certain movements and clipping often need to be enhanced or corrected with keyframe animation.
Since the Tintin comic book series is virtually unknown in the United States, the movie was first released in Europe, hoping that favorable reviews would warm American audiences to the movie. Despite a favorable $77 million box office take in the U.S., this is a relatively rare example of a movie produced in the U.S. that was considerably more successful overseas ($296 million).
During filming, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Daldry, and David Fincher paid a visit to the set.
Steven Spielberg shot his portion of the film in thirty-one days (taking up March 2009). Peter Jackson was present for the first week of filming, and supervised the rest of the shoot, via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson's voice would "be coming over the Tannoy like God."
This is Nickelodeon's first involvement with Tintin in twenty years. Nickelodeon originally aired The Adventures of Tintin (1991).
When the film was in development in 1984, Steven Spielberg wanted Jack Nicholson to play Captain Haddock.
Steven Spielberg's cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, was brought on to act as a lighting consultant for Weta, as Peter Jackson wanted the film to look "film noir-ish, and very atmospheric."
The red Jeep used by Sakharine and his henchmen is a reference to the Tintin comic "Land of Black Gold".
At the beginning of the movie, when Tintin is having his likeness drawn, the other likenesses posted in the background are of characters featured in various Tintin books, and as shown in the inside covers of every Tintin book.
The framed newspapers on the walls of Tintin's apartment feature headlines and photos that recall his other adventures. The headline "Tintin Breaks Up Crime Ring", with a picture of several Egyptian mummy cases, refers to "Cigars of the Pharaoh" and the headline "Tintin Recovers Valuable Sceptre" refers to "King Ottokar's Sceptre". The headline "Tintin retrieves national artifact" refers to "The Broken Ear". "Tintin finds Fang Hsi-ying" to "The Blue Lotus". "Forgers found on mystery isle" to "The Black Island". "Reporter Tintin unmasks tribe of gangsters" to "Tintin in the Congo".
When Tintin shoots down the seaplane, he fires his pistol in a peculiar stance where he steadies the gun on his elbow. This is a reference to the Tintin comic "Land of Black Gold" where Tintin fires a pistol using this stance.
In the early 1980s, Steven Spielberg hired E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) writer Melissa Mathison to write a draft of the script. Her script featured a battle in Africa between Tintin and ivory poachers.
Peter Jackson did a live-action screentest in which he played Captain Haddock, opposite the CGI Snowy, and Steven Spielberg remarked in an interview that Peter Jackson makes a good Captain Haddock.
Steven Moffat finished a draft of the script, but could not polish it because of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and afterwards becoming executive producer of Doctor Who (2005). Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson amiably allowed him to leave and fulfill his duty to the series (Jackson being a fan of the Doctor), and brought in Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish to re-write Moffat's draft.
During the final dock scene, a bunch of cans with a crab symbol falls from a crate. A similar logo was seen at Ben Salaad's (Gad Elmaleh's) palace. These are the same canned crabs that serve as a McGuffin in the original "Crab with the Golden Claws" album.
In the German dub, during the motorcycle chase, when Haddock reaches out for the three pieces of paper flying over the canal, he calls the pieces "Mein Schatz". This is a nod to the English dub, where Haddock is voiced by Andy Serkis. Serkis played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and in the German version, Gollum's "My Precious" is translated to "Mein Schatz".
This is Steven Spielberg's first comic book adaptation. He had earlier been considered to do Superman (1978).
Thomas Brodie-Sangster was originally set to play the title character, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie Bell, who had worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong (2005), then came aboard to play Tintin.
Michael Kahn has collaborated with Steven Spielberg as an editor for over thirty years, having cut his movies on a Moviola and KEM when working with Spielberg. This is his first movie that he cut digitally with Spielberg, using Avid (though he has cut movies digitally before, such as Twister (1996)).
When Snowy is in pursuit of kidnapped Tintin, he passes a "Docks" sign in front of E. Cutts Butcher shop. In the comics, the phone at Marlinspike Hall often receives wrong calls for Cutts the Butcher, and outgoing calls sometimes gets connected to Cutts as well.
When Bianca the Milanese Nightingale meets Omar Ben Salaad, she introduces Sakharine as "Monsieur Sugar Additive" with a rolling accent, a nod to his name sounding like saccharine.
After Simon Pegg had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008), Steven Spielberg invited him to the film's set, and offered him the role of Thomson.
Steven Spielberg is the first Academy Award-winning director to direct a Nickelodeon film. Peter Jackson (the sequel's director) will be the second. M. Night Shyamalan has the distinction of being the first Academy Award-nominated director to direct a Nickelodeon film (The Last Airbender (2010)).
Marks one of Steven Spielberg's few director's cameos (as the design inspiration for Ben Salaad, the Sultan of Bagghar). He's made cameos in only 3 of his other films; Jaws (vocal performance), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Tourist at Airport), and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Popcorn-Eating man). Spielberg has cameoed more in films by other directors than in his own.
Steven Spielberg described working on this film as "feeling artistic and painterly". The movie fittingly starts with a close-up of a painter's palette.
The ship in the bottle and the Unicorn are based upon the "Soleil Royal", a large French ship of the line that was launched in 1669.
In this flim, there are three Tintin books in one. They are: "The Crab With the Golden Claws", "The Secret of the Unicorn", and "Red Racham's Treasure".
Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of James Bond. He has worked with two Bond actors: Sir Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Daniel Craig in this film and Munich (2005). There is another homage to Bond in this film: Sakharine's Rolls Royce Phantom III has the same colors as the one driven by Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger (1964).
Steven Spielberg had originally wanted to make a live action film in the early 1990's with Leonardo Di Caprio as Tintin and Tom Hanks as Haddock, however due to his busy schedule it didn't eventuate.
The poster showcasing "The Milanese Nightingale" in Bagghar has an emerald in place of the "o" of Bianca Castafiore's name. This is a nod to volume twenty-one of the Tintin comics titled "The Castafiore Emerald" which also depicts the title in the same way.
The writer Joe Cornish was able to join the writing staff after Simon Pegg declared himself too busy and the writer Stephen Moffat had to return to writing duties on Doctor Who. Cornish, who was a good friend of Wright, was able to commit full time on the project and therefore was hired as a writing partner to Wright.
In the scene when Tintin swims towards the downed seaplane only his quiff can be seen above the water....much like a shark's fin.
Billy Crystal was considered for the part of Professor Calculus when the character was in the screenplay.
Though this film won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Score, it wasn't nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature due to the rule against films that use the performance capture technique.
Steven Spielberg has always shot his films with 35mm film, but since he was going to film what he saw was an animated film, he didn't mind shooting it digitally.
Is one of three films to win the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature without also winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the other two being Cars (2006) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014). Of the three, The Adventures of Tintin is the only one to not have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
When the two ships are fighting in Haddock's desert hallucination, and the top of the masts get tangled, the ship swinging over the deck of the other is a reference to the "Pirate Ship" ride, frequently seen in UK (and probably elsewhere) fairgrounds.
The name "Bagghar" sounds like the French word "bagarre," meaning a fight or squabble.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon were considered for the part of Tintin in the 1990s.
Andy Serkis & Toby Jones played villain character in Marvel Cinematic Universe. Andy Serkis played Ulysses Klaue in Avengers : Age of Ultron (2015) and Black Panther (2018), while Toby Jones played Dr. Arnim Zola in Captain America : The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America : The Winter Soldier (2014).
Professor Calculus (Tournesol in the original), a brilliant but absent-minded scientist, is the most important character in the whole series after Tintin, Snowy and Haddock and was introduced in the comic book "The Secret of the Unicorn" (the main inspiration for this movie), where he played a prominent role. However, his character does not appear in the film.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet was originally attached as director, he also cast Jérémie Renier as Tintin, Gérard Lanvin as Haddock, Gérard Jugnot as Thomson and Thompson, Ticky Holgado as Rastapopoulos, Dominique Pinon and Jean-Claude Dreyfus as the Bird Brothers, and Rufus as Nestor.
This is Steven Spielberg's first film he has directed for Columbia Pictures since Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), as well as for Sony Pictures Entertainment since Hook (1991).
Stephen Spielberg is a big fan of James Bond, and in the scene at the docks when Captain Haddock and Sakharine are dueling with the cranes, Sakharine swings his crane at Captain Haddock so that the hook and cargo swings up beneath Captain Haddocks seat knocking him over. This is a reference to the scene in the James Bond movie Casino Royal where Bond (Daniel Craig) is being tortured on a chair by Le Chiffre. Daniel Craig is turning the tables here as he plays Sakharine in this movie.
Andy Serkis ,Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg have all appeared in Star Wars : The Force Awaken (2015) and never shared any screen time together
This is the second film that Columbia Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies made with Paramount Pictures since Yours, Mine & Ours (2005).
When Tintin meets with a sober Haddock, Haddock asks what his drink is, and is told by Lieutenant Delcourt that he is drinking water. Haddock remarks "What will they think of next?" A nod to a sketch in the third season of the BBC sketch comedy show, The Fast Show (1994), in which the character Bob Fleming (Charlie Higson) is suggested by his producer (John Thomsen) that he should try taking cough medicine for his bad cough, which Fleming remarks, "What will they think of next?"
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, and Tony Curran have had guest roles in the revived series Doctor Who (2005). Steven Moffat, one of the screenwriters of the film, took over from Russell T. Davies as head writer and producer of the series in 2010.
Toby Jones & Mackenzie Crook have been in a number of projects together: Christopher Robin (2018) Detectorists (2014) Muppets Most Wanted (2014) The Adventures of Tintin (2011) Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010) City of Ember (2008) Finding Neverland (2004)
In Captain Haddock's vision of the Unicorn's fight with the Pirate Ship, every shot sets the ships or their sails on fire. This would not happen unless the shot were heated red hot, which was deemed too dangerous on a ship, or if the shot was an explosive shell, which was not invented until the 19th century.
Daniel Craig (Red Rackham) had collaborated with Toby Jones in Infamous (2006), and Jamie Bell in Defiance (2008), and appeared in the Steven Spielberg film Munich (2005).
Most of the score was written while the animation was still in the early stages, with Williams attempting to employ "the old Disney technique of doing music first and have the animators trying to follow what the music is doing".
The fourth theatrically released fully CGI film to be based off already existing animated media after Jonah: A Veggietales Movie (2002), TMNT (2007), The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Veggietales Movie (2008), and Astro Boy (2009).
The second theatrically released animated film of 2011 to be based off already existing animated media after Winnie the Pooh (2011).