The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn 3D

Out Now On-Demand

Two giants of cinema, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, team up to bring Hergé's comic book characters to life. The Secret of the Unicorn is the first film in a proposed Tintin trilogy.

Belgian reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) finds a clue to an ancient treasure that belonged to Captain Haddock's (Andy Serkis, aka Gollum) ancestors. Together, with the help of intelligent mutt Snowy and Detective Thompson and Thomson (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), they set out on a high seas adventure to recover the family fortune. But on their tail and after the same treasure is the dastardly Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig).

Tintin uses Weta Digital's motion capture to bring the actors to life. Says Jackson: "We're making them look photorealistic; the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people – but real Hergé' people." The story combines elements from three Tintin books: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.



Winner of Best Animated Film at the Golden Globes 2012.

Directed by

Written by


  • Peter Jackson('The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'The Hobbit' trilogy, 'King Kong')

Adaptation, Adventure, Animated, Mystery, 3D


Rating: PG contains violence

USA, New Zealand, Belgium

Official Site

Steven Spielberg has two films out this summer, but for my money this is the one to see. Merging plot elements from three of Herge’s books (The Secret of the UnicornRed Rackham’s Treasure and The Crab with the Golden Claws), the resulting adventure is never short on detail, packed to the hilt with incident and mystery.

Technically the film is top shelf, with beautiful noir-ish lighting overseen by Spielberg’s regular cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski. The 3D aspects are not overplayed, instead creating a rich depth to near-photoreal images. John Williams’ helter-skelter, Euro-flavoured score accompanies the busy and inventive visual storytelling (Spielberg’s first venture into animation fits him like a glove).

Tintin himself verges on being a slightly vanilla lead here although Jamie Bell does his best to infuse him with a sprightly and persistent energy. Mo-cap veteran Andy Serkis (The Lord of the RingsKing Kong, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) plays the frequently sozzled Captain Haddock (purists may question the Scottish accent) as a child-like and befuddled grump. It’s Tintin’s canny canine companion, Snowy, who steals the show.

The action is very over-the-top at times (an amazing and seamless chase sequence in a flash-flooded North African town being a highlight) but on the whole the film is a very faithful adaptation of Herge’s material, with plenty of affectionate details, in-jokes and references for the fans. Younger audiences, in particular, will be won over.

A.V. Club (USA)


While it's essentially just another slick Spielberg action machine, it's operating effectively on all cylinders throughout.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)


It evokes Saturday afternoon serials in an age when most of the audience will never have seen one. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed myself.

Empire (UK)


Action-packed, gorgeous, and faithfully whimsical: Hergé thought Spielberg the only director capable of filming Tintin. He was onto something.

Hollywood Reporter


A visually dazzling adaptation of the legendary – at least outside the US – comic book series by Belgian artist Herge.

Los Angeles Times


Think of The Adventures of Tintin as a song of innocence and experience, able to combine a sweet sense of childlike wonder and pureness of heart with the most worldly and sophisticated of modern technology. More than anything, it's just a whole lot of fun.

New York Times


Like the screen Tintin, the movie proves less than inviting because it's been so wildly overworked: there is hardly a moment of downtime, a chance to catch your breath or contemplate the tension between the animated Expressionism and the photo-realist flourishes.

The Hollywood Reporter (USA)


Serving up a good ol’ fashioned adventure flick that harkens back to the filmmaker’s action-packed, tongue-in-cheek swashbucklers of the 1980s, Steven Spielberg’s [film] is a visually dazzling adaptation of the legendary comic book series by Belgian artist Herge.

The Telegraph (UK)


Hergé famously said that Spielberg was the only director capable of capturing the unique essence of his creation. That probably remains true. But this film hasn’t done it.

Total Film (UK)


Like the 3D, an adventure that’s serviceable but doesn’t reach out and grab you as often as you’d expect. Frenetic to a fault, it’ll divert the under-10s; older viewers may feel there’s not enough lift in the quiff.

Variety (USA)


Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that's largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged audiences.



Lots of Fun

Goodies and baddies with action and fun aplenty make this a great watch. Of course I am totally biased by Weta's supreme craftsmanship that made this such a visual treat. Shame on the Academy for overlooking this film. Bring on Sir Peter's version. Can't wait!

Wonderful movie for the whole family

Giving it 5 stars cos this movie felt like a re-imagining of Indiana Jones' movies (excluding the recent movie). Spielberg really nails the elements of the Tin Tin series which has made the character popular over the years. There is humour, drama, suspense throughout. It will appeal to audiences of different ages on different levels. Weta Digital have taken Visual Effects to another level. The likenesses of the characters are wonderful. It has been mentioned in previous reviews and i feel i must re-iterate here. The transitions from one shot to the next is amazing. Very intelligent use of CG to advance the story along. The water effects were so realistic. After watching this movie, i find it amazing and criminal that this movie was not nominated for Best Visual Effects. In conclusion, this movie is a must watch for everyone.

A Tintin Herge would have loved

Beautifully crafted family friendly movie (aside from dubious un-PC alcohol imbibing by Cap'n Haddock) that rocks along like an animated version of Spielberg's first Indianna Jones adventure. Highly recommended harmless fun for everyone with a spectacular Williams score and some inspired chase scenes. Watch out for the reference to JAWS and a guest spot by artist and Tintin creator Herge himself as well as some lovely Tintin quiff sight gags. Star of the show? snowy - of course!

Great fun

Really enjoyed this, brought back all my childhood memories of Tintin; the Thompsons still drove me insane, almost as action packed as a Bond film. Highly amusing with Tintin and the baddies having conversations (use your words!)rather than just bopping each other. But best of all was the transitions between screens, watch out for how the sea becomes a puddle and how a hand becomes the desert, impressively done. Visually a treat while retaining authenticity.