The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

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


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 Unicorn, Red 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 Rings, King 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.

Awesome Animated Film

This was so stunning i could hardly believe it. The movie was amazing and entertaining. The Actors did a fantastic job i could hardly reconize Dainel Craig voice. Well Done cant wait for the sequel.

A technical masterpiece

but I didn't need to see it in 3d. It was non-stop action and a great chase sequence. The animation was incredibly real to life but didn't any 3d affects

An Action Adventure For All

This movie is more about the advances in movie making than the story.The detail in the characters are so real,from the eye and eye movment to every hair on their heads moving.The paning of the camera angles are so different to what we have seen before.The detail is bigger and better than a real movie scene.

The story is fast paced enough to keep everybody interested.

If you enjoy the technical advances in movies then this is a must see.Overall a great visual movie experience.


I saw this while suffering from a screaming headache and still loved it! Who picked the Herge "cameo" in the marketplace? It took me a few seconds to realise who it was. Non-stop action, yes, and maybe it did suffer from not enough down time but still, it's an adventure story not armchair theatre! CGI just keeps getting better. Rango was brilliant and Tintin carries that forward - the storm at sea / pirate ships sequence outdid Pirates of the Caribbean. The only gripe is that the writers and director missed one of Herge's key elements: the slow burning gag - a joke that would start behind the main action in one panel, carry through several others until a final payoff a page or so later. These gags often involved Snowy but also some of the other characters as well and made the stories so much more fun. Still, this was a very credible adaptation of the character and if there is more to come, and they're as good as this, I'm signing on.


i saw it in 2d it was still awsome i loved it i would recomend it




Good film to watch

finally a movie about tintin directed by Steven Spielberg produced by Peter Jackson two good movie directors. take your family's to this one good for the kids good action scenes I don't mind seeing it again when it come out on dvd