Tuesday, May 17, 2011
What are they selling here? Adventure. Not the kid or the dog -- we barely see them. They're even silhouetted in the poster. This movie is about the journey. In the trailer (below) we hear the kid in voice over, see him and the dog for a second here and there, catch a glimpse of their reflections in glass, and finally see the kid's face at end of trailer, but otherwise trailer concerns itself with the road trip, not the people involved.
The dominant imagery is a) (unidentifiable) people crossing the desert, b) a plane crashing (though we don't see or know who's in the plane), and c) a ship making its way through rough water (whether Tintin [or anybody else for that matter] is aboard is anybody's guess). There's very little that features the boy or dog doing anything. Why? Because it's necessary. Because nobody knows what Tintin is. Could be the dog, could be the boy. Nobody knows. Why should they? The property is based on a comic strip, (later books and movies), that rolled out in the 30s. Does anyone care today? When was the last time you read a Tintin strip or saw one of the movies? I never have.
Is Tintin super cool right now? Do kids know Tintin?
Title reflects the same approach. It's 'The Adventures of Tintin', not, 'Tintin Has A Great Adventure'. Usually, titles for this kind of product are all about the central character. Like 'Spider-man' or 'The Amazing Spider-man'. There's 'Superman' and 'Superman Returns'. We have 'Sherlock Holmes' and, oh let's see...'Hulk', you get the picture. It's 'Batman' not 'The Adventures of Batman' or 'The Tough Situations of Batman'.
So, trailer is all about adventure on a grand scale because people can relate to that, and avoids even showing Tintin because nobody knows who he/(his dog) is/are.
Imagery is sweeping and beautifully done but, in general, people are hard to identify. You usually can't even see their faces. This isn't an accident.
Will kids care if they don't know who/what Tintin is? Will the adventure be cool enough to check out despite the fact you don't know or, presumably, care about the guy/dog?
A sequel has already been announced. 'The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun' is scheduled for 2013, but I'm thinking this isn't exactly a sure thing.
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