The latest “Tintin” poster

I’m not intentionally ragging on the Tintin movie. I love the character and the original stories, worship his creator Hergé, and admire filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. And I really hope this movie is good. But this latest U.S. one-sheet poster (below) looks awful.

What a big crowded mess of ugly images. I mean really, this is how you are selling the movie to U.S. audiences – a large percentage of them who have never heard of or seen these characters before?


  • Philip H

    It’s loud and messy.

    Americans should love it, then.

    • ben j

      Wow, way to stereotype members of an entire nation, you sad little shit. Does it make you feel better slandering a collective people you obviously know nothing about? I’m American and I hate the poster. But I guess that won’t register in your prejudiced little mind, eh?

      • http://www.doctorwhom.com gavin mouldey

        Wow, way to take someone’s flippant comment (which was most likely an innocent attempt at humour), and blow it out of reasonable proportion. “sad little shit”, “know nothing about”, “prejudiced little mind”… Pretty “loud and messy” language.

        It’s unfortunate you were offended, but a more civil response would have put you on the high ground.

        But back on subject, excusing the horrific design and characterisation, the poster certainly pushes the Indiana/Pirates-of/buddy/action movie angle.

      • HarveryD

        Overreact much?

        Go chill out and eat a hamburger while pledging alleigence to the flag.

      • Philip H

        Well, Ben, it just so happens that I am American as well. And being an American I can tell you that many of them are loud (including my own family), and many of them are messy. I was simply making a light-hearted joke, one that you took far too seriously. I shall argue this point no more, but leave you with this:

        “Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.” – Dame Edna Everage

      • Dan Kyder

        Good job confirming the “loud” stereotype

    • http://kambodiahotel.blogspot.com Moro Rogers

      …how else are they going to make Americans care about Tintin…?

  • tommy

    Yikes. Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson have both had some amazing, iconic posters, which makes this *really* disappointing.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I would’ve settled for a silhouette of Tintin’s head, perhaps just himself and Snowy there as he looks off in the distance with the Unicorn in the background, that was all it needed to be.

  • Joe

    I’m not familiar with the TinTin comics, but do know they’re popular. The main thing I get from this poster is that all adult males have bulbous noses.

    • http://www.caricaturesbydave.com Dave Stephens

      Just what I noticed, too – the twins should look NOTHING like the Captain, but unfortunately they truly look like relatives of his… Ugh.

      Hergé deserved better than to have two film-making giants crap right on his head…

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    Let’s take the ship (looks like Pirates, so people will recognize) in the middle, and surround it with the faces of the famous actors. Oh, it’s just a bunch of rubber masks? Never mind. The hero rides a bike, that should do the trick.

    Wrong on so many levels. If I were the designer at least I’d try to put as many references to the original comics into it as possible: the right font for the title, some not-so-shadowy shot of Tintin, together with Cpt. Haddock, Dupond and Dupont as full body shot in some interesting pose, and everything staged nicely on different layers in good perspective.

  • http://www.damianosketchblog.com DamianoD

    God, what isn’t wrong with this poster? They have two images of the same dude on it! If that doesn’t speak volumes about this movies content I don’t know what will. Also, I’m not sure whether it’s the quality of this poster or the poster itself but either way the motion capture looks hideous (it never looks good to begin with). Honestly, there is nothing in this poster that intrigues me to see this movie.

    • tommy

      Those two pictures aren’t of the same guy. They are twins.

    • Matt P.

      Actually that’s Thomson and Thompson who are detectives that look alike.
      That being said I think this poster looks too busy.

    • Tom

      To be fair, those ‘two images of the same dude’ are the twins, Thomson and Thompson. Either way, it can still confuse audiences not familiar with the characters.

    • victoria

      It has the same dude twice because they are twin detectives :p

    • e

      I can’t quite tell if you are you serious about the ‘two images of the same dude’!?

      You can only mean Thomson and Thompson? Are you unaware of the fact that there are two near identical characters in the Tintin stories – which would really surprise me (surely everyone knows about Thomson and Thompson?!) Irrespective of the ghastly layout I was not surprised to see them there side by side…

      Or are you joking? Hmmmm…

      But seeing double aside – yes this is a complete affront to the eyes. Even a horrible CG mo-cap version of one of the original book’s covers would have been better and that’s saying something. Where is the clarity of image? The clear distinct composition Herge is famed for? This is vile and considering Spielberg’s appreciation of Drew Stuzan’s work I’m surprised he OK’d this. But maybe he and Jackson had nothing to do with it… :P Embarassingly bad.

    • http://www.coveringthemouse.com Kurtis Findlay

      Thompson and Thompson are detective twins. It is not the same dude twice.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        At least they got their mustaches right it appears, I’ll give them that.

      • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

        Quoting the Wikipedia article about Thomson and Thompson: “While the two are apparently not related as they have different surnames, they are twice referred to as twins or brothers in the original language version of the series [citation needed]. In any case, the two detectives look like twins and can only be told apart by the shape of their moustaches (Thomson’s moustache flares out a tiny bit on each side at the bottom)”.

        Just to straighten out some facts (or non-facts): First of all, we don’t know for sure whether or not the detectives are really related. Thomson without a p and Thompson with a p are clearly two different surnames, making a case for the non-related theory. Secondly, because of the mustaches, the two actually don’t look completely similar. This is easier to notice in the comic strip than it is in the movie poster, but take a look, and you can still see that subtle difference in their mustaches (one pointing downwards and the other to the sides). The attention to small, comical details such as this is part of what made the creator Hergé a genius artist.

        Of course, someone will ask: If they are not twins, then why do they look so similar in almost every way? My theory on this is simple: Comical effect. In that respect, Hergé certainly knew what he was doing. These characters look silly. You know they are clumsy and incompetent almost from the moment you see them. And the fact that they look the same, walk the same and share the same manners and gestures just makes everything that much funnier. (And thanks to all the absurd similarities, the small details which actually do separate them from one another become funny as well!) It’s not just a comical effect, it’s a BRILLIANT comical effect. That in itself justifies the fact that they look nearly exactly alike. I don’t really need any deep explanation, and I wouldn’t want them any other way.

      • HarveryD

        I think the fact that he was confused shows this is not a good poster to sell TinTin to those who don’t know about the series.

      • HarveryD

        I think the fact that he was confused shows this is not a good poster to sell TinTin to those who don’t know about the series.

      • http://www.damianosketchblog.com DamianoD

        Thank you. I was going to say that myself. I did have a suspicion that the two were different but I didn’t care enough to check.

      • KNSat

        i had the same reaction as DamianoD. I’m not familiar with Tintin and my first reaction was why all the men in the poster looked so much alike, including the captain—black hair, bulbous nose, facial hair, dark eyes. The bowler hat guys are not obviously different people and not obviously twins, and that was confusing. It just looked very repetitive and uninteresting to me. And also completely male, but what else is new…

    • Andrew Kieswetter

      To be precise,they’re the detectives Thompson and Thomson,aka Dupond & Dupont.

  • x

    Ha ha ha, this is ridiculous! It’s a parody of the “movie poster” genre…
    No, wait, it’s actually sad. Tintin has a strong and iconic graphic personality. A style that marked a good bunch of very influential and wildly popular work, by a lot of great authors. And the best they can come up is this generic crap? Floating heads??? But i actually hope is just that and not the other alternative: the poster’s creators know what they are doing, and the public actually *expects* that and wont accept anything else.

  • Tony C

    If they were gonna go for that approach.. I’d rather they actually created new assets specific to the job at hand. This lazy collage disappoints me.

    Not a fan of the holier than thou comments above mine either though.

  • http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com David Gerstein

    Christ, what a trainwreck.

    There’s some kind of old-line marketing CW for American animated features—where there seems to be a rule that the poster needs to have as many character close-ups crammed onto it as possible.
    Interestingly, there’s very little evidence that this sales technique—if it can be called that—actually works. Instead, it’s linked to a number of movies that didn’t do very well:

    http://cache2.allpostersimages.com/p/LRG/38/3897/GWSJF00Z/posters/looney-tunes-back-in-action.jpg

    Notably, these movies did better in countries where their advertising looked relatively normal (UK poster):

    http://alsolikelife.com/shooting/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/bia_photo27.jpg

    Tintin, until now marketed as a cool adventure movie, seemed to be building good buzz precisely by avoiding the usual kiddie promotional cliches. It’s not good to see marketers snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Funkybat

      I agree that the UK Looney Tunes poster is more appealing. I think US movie posters were “allowed” to be more like this in the 60s-80s. My second reaction to the UK Looney Tunes poster is that it seemed almost old-fashioned, more like something done in the late 80s or very early 90s. I think the “lots of faces mugging” trend probably began shortly after that and hasn’t really gone away.

      I prefer simple and iconic, it’s more memorable. The original “Austin Powers” movie poster had me waiting on bated breath for that film.

  • Mat H

    Haha. Tintin’s face is completely neutral…HOW EXCITING!

  • Lucas

    I’d rag on the poster, but the cover for the Tintin book the movie’s supposedly based on isn’t really a winner compared to other Tintin covers either: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5G2lrZ-U89A/SUcgk2FkArI/AAAAAAAABqo/sJulscxifCE/s1600-h/TinTin+Cover+Scans_009.jpg

  • Was My Face Red

    Staggeringly inept. As the floating heads aren’t of well known actors and won’t mean a lot to many people (who might think the twins are a design error) what do you gain from having them there – except to spark a debate about bulbous noses? Tin Tin defines a style – a hugely influential and very stylish style – so why throw it away?

  • http://altanimation.podomatic.com AltAnimationPodcast

    reminds me of this “documentary” about movie poster creators on funny or die
    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/47d8df4123/movie-poster-floating-heads-from-fod-team-and-brian-huskey

  • C. Stulz

    When I first heard they were making a Tintin movie I was very excited, but the more I see of the finished product the less I care about seeing it at all.

  • Tom

    What an extremely ‘meh’ poster. I really don’t know what my eye is being drawn towards. Wish movie posters were still painted, like for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. Didn’t that fellow who does those retire?

    I’m still extremely excited either way.

  • tonma

    now I miss the empire cover with the trademark running tintin and spotlight, that should be your poster. Actually the sole image of him in the bike with his dog could look cool if it had nothing else behind distracting you. But even if they wanted something like this, Steven knows exactly how a poster with a ton of elements on it should and can work, but here I don’t think he even sent back comments at all, the faces fading in the sky look like they place them and erased over them 2 minutes before print.

  • Bruce Wright

    Why is the same guy on there twice?

  • http://pitchbibles.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    I would have liked to see a poster by Drew Stuzan.
    http://www.drewstruzan.com/illustrated/

  • Michael F.

    How long until parents’ groups start to claim that the noses look like boobs?

  • Murray Bain

    Steven should of continued his long collaboration with Drew Struzan, maybe he refused this hot mess?

  • tgentry

    I agree, I don’t see this doing all that well. A stuffy adventure about an old sailing ship (the kids these days love old sailing ships, don’t they!?!), a few floating heads of overweight middle-aged men with beards and mustaches, and the general creepiness of the character design… I don’t think the attached names will be enough to save this one. But I could be wrong.

  • bluenowait

    First thing to come to mind is “They must have hired the poor man’s Drew Struzand”.

    • wgan

      which is called photoshop artist

  • lola

    Better than the Harry Potter posters.

  • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

    Good to hear you are a true Tintin fan, Jerry! The U.S. needs more of them:)

  • AaronSch

    It looks like it was composed by the people who churn out much of the awful “floating head” DVD and Blu-ray cover art. It’s just a paint-by-numbers photoshop abomination. It certainly doesn’t build any anticipation for this film. Where is the Spielberg sense of wonderment? Will two top tier directors be enough to drive interest in this film?

    The last time I remember seeing the original Tin Tin was decades ago as a young boy in NYC. I’m afraid the audience needed to make this film a success will be indifferent to the characters and story. This past summer, the pairing of Spielberg and J.J. Abrams was not enough to propel “Super 8″ into the box office stratosphere. Even a few previous posts by supposed fans of animation indicate how little is known about Hergé’s characters.

  • Lamont

    LOL Well, at least they didn’t use the Trajan font.

  • http://www.kicreativestudio.blogspot.com Ki Innis

    In a world where Photoshopped collages have replaced great illustration….gone are the Drew Struzans, the Bob Peaks….say Saul Bass to someone in Hollywood and they will be like — are you kidding?

    Of course I don’t want to see a Saul Bass Tintin poster but I’m just saying the magic in movie posters just seems to be flat or inexistent.

    Sad. Death of an art form I say.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      How I’ve been seeing it.

  • wgan

    i dont care about the poster
    it’s just the character design and all style is so hideous
    brothers and Haddock look just ok
    loathe tintin and snowy so much they are totally not likable
    why they have to go with this realistic approach

  • Rooniman

    Typical of movie studios now, fill the whole space with randomly placed objects with no clear direction or hierarchy.

  • Chris Powell

    I gotta be honest…I’m not SUPER disgusted, its just ‘meh’ (which i understand is a bad thing too). It definitely could have been stronger and I wish the movie was traditionally animated but its not the worst poster Ive ever seen.

    Either way, I hope the final project is strong.

  • http://thatssokraven.livejournal.com/ Kelly Tindall

    At what point will the uncanny valley fill up?

  • muffles

    TinTin no like the girls?

    • KatellaGate

      Actually, I’m please that they didn’t dream up a female counterpart. The Chipmunks didn’t need the Chipettes.. and TinTin doesn’t need a TinTina.

      • muffles

        Boy with lots more boys made by boys and boat.

  • http://wingingitstudios.deviantart.com/ Alissa

    Yuck, that poster is really poorly thought out. What is the eye supposed to focus on, Tintin or that giant ship? What is the point of the floating head characters? Villains, heroes, sidekicks? The only clue is the right side’s captains hat, and even that’s not much. And the colors! Kitty-litter brown should not take up half the poster, it’s just an ugly non-engaging color.

    Even Spielberg and Jackson’s names on top don’t promise a great movie if the rest of the poster’s ugly and boring.

  • James E. Parten

    All of the signs seem to point to the outcome I’ve been predicting all along.

    “Tintin” is going to be the biggest flop for Spielberg since “1941″!

    This has nothing to do with the quality of the poster. It has everything to do with the fact that the majority of Americans have never heard of the Tintin, of Herge’, or Thomson and/or Thompson, or Captain Haddock, or of anything involved with the stories.

    Baby boomers of a certain age will remember the animated series of the late 1950′s, which they will remember as dreary time-filler.

    Those of a slightly younger age may remember the version that appeared on Home Box Office a generation ago. But then, the majority of Americans did not subscribe to HBO then, and do not now! Most middle- and lower-class Americans would think that “The Sopranos” had do do with the backstage world of the opera, while “Mad Men” was about asylum inmates–or world leaders!

    Spielberg has thrown good money after bad in pursuing this project, and while one should not wish ill fortune on anybody, one must face facts. “Tintin” will flop, and badly!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Still that “HBO series” did get reran on Nickelodeon, and I was able to watch it there, so it’s not a total loss. As long as people discover there is that place called “the library”, I hope they could at least find some way to use it before it’s too late. But yeah, much of what you’ve already put here sounds too much the America I’ve been trying to ignore personally.

    • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

      …considering that the movie has a large and ready-made audience in most of Europe, I have a feeling it might not be such a gigantic flop after all.

  • Mike Kozlowski

    …Well, FWIW, I’m more-or-less familiar with who/what Tintin is, so when my 10 year old son saw the trailer last weekend, I figured I’d have to give him a quick rundown before the movie started.

    Didn’t have to. The lad was absolutely entranced. I figure that’s good enough for me – we’ll be in line when it opens.

  • sigh

    Three of the four characters are looking away from the poster. A middle school art teacher would be right to give this poster a failing grade for that reason alone.

    It appears Tintin is driving his cycle literally out of the ocean…yet he and his dog are dry.

    The adults look clearly cartoonish; Tintin looks uncanny-valley real. And in his 20s. Almost like Daniel Craig.

    I see a few others asked why the “same character’s face appears twice.” I see the fanboys mocked them…
    forgetting that very few people in America are at all familiar with Tintin…including how to pronounce his name.

    And I though the Yogi Bear reboot was the worst poster I’d ever seen.

    • http://www.patnlewis.com Pat Lewis

      Yes! I was thinking Tintin looked like Jude Law, myself.

    • Scarabim

      And *I* thought the creepy walking-dead Muppet reboot was the worst poster I’d ever seen.

  • Craig M

    One reason to give the movie the benefit of the doubt: One of its writers is Steven Moffat, who is head writer for both Dr. Who and Sherlock, two very well-written, creative shows.

    • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ teodor

      and coupling.
      all actors from that series I can not imagine in a serious roles.

  • CopaCobra

    Poor Snowy, he’s so cute and appealing in the comics,here he looks so creepy and strange.Wonder if they mocapped a real dog.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    It looks like THE ADVENTURES OF WIMPY AND HIS BROTHERS AND MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE AND… AND… PIRATES!

    • Bud

      I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a ticket to another zombie fest today.

  • http://flippy-doodle.blogspot.com/ Blah Di Bob

    There are people who have not heard of Tintin? Didn;t think that was possible.

    Anyways, the poster is pretty horrible. The older poster they released was much better than this though. This poster would be okay if they just removed the 3 heads on it.

  • Was My Face Red

    Go read the comics. Go read the comics. GO READ THE COMICS!!

  • Tys

    America! Fuck yeah!!

  • snip2354

    Ugly huh?

    Then I suppose you think the posters for A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, Avatar, Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, The Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Temple of Doom are ugly.

  • Scott B.

    Guys … it was almost guaranteed that any poster for this movie was going to be ugly when they decided to make this film an over-rendered, dark paean to mo-cap tech, rather than figuring out how to bring Hergé’s ligne claire style to the big screen.

    Jackson and Spielberg deserve a flop for making this mess; Tintin doesn’t.

  • Scarabim

    That poster really is off-putting. I’m going to see the movie anyway, but that’s only because I have some knowledge of Tintin. A casual moviegoer won’t be attracted to the film with a poster that looks that ugly and creepy.

    The twins should be removed at least. It WILL look, to the aforementioned moviegoer, like the same head painted on twice.

    Still wish the movie had been animated in Herge’s style, either in 2D or 3D. Think of it – most CG-animated films are comedies. Tintin could have broken precedent in that respect.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    looks like someone got photoshop for christmas. It is a little too obvious to say this poster is bloody horrible. The most worrying news is that increasingly no one seems to give a tuppence about quality. The first indiana jones movie poster was pure class… compared to this it would appear to have been fashioned by angels.

    {scratches head, looks around baffled}

  • http://tequilawhisperer.com Lippy

    One word: EYES.
    Look at Tintin’s eyes. They’re that exact same DEADNESS that “Polar Express” (and every OTHER Mo-Cap except “Gollum”) gets wrong.

    What I NEVER understand is; even if you can’t get the eyes “right” in the film (because of budgetary reasons?) at LEAST get it fukking right for ONE STILL pic!

    *sigh* (goes back to reading classic ‘Dick Tracy’..)

  • Simon

    I just really dislike their character design. They’ve taken so much character out of them.
    The poster itself is just standard really, nothing special, pretty much as expected.

  • Ergo

    Is that really the American poster? I thought that was a European (Italian?) one. Any way, whatever it is, it’s not good.

  • http://funnylittlemen.co.uk/ MRoig

    I didn’t realise Tintin was going to be a direct to video release

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I find the poster so-so. I guess it suggests that Prof Calcalus isn’t in it,and doesn’t show the villain(Rastapulos?). I still think it’ll be worth seeing though.

  • childisfatheroftheman

    It looks like the spirits who haunt that ghost ship are in hot pursuit of the Big Boy, who has left the hamburger business in order to seek bland adventure.

  • Ergo

    Here’s an interesting look at an early promotional image from the film: http://www.empireonline.com/images/image_index/hw800/45763.jpg versus a final production still: http://tintinology.poosk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Screen-shot-2011-09-17-at-9.29.06-AM.png

    It’s nice to see the eyes have life now. It just looks much nicer. I still have to see it moving before I’m convinced.

  • http://blog.inetvideo.com iNetVideo

    Big Tintin fan from since I was a young kid. Thought you might all find it interesting to read my article on WHO IS TINTIN at http://blog.inetvideo.com/2011/10/25/who-is-tintin-a-beginners-guide-to-tintin/