The limitations of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s approach to Tintin is evident from the very first still they’ve released (above). The most glaring flaw–besides the fact that Tintin and Snowy look like zombies and they’ve lost all the appealing shapes in the original designs and everything is drowning in an obscured mess of shadows and excess detail–is the tilt (or lack thereof) in Tintin’s pose.
Performance capture can only capture what it records, and the animators are clearly hindered in this image because no human can comfortably run at Tintin’s angle as drawn by Hergé. The ability to achieve the impossible is one of the strengths of cartooning (and art in general), and so remains the paradox of why anybody would be foolish enough to spend a hundred million dollars to create a more inept and less appealing version of something that could be better drawn by artists.
This quote by Peter Jackson is particularly hilarious in light of the images that WETA is cranking out:
“With live action you’re going to have actors pretending to be Captain Haddock and Tintin. You’d be casting people to look like them. It’s not really going to feel like the Tintin Hergé drew. It’s going to be somewhat different. With CGI we can bring Hergé’s world to life, keep the stylized caricatured faces, keep everything looking like Hergé’s artwork, but make it photo-real.”
A couple more stills follow the jump:
(Thanks, Michel Van)