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“Tom the Dancing Bug” on Mo-Cap

“Billy Dare” gets a mysterious note from “Zmekberg” to meet him in the Uncanny Valley. The latest installment of Ruben Bolling’s comic strip, Tom The Dancing Bug, is a parody of Spielberg, Tin-Tin and a statement about the use of Mo-Cap. Boing Boing posted it here and it’s a must read. Hilarious, sad and true!

  • Hahahaa it’s all there! The corny dialogues, the horrible shadows, and shots that are not magical anymore, just reaaaaally bizarre… thanks for the morning laugh.

  • Abdul

    Humorous, but he avoids savagely gnawing the 800 lb. hand that might have him snuffed.

  • However, we can be grateful this Thanksgiving that both Steven and Peter are very rich.

    • The Gee

      Yeah. I’m sure they are thankful.

      Bolling’s strip is a funny one. I don’t seee it as often as I probably should.

      As for the entire movie deal….it is doing well in Europe, right? More power to it. But, not being anyone who cares about Tin Tin, or has bothered reading any of the stuff…I’d watch it but I’m not gonna look for it or look away if it is in my face.

      As for the mocap…enh. I still don’t get it. But, it is in the can. And, other mocapped productions will be made…

  • Funny strip, and oh-so-true of much of what we see in the motion-capture medium. That being said, however, the mo-cap in Steven and Peter’s Tintin movie is some of the best I’ve ever seen. Of course I would have preferred a handdrawn animated feature if I could choose (I am a Tintin purist, after all), but the visuals worked far better than I thought it would. After the initial few minutes of the film, when it simply felt weird to see the flat ‘Tintin’ characters rendered in this style, I got used to it and didn’t think about it again.

    There were design details i didn’t care for (like the Thom(p)sons being too chubby, and Castafiore’s nose looking slightly off for some reason), but this is nit-picking. Mostly, the stylization worked, and I really appreciate how Spielberg and Jackson are both obviously Tintin fans and went to great lenghts to capture so much of the details and touches in Hergé’s artwork and scenes. This is not your typical “Hollywoodification” of a classic property… in fact, it’s done with a huge amount of love for the original material.

    Things I didn’t like generally had more to do with the film’s storyline. Its first half combines plot points from two books in the comic book series, and does a pretty good job of mixing them together (although the opening feels a little fast-paced, probably especially for those who haven’t read the comics on beforehand). Still, the film is engaging, and by the time we get to the boat and not least the desert scenes, thing really get rolling. The desert sequences, without giving anything away, are definitely some of the high points of the movie.

    The second act gets even more intense and includes an extended chase scene which, while stunning, at times felt designed for the spin-off video game as much as for the movie itself. This, I think, is also the case with one scene in the boat during the first half, where Tintin has to get a set of keys from captain Haddock’s treacherous, sleeping crew. The scene became so over-the-top silly that it almost broke with the movie’s semi-realistic feeling. The same might be said about the later chase scene, but at least that felt more integrated into the tone of the film. Generally, by the second half, I felt that the film became more about set pieces than about story (the chase scene wasn’t even in the comics to begin with), but Spielberg still managed to bring the film to a mostly satisfying conclusion.

    Moreover, Bell and Serkis mostly did very well as Tintin and Haddock. There were a few times when I felt they acted out of character compared to the comics, but I had feared much worse. Haddock got perhaps a little too much of the spotlight at the end. I feel an important part of the balance between them in the comics is that Tintin is the most heroic of the two, while Haddock is the more human character and more of a comic relief. As the film Ã¥pro, especially in the finale, Haddock seemed to be getting more of both the good lines and the action. While it worked in the context of the story, I missed a little more from Tintin. Oh well. On the other hand, I’m thankful they didn’t change Tintin’s character significantly, as in for instance to give him a love interest (the horror!!).

    Wow, this comment certainly got out of a hand… it turned into the review I never took the time to write when the film was first relased in Europe! :P Anyway, getting back to the point, I think the film’s drawbacks came more from some parts of the story than it did from the visuals, which mostly worked well. Also, despite the purist in me wishing they would have stuck even closer to the characters and not least the storylines in the comics, I had a good time at the movies. I recently watched it for the second time and wound up enjoying it even more. I’d recommend it. :)

    By the way, Jerry, it’s “Tintin”, not “Tin-Tin”. ;)

  • Thanks for thoughtful and knowledgable comments Mesterius. And, yeah, every single person who says ‘I haven’t read the comics and I’m not very interested’ seems to insist on going to the extra effort of spelling Tintin’s name Tin Tin.

    • The Gee

      I do it in Tin Tin tionally.

      • Really? May I ask why?…

      • The Gee

        I was joking. It was an easy pun.

      • You’ll get no argument from me there… :P

      • Still, I suspect Jerry did it uninTintintionally.

  • DB

    What’s so funny to me is “Uncanny Vally” rings so true as something from one of the Tin Tin adventures (“Tin Tin and the Mystery of the Uncanny Valley).

    In any case – while I actually think Herge’s drawing style is beautiful, the stories from the comics never quite ‘clicked’ for me as a whole. Nonetheless, Tin Tin deserves better than what he’s gotten from filmmakers.

  • Ergo

    It’s “Tintin”, not “Tin-Tin”. Its structure is just like any other name, a single word with a capital at the beginning. I don’t know why so many people struggle with this.

    • The Gee

      Not to put on a Tintin foil hat or anything, but are you asking for us to be more

      In the future, I’ll try to be more Tin-acious. Though that may require me to become more redundant in how I type out the character’s name. Once I get the mono-Tin-y down, surely it will all better.

      It likely isn’t that difficult to spell it correctly and, after all, the shortest distance between two points is a ligne claire….

      At least I Tin’k it is but I’m not cer-Tin.

      (There. I got that out of my sysTymtym. whew. From now on I swear to use fewer puns and more swearing!)

    • Maybe they’re from Springfield, MA, where we used to drive past a Tin Tin House, though we never went in and tried the steaks.

      I watched most (came in late) of the preview for this at the theater. It could be okay. I hope so, even though that would be a feather in the Mo Cap.