Thought on Tintin

December 30, 2011

Meaning the new movie. I just saw this with a nonzero number of underage children and I have a few thoughts.

Minor to massive spoiler alert so I’ll use the jumpcode…..

lifted from
I loved the TinTin graphic novels when I was a kid. Loved em. Great stories and great characters. Characters such as that loveable, foulmouthed* scamp Captain Haddock. Who is throughout the TinTin canon the sidekick, partner in shenanigans and all around second non-dog fiddle to the protagonist. Captain Haddock is, to put a fine point on it, a raving alcoholic. A souse. A drunk. Constantly drinking or seeking to drink his beloved whiskey.

The Tintin strips, later books, were penned from 1929 until 1986. So you can imagine that having a major character with a serious drinking problem was still viewed as legitimate and unharmful for much of the author/illustrator’s career. Times change, though.

The movie, just released this month, has been created true to the original characterization of the loveable foul-mouthed Captain. VERY true. His alcoholism is a major plot point of the movie. To the extent that it even verges on some fairly interesting and current areas of research on the lasting effects of alcohol on the brain. I digress. The real point was my wonderment that a movie directed at children would be created for release in 2011 that features such a major thematic element. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention.

My query for you, dear reader, is what characters from film in the past 10 years or so were alcoholics, how was the story treated and was the film directed at adult, general or child audiences?

*A parent of my acquaintance had heard that Captain Haddock was a bit of a curser and was correspondingly worried about suitability. HAHAHAHHAHA.

No Responses Yet to “Thought on Tintin”

  1. Isabel Says:

    Well, Annie was made considerably more than 10 years ago, but it is still super popular and I watched it with some kids not long ago. One of the main characters, Miss Hannigan, is an alcoholic who is drunk or hungover throughout most of the movie. Maybe it is a comic strip adaptation thing.


  2. drugmonkey Says:

    Plus, Hannigan is kind of a sexual predator as played by Carol Burnett….sigh, yeah we watched that with the kids too…..


  3. Namnezia Says:

    I saw it with my daughter (almost 8), and the whole drinking thing simply went straight over her head. I think she must have figured it was something equivalent (but milder) than Popeye after he eats his spinach.


  4. Namnezia Says:

    Also, where’s the spoiler?


  5. Pascale Says:

    The original Arthur (1981) with Dudley Moore played wonderfully at the time. The sequel (1988), not so much, at least in part because of changing attitudes toward alcohol abuse. Most recent flicks with major chronic abuse issues have been cautionary tales, primarily aimed at an adult audience. Either that, or the “Oops, did we get drunk” adventure movie (The Hangover) where most of the characters know they did bad and suffer the consequences.

    I think the stoner comedy may be supplanting the comic alcoholic (and yes, my teenage son and I still plan to do the Harold and Kumar 3-D Christmas movie).

    Of course, I have watched Auntie Mame (with Roz Russel) with my kids, and there’s a lot of heavy drinking in the first part of that film; however, in part it’s a plot point along with the rest of her free-spirit 1920’s jazz lifestyle.


  6. drugmonkey Says:

    Popeye after he eats his spinach.

    Where “spinach” means, “laced with amphetamines”?


  7. Blistering barnacles!


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