In some ways the '90s were a golden age for TV animation. We had that great X-Men cartoon, of course, and the even more classic Batman: The Animated Series, and The Tick was indispensable entertainment, and NickToons offered a wide vari
ety of decent cartoons, including Rocko's Modern Life, Nick Hanover's favorite Hey Arnold and the bizarrely controversial Ren and Stimpy. Meanwhile for the kids with wealthy families, HBO offered a slightly classier bit of cartoon entertainment: the small screen adaptation of Herge's classic graphic novel series Tintin.
Now, as you've undoubtedly heard, a big screen adaptation of Tintin will be making its way to the movies very soon. Shout! Factory has released the first of a series of DVDs that present episodes of the classic cartoon. This two-DVD set presents adaptations of seven adventures from the classic graphic novels. The episodes are fun and entertaining and very true to the original source material, which makes them a real pleasure to watch.
This cartoon is as fun as I remember it being. Each pair of episodes adapts an original graphic novel from the original graphic novels, and does so in a very faithful way. That means that we actually get guns, cigarette smoking and inept police officers in these stories – a far cry from most of the network animation of the time.
The stories that are told are also wonderfully fun. Stories like "The Secret of the Unicorn" are rollicking action escapades, wonderful adventures that offer endless fun, depicted in a charming ligne claire style that perfectly emulates the original cartoons.
Unfortunately, the image quality of these cartoons isn't the greatest. It's better than VHS quality, but the images are a bit muddy and muted. It's never hard to follow these wonderful stories, but the stories are less compelling than they could be if presented better.
The DVD set also offers no bonuses, which is a pretty shocking omission for a DVD set that was clearly intended to tease the exciting new movie that will be out later this year.
This set is a great teaser for the upcoming movie. It's fun to relive these wonderful cartoons, and I'm really looking forward to the big-budget adaptation of these terrific stories.
Jason Sacks has been obsessed with comics for longer than he'd like to remember. He considers himself a student of comics history and loves delving into obscure corners of this crazy artform. Jason has been writing for this site for about seven years and has also been published in a number of fan publications, including the late, lamented Amazing Heroes and The Flash Companion. He lives in north Seattle with his wife and three kids.