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I watched Steven Spielberg’s rendition of Tintin in HD last night with my husband. Tintin, for those of you who might not know, is a relic when it comes to French comics and childhood traditions. Although Tintin is actually Belgian, four generations of French children, since 1929, have grown up reading about and adoring this tenacious strawberry-blond journalist. Four generations including my husband.

I was a little hesitant at first to spend one of our rare evenings alone watching a cartoon. After much persuasion, however, by a husband who had a hankering to revisit this small morsel of his childhood, I have to say I was impressed.

To French children, Tintin is best known for his uncontrollable tuft of hair and his little fox terrier, Snowy or Milou in French. The director did a respectable job, says my husband, in keeping to the original feel of the comics he knew as a child and maintaining much of the slap-stick humor through the translation from French to English. The police officers, for instance, are named Dupond and Dupont in French, only a letter differing from one name to the other. In English, they used Thompson and Thomson.

The story itself, originally written by Georges Remi under the pen name Hergé, was entertaining, littered with pirates and sea captains and an ancient fight between good and evil – good wholesome fun for the family. But what blew me away was the 3D effects and how the cartoon characters were brought to life. I was simply mesmerized by it, several times unable to believe that the skin of the characters arms was not the real deal!

Directed by Steven Spielberg with special effects by Peter Jackson, best known for his work on The Lord of the Rings franchise, Tintin is an innovation in 3D digital design, comparable to that of Avatar.

After the movie, my husband and I spent almost as long watching YouTube videos on the making of Tintin. Here are a few we enjoyed: