Belgians keen to share Hollywood's Tintin with world
By Johanna Somers
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - His adventures have taken him around the world, captured hearts across Europe and courted controversy, but can a computer animated 3D Hollywood blockbuster about a boy journalist from Belgium win over American audiences?
Belgians have flocked to see "The Adventures of Tintin - The Secret of the Unicorn," a new film by director Stephen Spielberg which brings to life the fictional exploits of a cartoon character who is a household name in Europe.
Many in a country where several museums and cafes are dedicated to Tintin's exploits hope that the silver screen treatment from the director who brought us "Indiana Jones," "Jurassic Park" and "E.T." will spread the cartoon hero's fanbase across America when it opens there on December 21.
"Perhaps, since it is Spielberg the reception will be good," said Daniile Van der Schueren, 65, from Brussels.
Brussels-born author Georges Remi, who is better known as Herge, first sent the fictional boy journalist with the tufted ginger hair on adventures in a 1929 comic strip series.
From then until Herge's death in 1983, Tintin and his faithful little white dog Snowy solved some of the cartoon world's most befuddling mysteries and thwarted a series of diabolical criminals with the help of their friends, Captain Haddock, the professor and policemen Thomson and Thompson.
So it's hardly surprising that more than three quarters of a million Belgians went to see the new film in the first five weeks after its October 26 release, according to Sony Pictures.
Belgians, proud of a comic strip history which also includes the Smurfs, Gaston and Lucky Luke hope the movie inspires Americans to delve into the original Tintin books, and to discover more about Belgium. Continued...