L’Affaire Tournesol

Synopsis: Strange things are happening in the evening at Chateau Moulinsart. Windows, glasses, mirrors and vases break without any apparent reason. Professor Calculus is not able to keep his last invention under control: a weapon with ultrasonic rays. Foreign powers hear about the invention and send one of their agents to abduct the professor. Will Tintin, Haddock and the detectives Thomson and Thompson be able to help their kidnapped friend?

L’Affaire Tournesol 6.0

Wow… this telefilm has aged terribly. I remember watching it as a kid and enjoying it, but its ADD nature is really annoying to me now; it’s as if they couldn’t take a second to breathe in its whole 57 mins runtime. sad0133 Free Sad Emoticons

Actually, I think that George Lucas shaped his recent filmmaking “skills” on such fare. Joke. Maybe. winking0002 Free Emoticons   Winking

It’s also been maybe 15 years since I’ve read the original book, but I don’t recall it being so outrageously frenetic. I know that there’s always a lot going on in Tintin’s adventures, but I believe that Hergé was slightly more relaxed in developing them.

The problem is likely twofold: a limited budget and constricted airtime, being a television production – and a French one from 1964, at that!

The animation style is really poor. indifferent0004 Free Emoticons   Indifferent It’s par-for-the-course considering its era, but it still pales in comparison to modern television animation – let alone big-screen animation! To be fair, this film was never meant to be blown up on modern big-screen TVs. Back then, not only did most people still have black and white televisions, but a large TV would likely have been about 20 inches wide! Watching it on a big screen really puts a magnifying lens on all its warts. sad0133 Free Sad Emoticons

As for the storytelling… I suspect that, if the producers were boxed into a one-hour prime-time slot, they likely had to make cuts in the original story and tie all the action pieces back to back – lest the end result become virtually nonsensical. It still smarts, but there is probably a very good reason for it. Obviously, though, I would have preferred that the integrity of the original story be maintained. But what can you do? indifferent0004 Free Emoticons   Indifferent

All things considered, ‘L’affaire Tournesol’ has limited entertainment value, I think – aside from being a quick way to revisit the original adventure, or to introduce young children to the world of Tintin. Personally, I would highly recommend reading the book instead of watching this – it’s FAR superior. In fact, I think I’ll do exactly that! happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

Post scriptum: I watched the Canadian Blu-ray edition released by Kaïbou. It features a cropped image to fit 1.78:1 TVs, which means that the original 4:3 picture is missing the top and bottom of it and the framing is all off. mad0071 Free Emoticons   Anger

I wrote to them to ask if they would re-release the film in its original ratio, but I was told that they released what the owners of the work gave them and they had NO intention of re-releasing it. mad0137 Free Emoticons   Anger

I didn’t even bother addressing the fact that it was released in 780p and lossy audio, because that’s small potatoes compared to lopping off the animation. On the plus side, the picture has never looked better. Too bad we can’t see all of it. sad0038 Free Sad Emoticons

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