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Le Crabe aux Pinces d'Or

The Crab with the Golden Claws

Belgium 1947
produced by
Wilfried Bouchery et Cie
directed by Claude Misonne
based on the comicbook by Hergé, music by G. Bethune, A. Ducat, animation by Claude Misonne

animation
Tintin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Tintin and his dog Snowy meet up with detectives Thompson & Tohmson to help them on a case about forged dimes, which eventually leads Tintin to the harbour and onto the Karabudjan, a ship carrying tins of crab - that actually carry opium. Tintin is soon captured, tied up and incarcerated by the crew, led by the ship's first mate, and the ship casts off. Tintin though manages to escape thanks to Snowy, and during his escape, he stumbles upon the actual captain of the Karabudjan, Haddock, a hopeless alcoholic who didn't have a clue what the ship was carrying, and has been kept in blissful oblivion by a healthy supply of whiskey.

The captain, Tintin and Snowy manage to skip boat and try to make it to wherever on a lifeboat, but are attacked by a waterplane, which they manage to shoot down, then they fix it again to fly it to Spain - but the captain's navigational skills are not the best and his alcohol-supported tendency to make matters worse eventually cause them to crashland in the Sahara instead.

Eventually, the captain, Tintin and Snowy make it to a coastal town, only to learn that the Karabudjan has presumably sunk - but then the captain finds his own ship under a new name in the docks and now the hunt for the opiumsmugglers is on. However at the same time Tintin and the captain are also chased by the ship's mate and his men, but eventually, everything comes to an end in the basement of Ben Salaad, the most respectable businessman of the region - who is of course the head of the opiumsmugglers. With the help of Thompson and Thomson, who have finally caught up with Tintin, Tintin and the captain manage to arrest all the baddies though ...

 

Lovingly made, this stop motion adventure flick tries to remain as true as possible to Hergé's source comic in style, and succeeds for the most part. However, at the same time, the film is somewhat ill-paced, since it doesn't take into accuóunt that comicbooks and movies don't necessarily follow the same narrative rhythms, build-up of suspense and the like. Also, the stop motion techinque doesn't lend itself particularly well to action scenes, so some of the action highlights are simply kept off camera or simply lack impact. Plus, through the relative immobility of the characters' faces and only limited body language, the characters all remain remarkably flat, and especially Captain Haddock fails to become likeable every step along the way.

That all said, if you're a Tintin-fan who doesn't expect a revelation from this one, the earliest screen adaptation of the comicbook series, wou'll have to watch this and will probably find at least something to like. And if you're into vintage stop motion, the same probably goes for you, too. The film might not be a masterpiece of any sort, but it's by no means a shipwreck!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD