Blink while watching “Adventures of Tintin” and miss the female walk-on parts

Steven Spielberg’s “Adventures of Tintin” may have the best animation style I’ve ever seen in a kids’ film. It’s almost as if you can’t tell if the characters are real people or art. It’s spectacular.

But I guess Spielberg was so focused on the animation, he forgot about half of the kid population. There are so many males and so few females in this movie that I– even me– was blown away. If a Martian came to Earth and saw this film, she would think our species was the type that clones itself to reproduce. The movie even has two twin mustachioed investigators that would seem to support that hypothesis.

Like most kids movies, this is a buddy movie (can I say “friendship” movie?) The three buddies, the main characters in the film– Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Snowy the dog– are male.

All the villains are also male, the gangs of them. The good guys are male as well, almost to caricature as mentioned with the clone investigators.

For female roles, there is a housekeeper, an old lady that hits someone with her bag, and a third who my daughter spotted when I went to the women’s room. My daughter said she was a singer.

I know, I know: Tintin was a book before it was a movie. What’s Spielberg supposed to do about that? He’s just one director trying to be faithful to his inspiration.

Tintin was actually many books, and “Adventures” ended with a teaser that practically announced the next film.

And guess what, there’s a video game too.

Do you think there will be a Lego set?

Reel Girl gives “The Adventures of Tintin” an SS rating. In spite of its almost total lack of females, Tintin escapes the dreaded Triple S. The females in the movie don’t do anything terribly, stereotypically offensive such as talk about their hair or their boyfriends, though they don’t interact with each other at all and one is a housekeeper.

7 thoughts on “Blink while watching “Adventures of Tintin” and miss the female walk-on parts

  1. Funny, my wife, daughters, son and parents didn’t notice this absence. They saw a film they enjoyed. As a reader of the original series I can tell that you’ll be disheartened to learn that this absence continues. Stop badgering Spielberg about this. You should be congratulating Kathleen Kennedy who is one of the producers and a long time collaborator of Spielbergs.

    • Hi Neal,

      If your wife and daughters really didn’t notice the absence, that’s a sad commentary on sexist the world is.

      If you went to a film where the three main characters were female, all the heroes and all the villains were also female, do you think you would notice?

      As far as Spielberg, I just wrote another post on this. It’s not his fault. Women need to tell their own stories. I don’t expect him to do that. But it would be nice if he could use his power, influence, and resources to really support women directors. If he’s collaborating Kathleen Kennedy, that’s a beginning. There are many talented women out there he could back.

  2. I remember Herge saying that the absence of females in the original comics was deliberate. His exact words were “Women have nothing to do in a world like Tintin’s, which is the realm of male friendship”.

    He didn’t want any hint of romance between the characters, either. Note that in the original comics the only recurring female character was an opera singer, a friend of Tintin that’s much too old for him.

    Not excusing Spielberg or anything. I figure that this needed to be pointed out.

  3. Have you seen the work that Geena Davis has funded on girls in the media. She is very passionate on the topic because she has a daughter. Heard her speak last month — she was great.

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