The Art of The Adventures of Tintin

If you’re as excited about The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn as I am you’ll be watching all the different movie trailers, looking at images from the movie, and maybe even wishing you were Tintin.  I loved the cartoon series of Tintin as well as the books and the movie looks amazing.  While you wait for the movie, there is an amazing book that you should check out called The Art of The Adventures of Tintin.

I find it really interesting finding out how movies are made, how they choose the actors to play the characters, what costumes they choose, and how they decide where to shoot the movie.  The Art of the Adventures of Tintin is overflowing with all this information about The Secret of the Unicorn.  There are introductions by the brilliant Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson who are directing and producing the movie.  They talk about why they decided to make this movie and how important it was to get the details correct.  The author of the book (and Lead Conceptual Designer for the movie), Chris Guise takes you on a kind of tour of the movie, showing you some of the amazing art work and design from the team at Weta Workshop that has gone into the movie.

The book is split into four sections: The Film Makers, The Beginning, The Characters, and The Environments.  The Beginning gives some background on Tintin’s creator, Herge, and shows you how the designers came up with the look of the movie.  My favourite section of the book is The Characters.  You get to see what Tintin could have looked like in the movie, and I really think they picked the right image for the movie, because some the early images look pretty strange.  You see how they created all the main characters and find out how they made them look so realistic.  The Environments shows you how the designers made the sets, props and vehicles look exactly like Herge imagined them.

If you’re a Tintin fan or even just like seeing how movies are made, The Art of the Adventures of Tintin is the perfect book for you.  There is so much detail and so many images in this book that it will keep you entertained for hours.  I can’t wait to see how all these aspects of the film have come together when The Secret of the Unicorn is released in New Zealand on 26th December.

Night on Terror Island by Philip Caveney

Have you ever wanted to be in a movie?  Kip gets this chance when he meets the mysterious Mr Lazarus in Philip Caveney’s latest book, Night on Terror Island.  Kip’s dad owns the Paramount Theatre, a small movie theatre that is under threat of going out of business because of the big multiplex cinemas that have popped up.  Kip loves the Paramount and helps his dad out whenever he can, making the popcorn, selling candy and the tickets.  Just when things are really bad and their projectionist decides to retire, the myterious Mr Lazarus appears and offers to take up the job and turn things around.   Something isn’t quite right with Mr Lazarus though; he knows things he shouldn’t about Kip and his family and he can make things appear out of thin air.

As Kip gets to know Mr Lazarus he uncovers the truth about this strange man and Mr Lazarus shows Kip his secret invention.  The Lazarus Enigma is a special machine that can project people into movies.  Kip thinks this sounds amazing, but when you’re in a film, everything is real: real bullets, real swords, real monsters.  If you don’t get out by the time the closing credits roll, you’ll be trapped in the film forever!  When Kip’s sister gets transported into a horror film called Terror Island, it’s up to Kip to go into the film and get her back.

Night on Terror Island is a gripping, fast-paced story full of action, adventure, magic, hungry saber-toothed tigers and killer Neanderthals.  It’s clear that Philip Caveney loves movies and the magic that they bring to children and adults.  He’s perfectly captured the desire to want to be inside the world of movies.  I’m a bit like Kip because I’d rather be transported into a comedy or a children’s movie, rather than a horror.  My favourite thing about Night on Terror Island though has to be the character of Mr Lazarus.  He’s such a mysterious character and I’m still not sure whether he is totally good or whether he is a little bit sinister.  I feel like Philip didn’t quite tell us everything about Mr Lazarus, which is why I liked him so much.  I’d love to read more about Kip and Mr Lazarus’s adventures in the world of the movies so hopefully Philip Caveney writes some more about them.

8.5 out of 10