Narrated by Philippe Agael, the two documentaries by Marc Temmerman, an avid fan of Hergé, attempt a retelling of the adventures of the red-headed journalist and his faithful companion, the terrier Snowy and at the same time explain the creative process behind these beloved works.
Temmerman follows the trails that Tintin partakes in as part of his adventures. We visit the same place he did, but today. The result is a mixture of animation with live-action images. This technique often makes for stunning visuals and the juxtaposition of reality versus animation. Plus he tries to give us the historical contexts of the works giving us where Hergé was in his career.
Writing his Tintin stories from 1930 until 1976, Hergé’s young journalist became popular because they were well written, universally appealing and contained a hero that was not written from the North American perspective.
Les Cigares du Pharaon came out in 1934 when Hergé was merely 27-years-old. While it was not the first book in the series, it was the beginning of the Tintin we all know and love. The story was an adventure filled with elements of mystery and fantasy.
Les Cigares du Pharaon:
Tintin will not give up his search for opium traffickers in India and Egypt. His investigation brings him to the pyramids, downtown Cairo, the tombs of the pharaohs at the Red Sea, and even riding an elephant through the jungle. The adventure, intrigue and danger never stops when this journalist is on the trail of a story. During his hunt for the truth he meets up with a flamboyant archaeologist and a maharajah who fears for his life.
Le Lotus Bleu:
Sequel to Les Cigares du Pharaon which sees Tintin taking a break and vacationing in India. While there he is given a dose of poison which drives him to the edge of madness. This madness pushes him to travel to Shanghai right smack dab in the middle of a Japanese-Manchurian dispute. Still in his delusional state he tries to unravel the ins and outs of the opium trade.