French Website Posts First Review of ‘Tintin’ Score as Heard in the Film (Spoilers)

Click here to read the original article in French, or read below the Google Translator version:

First opinion after listening to the soundtrack in the film:

Past ten years, the cinema of Steven Spielberg has changed and with it the music of John Williams associated with his films. Often dark and melancholy (MINORITY REPORT, WAR OF THE WORLDS, MUNICH) it has also become more discreet and sophisticated comedy about the filmmaker (ADOPT ME IF YOU CAN, THE TERMINAL) confirming that the major theatrics and heroic themes of John Williams of 80-90 years are past. The musician’s style has evolved, and if he gives up, of course, the themes, melodies and motifs that have made it successful, these cis are more discreet, subtle, complex. Therefore go TINTIN free of all expectations: there is no theme to Star Wars or even the HARRY POTTER, simple and easy to remember. However, while the legacy of Williams’s career is well and this shows that the composer is shaped, and has lost none of his enthusiasm and intelligence.
It should be noted that after 50-year career, and scores for almost all kinds of films, Tintin is the first music of John Williams for an animated film. It should be a first time for everything!

The credits of the film recalls the open (animated, too) from Catch Me if you can, with graphics that evoke solids investigations and previous adventures of Tintin: Williams introduced a theme for the reporter adventurer, a lively and spirited design , virvoltant, which evokes the youth like the theme (jazz and copper) from Catch Me IF YOU CAN or the character of Mutt in Indiana Jones 4. The instrumentation is light, but the songs short, broken, without long development, as if to suggest the hunt, and youth (as opposed to large, developed a theme that would have suggested some wisdom). This pattern is astonishing in its simplicity but still effective, it remains in the head after the end credits, and calls to other adventures.

The other main theme of this score is associated with the Unicorn and the confrontation between Captain Francis Haddock and the pirate Red Rackham. It is mentioned several times lorsqu’interviennent these characters and the flashbacks showing the ship, in particular the epic battle scenes (Spielberg ridicules the whole saga PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN in only two sequences naval). It is also a dynamic theme, made of ostinato string and brass rising in crescendo. It also reveals a pattern for dramatic suspense sequences, which suggests clearly enough the first notes of HARRY POTTER (one thinks also HOOK and Witches of Eastwick), a modal pattern quite characteristic of Williams, like of four famous notes of James Horner!

The pieces of action are of a ébourriffant. It is difficult to appreciate the true value in the film, because they are naturally embedded in the action and sound effects, but they prove once again that Williams is at its highest level, with accelerations of notes and breaks in your inimitable virtuosity of that recall the best bits of INDIANA JONES.
Sometimes very close to the style “mickey mousing” inherited from the animated films of Hollywood’s heyday, this score is, as expected, a great thematic richness and harmonic, very rhythmic, which should reveal many subtleties over the sheets. No lyrical theme to the JURASSIC PARK then, but much better: a treasure to be rediscovered over time. Listening to the disc (plus 65 minutes of music) should confirm it.

Sylvain Rivaud